Thank you all for your responses! I now realize that a clamshell is very different from a birds, plants, and insects, which probably explains the variety of answers. However, I still think was wrong in editing the photos and I’m changing both the observation and the taxon photo for the species.
I would agree with you for most small organisms like plants, insects, fungi, and more. But I guess in this case, the damage I fixed isn’t covering anything needed for ID, and the “striae” lies mostly unbothered. I have added the original photo though, for comparison.
I would too, and there are other forum topics for that, I believe. In my previous posts for this topic I kept on talking about how “drawing” to fix images is practically the same as sketching an organism from scratch, but I was mistaken, because most drawings on iNat are the field sketches you mentioned, and not the digital drawings I had imagined. Sorry about that.
But, I still am yet to understand the difference between drawing the organism from memory and drawing the organism from memory but I have part of the organism that I unfortunately broke (this is rather specific to clamshells, but still.)
See this illustration I made:
The top half shows a drawing I made (from memory.) It shows the identifying features so I guess it could be research grade.
The bottom half shows how I changed the image. Part of the periostracum (the brown layer) was missing, so I drew it in from memory, whilst not changing the features that make it this species.
But looking at it now, I see that the editing was really unnecessary and the original photo is already great. I shouldn’t have changed it in the first place.
I see your point, but if they aren’t reading the description, then how would they be ID’ing it? But then again, in this case, it used to be the taxon photo. As the taxon photo, it wouldn’t show the description when you first look at it.
Wouldn’t sketches affect the CV as well?
I find this more common with plants and other animals, but I do get your point and I have added the original photos.
I do see this now, but I did have an “ideal” specimen (before I slightly damaged it, which is why I did the retouching in the first place.)
Thank you for the well-written response!
Yup, this is really common in bivalve observations in particular. But, these aren’t “slight edits.” Oftentimes, people just remove it completely. This is because the photos are ex situ instead of in situ.
See some of Steven’s bivalve observations: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&taxon_id=47584&user_id=stefadrian&verifiable=any
He takes great photos and sometimes edits them to have a black background to make ID easier.