HomeReferencesDoD VI EthicsIllustration examples

Examples of authorized photo illustrations with disclosure

While outright alteration of official DoD Visual Information is strictly prohibited, creativity for the purposes of illustrating a theme, message or feature product is highly encouraged. 

In keeping with the commitment to maintaining complete integrity and credibility, DoD-produced photo illustrations must be clearly disclosed as an illustration, along with a summary of how it differs from the original photo. This applies to all uses of DoD Visual Information as a photo illustration, including on social media sites

Note: In instances where portions of a photo are blurred out for security purposes, such as ID badges, dog tags, or maps, it will still be credited as a photo. However, the disclosure must be written. Refer to the VI Ethics page for an example. 

The examples below cover some of the more common forms of photo illustrations, along with the credit line and disclosure that should be added. The disclosure does not need to be technical or overly precise; a general summary of the illustrative techniques will suffice. 


Panorama (stitched together)>

{caption text.} (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Andrea Decanini) (This image has been stitched from multiple photos)

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{caption text.} (U.S. Marine Corps photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Jemssy Alvarez) (Collage)

Filters and vignette

{caption text.} (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Christopher Wenzel) (Filters, vignetting and HDR techniques were added to the original image)

Addition of text

{caption text.} (U.S. Navy photo illustration) (An event logo was added to the original photo)

Hand drawing

{caption text.} (U.S. Marine Corps illustration by Warrant Officer 1 Jorge Dimmer) (Chalk and pencil drawing)

Computer-generated illustration

{caption text.} (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Victor Strickland) (This is a computer-generated illustration)

Multiple Exposure

{caption text.} (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew A. Hepburn) (This is a multiple-exposure photo)

Superimposed elements

{caption text.} (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Airman John Bainter) (An image of the American flag was added into this photo)

Unit logo added

{caption text.} (U.S. Army photo illustration by 1st Lt. Adam Carrington) (A unit logo was added to this photo)