During this first quarter since the opening of the IRCC.PHOTO website, thanks to the multiple channels of collaboration opened by our association and, above all, the high number of photographers who have trusted in the usefulness of the IRCC certification, it has been possible to give a great first step in the long road to consolidate the IRCC standard, as a necessary and consultative tool for the entire nature photography and documentary photography community.
In this period, questions from different areas have been received, to which our collaborators have responded promptly. In this new news that we publish, a compilation of those most common or recurring queries has been carried out, also including those that turn out to be of special relevance and interest to all the photographers who are certifying your images.
All these questions, therefore, extend the information published, both in the FAQs section and in other sections of the web, thereby facilitating a better understanding of some aspects about IRCC certification, which will allow greater familiarization and understanding by users.
Before providing the answers on the queries that we above mention, we recommend reading these sections in particular:
, as well as remember that the processing of a certification begins after completing the upload of the "JPG-RAW" file pairs by the user, starting a complete diagnosis process through various stages, which are briefly described below:
1. Preliminary - Match validation between the edited JPG file and the original RAW.
In the form where file images are placed to be uploaded, a coincidence verification process is launched between both files, warning of possible errors in the selection of the original and edited file.
2. Level N0 - Metadata.
Analysis and classification of metadata from the original file (RAW). After validation, the process of creating a perfect mirror of the edited JPG from the original RAW is launched, obtaining information such as cropping percentage and scale factor (distortion or lens correction).
3. Level N1 - Global Evaluation of luminosity and chromatic variations between original and edited image.
Diagnosis of global processing of the JPG image, by quantifying the percentage differences of the accumulated values, 0 to 255 per pixel, for the Gray and RGB channels.
4. Level N2 - Zonal Evaluation of luminosity and chromatic variations between original and edited image.
Analysis of zonal processing of the JPG image, divided into 9 partitions or areas, by quantifying the percentage differences of the accumulated values, 0 to 255 per pixel on the Gray and RGB channels, for each of the 9 areas.
5. Level N3 - Visual control of processing and review of alarms to detect unacceptable processing actions.
Visual analysis of differences between edited JPG file and original RAW, through two specific interfaces for this purpose, called "HSV and Overlay", which allow the detection of manipulations, cloning or alterations with respect to the original photograph.
This is the TOP TEN of inquiries referred to and their corresponding answers ...
Q1 - Where can I see the reason for the denial of my certification request?
A1 - The reasons for the denial of certifications can be found in the information available on your photo file, by positioning the mouse pointer over the “? existing next to the mention "Certification rejected":
Example: Your certification request has been rejected for having exceeded the global processing values (exceeded the maximum allowed percentage of variation for any of the Gray / RGB channels).
Information is available on the tab of each photograph about the maximum admissible limits and the result of variations between its original and edited image, both globally and zonally (by image quadrants). Images with chromatic or luminosity corrections that exceed the stipulated maximum limits are not certified.
Q2 - Why can't I certify my photography if it is practically similar to the JPG produced on camera?
A2 - The editing possibilities available through the parameters of configurable settings in the camera itself, can produce a JPG with differences from the original RAW, as wide as the own actions of processing by digital editing software off camera. Therefore, keep in mind that your edited JPG version, almost similar to the camera JPG, is not necessarily certifiable against its original RAW, as it could exceed the maximum processing values established as admissible.
Please note that IRCC certifies original JPGs (direct from camera), even though these are not accepted in most contests as original file support. Obtaining certifications based on an original JPG file direct from camera, confirms that the edited JPG image corresponds to the aforementioned original camera file, within the established processing limits, although it may not be admitted in most contests, depending on their competition rules, if the photographer does not have availability of a native RAW or DNG file from camera as support.
Q3 - Can you tell me how I should edit my photograph so that it is suitable to be certified?
A3 - IRCC does not establish recommendations on processing methodology, without therefore assessing in any way the individual workflows in image processing. However, users are given with a reference about equivalence guidelines between "proportional and progressive variations on processing parameter values, such as contrast-saturation-light-focus-etc" and its correspondence with the "resulting percentage variations on the Gray and RGB channels”, between edited JPG and original RAW file, which will determine the possible obtention of the image certification.
The photographer must bear in mind that any editing action on the original photograph, such as the application of contrast, saturation, color correction, modification of luminosity, focus, noise reduction, either globally or zonally, involves variations in the pixel values of each channel (Gray and RGB), which will be subject to subsequent evaluation to determine the degree of processing on the original image. The comparative view between the provided RAW file and the edited JPG is available in the tab for each image, as well as information on global and zonal differences of luminosity and color.
In any case, after application of the certification request, the user / photographer can check which is the data of the luminosity and chromatic variations by channels obtained, thereby concluding what margin they have increase or decrease their processing actions, depending on the results obtained. So, they could reduce gradually the actions of an aggressive editing that could have determined a denial of the certification request. The user's own experience through their certification requests, will therefore be the best knowledge tool about the processing limits applicable to their photographs.
Q4 - How do I know if IRCC certifies photos of my camera model?
A4 - IRCC accepts certification requests for any current camera model, as long as it is published in the official list of Adobe: https://helpx.adobe.com/es/camera-raw/kb/camera-raw-plug-supported-cameras.html#Modelosdec%C3%A1maraadmitidos
Q5 - In my application it appears as a reason for denial of certification “Modifications not allowed” but I have not cloned or modified anything in the image.
A5 - Despite not having cloning or manipulation, if your image has an added canvas, or if your image has a watermark or signature, it will be rejected as well.
In the tab of your image the user has the comparative view of the RAW file provided against the edited JPG. The edited JPG could contain unidentifiable areas that are not present in the RAW file provided, resulting in a canvas enlargement. It happens on certain camera models from some manufacturers, the aspect ratio or selectable area from RAW can be selected between range from 4: 3 to 3: 2. Depending on the RAW view provided, full comparative verification of your photo may not be possible.
Be sure to submit the correct versions of your files (RAW-JPG) with respect to the area corresponding to 3: 2 format that corresponds to your edited JPG file. Check that the canvas or frame information available in RAW file is not inferior or does not correspond to the canvas or frame information available in the edited JPG file. The resulting “virtual enlargement” of canvas could be a reason for not admission of the certification request, as the RAW and JPG files provided are not one hundred percent comparable.
Q6 - Does the denial of certification of my photograph imply that it will not be accepted in any contest?
A6 - In those contests with participation agreements with IRCC certifications, or in which IRCC has been entrusted with the verification of the original files of the images submitted to the contest, it is highly recommended the certification in advance of every photograph for all participating photographers the, so that it can be assured the validity and admission of each image to the competition. Certification requests that have been denied will therefore not be accepted or approved in these contests.
Also note that some competitions may have entrusted IRCC with the verification of certain specific photographs within the scope of a “limited advisory request”, what may therefore lead to the non-admission of some photographs by the competition management.
Q7 - How does the software differentiate if it is a clone or a sensor spot that is removed? Why am I denied on a certification request if I have only removed a few particles from one corner of my photograph?
A7 - The IRCC software has powerful tools for visual analysis of differences between edited JPG files and original RAW, through specific interfaces for this purpose, called "HSV and Overlap", which allow the easy detection of manipulations, cloning or alterations with respect to the original photograph.
These views provide each IRCC Controller with alerts where they can concentrate their review and analysis. In addition to the automatic controls for luminosity and chromatic variations, the "human eye" is absolutely necessary to complete the certification process, intervening in the last phase of the photo certification process. The distinction between clutches of dust spots due to dirty sensor, or other clone-like alterations or modifications, or corrective brush action, is obvious and straightforward to conclude for every Controller.
The cloning or use of pixel correction brushes is not valued with respect to the amount or number of actions of this type, nor on what area of the image is carried out, nor from the point of view of how much impact it has on the result of the final image, even if it was considered to be minimal or imperceptible. It is only taken into account by the Controllers, if "the action" itself exists and has occurred, in which case it involves the rejection of the certification request.
Q8 - My certification request has been denied in N2, does it mean that I have carried out editing actions by areas of the image?
A8 - No. The software quantifies the processing action of each photograph by means of a percentage comparative analysis of luminosity and chromatic values between the edited JPG and the original RAW, carrying out this measurement in 2 phases: a first global check over the entire area of the image and a second check on 9 areas or quadrants of the image, treating these ones as if they were 9 independent photographs.
Thanks to this process, it is possible to weight the proportional values of possible zonal processing actions, measuring where appropriate the weight or load of actions derived, for example, from the use of selective corrections, gradient filters, or selections of specific areas of the image where processing actions have been carried out.
However, a rejection in N2 level does not imply that it is a consequence of this type of actions, but simply is the result of the measurement of the weighted processing load with respect to the 9 areas or quadrants.
These are the maximum admissible values for the IRCC certification, which appear in the information sheet of each application:
• Max values in N1 - Global Measurement
Maximum color variation N1: 20.00%
Maximum luminosity by channels N1: V1: 14.00% (A) - V2: 22.00% (B) - V3: 30.00% (C)
• Max values in N2 - Quadrant Measurement
Maximum color variation N2: 25.00%
Maximum luminosity by channels N2: V1: 16.00% (A) - V2: 24.00% (B) - V3: 32.00% (C)
The information available in the “Differences by quadrants” section is indicative of the areas of the image where the software detects a greater or lesser processing load derived from the editing actions carried out on the image.
Processing actions can be multiple and combined. Keep in mind as a reference, that an action of contrast, saturation or exposure correction does not produce necessarily equal percentage variations on all the pixels of the image in terms of chromaticity and luminosity. Contrasting a 100% totally black image (with absolute blacks in all its pixels), produces a percentage variation between the developed and the original of zero percent.
Q9 - Why my image has been rejected, based on a multiple exposure, if I have taken it with two shots in the same place and with just a few minutes difference between them?
A9 - The reasons for the denial of certifications appear in the information available for your image, by positioning the mouse pointer over the symbol “?” next to the mention "Rejected process N1". You can verify that the reason for refusal is the following:
Your application for certification has been definitively rejected as it is an overlapping of images that is not allowed, or on a temporary basis until the sequentiality of the multiple exposure has been proven. If your image corresponds to multiple exposures with shots taken on the same date, the accreditation of sequentiality for this camera model is only supported by forwarding to IRCC the individual RAW files that make up the final RAW file (WeTransfer addressed to info @ ircc. photo). If you do not have individual RAW files, your image is not certifiable.
In the section of the web https://www.ircc.photo/how-to-certify you have the following information:
- Certification requests are accepted for photographs made up of MULTIPLE EXPOSURE ON CAMERA, provided they generate a single RAW and have been taken on the same date, checking the image metadata tags. For certain camera models, the individual RAW files that make up the final RAW will be requested. For all of them, the tags of "Date", "Name or File number" and "Shot number" among others will be checked. The sequentiality will be justified by verifying the same date for all the RAW analyzed and checking the correlation of shot numbers. The information corresponding to the multiple exposure mode used will appear on the certified image file.
Therefore, depending on the camera model used, the contribution of individual files that make up the final RAW resulting from multiple exposure on camera may be required, as a guarantee of sequentiality, according to the indications contained in the text of denial of your certification request.
Once the aforementioned files are received and verified, the certification process is released all certification processes (analysis of luminosity and chromatic differences, plus visual control of your request).
Q10 - What is the file that I must submit to the contest, once I have obtained the certification of my photograph?
A10 - The JPG file to be submitted to the contest is exactly the same that the photographer uploaded to IRCC in his certification request.
The verification of the integrity of the edited JPG file that has been certified, is carried out by checking the “hash” code (SHA256), which is a unique code for that file. The opening action and new saving of the edited JPG, is going to produce a change of the mentioned code and therefore will lose the status of certified photograph.
Remember that IRCC keeps this certified file on our server for a period of 4 years, so you can download a copy at any time. To download your copy, go to the "My certifications" section and select the "Download HASH" option for the photograph, and then download the "JPGUser" file.
The action of renaming the file in MAC or Windows, without opening the file with an editing program, does not produce changes in the hash code.
To make sure that your JPG file is the same one that you obtained the certification on, you can check at any time whether or not the photograph is certified in this section of the web: https://www.ircc.photo/verifications