Fake Photos Not Worth a Thousand Words

| 6/3/2008 2:12:13 PM

Headless SI PhotoDigital technology has advanced to the point where anyone can doctor a photograph. Sometimes it takes a technical expert to tell the difference between a real photo and a fake one. One such expert, Hany Farid writes for the Scientific American about some of the best examples of photo doctoring in the digital age. He also gives some telltale signs of fake photographs, suggesting that sleuths focus on the eyes, the light sources, and the pixels.

Some Photoshop doctoring jobs don’t need an expert to be exposed as a fake. The blog Photoshop Disasters has become a time-wasting favorite on the internet, chronicling some of the worst photo doctoring in the media, including errant limbs, one-legged models, and other human oddities. There are even a few egregious errors from fairly reputable sources. My favorite (seen left) is from Sports Illustrated, where someone seems to have cut off a man’s head. The question is: How did they miss that?


Ken Adams
6/4/2008 10:20:40 PM

I know there's a definite surplus of them out there, but I love figuring out which pictures are fake when I see them on websites, in emails etc. There's never a shortage of material, that's for sure. Thanks for the link to the scientific american article. Very helpful!

Sara Mason
6/4/2008 10:02:37 PM

maybe he thinks he's wearing the invisibility cloak from Harry Potter? ;-) Seriously, I usually scroll right past any photos I see online. I bet about half of them have been "fixed" to some extent. It's hard to know what to believe.

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