Fauxtoshop: Spotting fake photos


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Lesson for journalists on spotting fake photos and photoshops, how to detect altered photos. Presented during various workshops at the Poynter Institute.

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  • General Sherman with generals, general blair is there!

  • Lincoln and john calhoun’s body - circa 1960
  • Now more than ever news organizations are dependent on viewer-submitted photos for use in their broadcasts, and in print. this from the nyt - article about a woman who ps’d her ex husband out of all vacation photos
  • How can you tell if something that’s come across your desk is a fake? What vetting process do you have in place? Here are a few things you can ask and look for to save your news organization from getting hit by Slacktivism - this one was in high circulation - the damage is done even when it is ulitmately vetted

  • Here are five tips to keep them from getting by you in your newsroom.
  • Here are five tips to keep them from getting by you in your newsroom.
  • Here are five tips to keep them from getting by you in your newsroom.
  • Here are five tips to keep them from getting by you in your newsroom.
  • Here are five tips to keep them from getting by you in your newsroom.
  • respond naturally to every picture that you see - gauge your initial visceral reaction - if you are shocked or react very strongly - you need to make like a store clerk, and check it out...you may have gotten this one in an email. a shark attacking a navy diver.

  • the top photo is an actual navy photo, and the bottom is a shark in africa taken by photographer Charles Maxwell for National Geographic. some joker photoshopped them, and it became an email hoax photo.

  • so - what does your gut say? where’s the smoke?
  • you can see they flipped him and just added in a cigarette...
  • this one was popular around 9/11....don’t you think he would have heard the plane? you think that looks right? looks funny to you now - but this was circulated widely back in 2001.
  • photo released to the media from the iranian government - made it to the front page of the nyt, palm beach post, major papers in the us - but one of the nyt photo editors was suspicious, so was the blogosphere

  • here’s the AP Photo taken from the same vantage point, there were only three launched that day...
  • Sepah news - iran. bottom - show the clones - colors match - littlegreenfootballs.com
  • explain this is what the clone tool does - fark’s take on it...this was a parody, talk about slacktivism
  • look for this in politics, emails that are forwarded, magazine covers...
  • four fingers and no nipples on the baby in this ad...not to mention the giant cabbages...exaggerated, yes - but this is the kind of stuff that can tip you off...
  • look at the arms and the color, the seam where the child is in the tube, lobster arms...one strap on her suit
  • take a look at the book here - what isn’t consistent? see the hotspot on his head? get up close and personal
  • point out the hot spot on his head and the softening on the book, pay attention to shadows and light

  • Ask yourself could this really happen? and if so - is it the storm or weather event that is taking place now, or something in the past - taken by someone else, that the sender is trying to pass off as what’s happening today? this is actually a real photo...taken at Lake Ockechobee, fred smith, 1991 - many have tried to pass it off as other events - waterspout and lightning bolt.

  • check out the lighting on the rig and around it
  • taken by professional plains photographer - not “just the other night” and nothing to do with the hurricane, weather folks know - should be part of their job description now.
  • tsunami in 2004 - actually came from china in 2002 - an event called a tidal bore...the city isn’t phuket/thailand - chinese architecture, not thai - city in the top is not phuket, not thailand...

  • make sure you check online...lotta good resources out there - don’t let them get past you
  • slacktivists

  • Fauxtoshop: Spotting fake photos

    1. 1. Detecting Fauxtography Theresa Collington
    2. 2. Spotting Fake Photos Detecting Fauxtography Theresa Collington
    3. 3. For as long as people have been taking photos...
    4. 4. People have been faking photos.
    5. 5. This famous Lincoln photo?
    6. 6. Fake!
    7. 7. Some are obvious.
    8. 8. Others, not so much...
    9. 9. How can you tell?
    10. 10. Five tips
    11. 11. Five tips • Check your gut
    12. 12. Five tips • Check your gut • Look for Clones, Frankensteins
    13. 13. Five tips • Check your gut • Look for Clones, Frankensteins • Zoom in and check for metadata
    14. 14. Five tips • Check your gut • Look for Clones, Frankensteins • Zoom in and check for metadata • Validate weather shots
    15. 15. Five tips • Check your gut • Look for Clones, Frankensteins • Zoom in and check for metadata • Validate weather shots • Use Snopes, Google and forums
    16. 16. First, check your gut • Often, pictures just feel wrong • What was your initial reaction? • Take a ‘gut-check’
    17. 17. What does your gut say?
    18. 18. the real photo...
    19. 19. So, according to your gut...
    20. 20. Next, look for Clones
    21. 21. AP Photo
    22. 22. Spotting Cloning: - Look for use of the cloning tool - Patterns and sameness? - Repeat images?
    23. 23. Check for Frankensteins Does the head match the body? Are the parts real? Correct?
    24. 24. What’s missing?
    25. 25. What’s wrong?
    26. 26. Zoom in • Enlarge pics at your desktop • Look for feathering, changes in light • Soft focus as a clue
    27. 27. How’s the lighting?
    28. 28. Look closely at lighting
    29. 29. Check metadata
    30. 30. Open in Photoshop
    31. 31. Go to File>File Info
    32. 32. Select Camera Data
    33. 33. Advanced>Exif Data
    34. 34. EXIF Data
    35. 35. EXIF Data • EXIF = Exchangeable Image File Data • New cameras have it • Recorded into the image file • Date, time, flash, shutter speed, GPS in some cases
    36. 36. Upload to Flickr.com
    37. 37. More properties
    38. 38. Check data on photo
    39. 39. Check photos with text.
    40. 40. Validate all weather shots Is it possible? Is it what they say it is?
    41. 41. Real...
    42. 42. Not real...
    43. 43. Not Katrina
    44. 44. Not the ’04 Tsunami
    45. 45. Check the Web • Snopes.com tracks urban legends, fauxtography • Google it with “hoax” • Post in a forum, Photoshop Disasters, email them
    46. 46. You can also... • Try some photo editing software • Ask an artist what they think • Post on your website, ask the audience if they think it is real • Really, post in a photo editing forum, identify yourself and ask the experts
    47. 47. Real! and really fun...
    48. 48. Theresa Collington tcollington@gannett.com
    49. 49. Theresa Collington tcollington@gannett.com