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Cropping removes part of the information of the original image thereby changing the image from the way it was originally shot, so it really is editing the image.
I see this challenge as pretty plain and simple: no editing of images (but you can crop). All of our other challenges utilize editing (sometimes extreme editing) so John is offering us a fresh alternative. I don't believe we need to overthink the process, just have fun and enjoy the freedom of no edits.Since I mostly use RAW image format and RAW images require developing before they can be used, or even viewed at full resolution, it might be worth discussing what constitutes editing wrt. RAW images.
With a jpeg image the operating system applies some standard algorithms to enhance the appearance of jpeg images. Sharpening, noise reduction, white balance correction, contrast and saturation adjustments are all part of the standard algorithms.
Since a RAW image doesn’t have any adjustments made to it things like sharpening, noise reduction, etc are part of normal image development. Where is the line that divides regular development from editing?