Exposing ‘Photoshopped’ Images with New Software

June 11, 2012

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Do you ever wonder how often an image in a magazine has been altered with the use of Photoshop? As designers, Photoshop is one of our favorite tools. Unfortunately, the photo editing software is also associated with some of the worst excesses of the fashion and beauty industry.

A new company called Fourandsix Technologies, Inc. is dedicated to the emerging field of image forensics—the analysis of digital images to determine their origin, editing history, and authenticity or to reveal latent details that might be hard to discover with the naked eye. Their mission is to provide the tools that allow our customers to find the truth contained within every image. The tool is still under development, but is expected to be released later this year.

In the meantime, they have offered tips on how to detect if an image has been manipulated. Their top three tips (found on are:

Check the file and metadata. Digital photo files contains metadata that you can access through the “file info” menus item in Photoshop. The data tell you about the camera, resolution and exposure settings and even sometimes which software the image was last saved with.

Look for telltale tool marks. A trained eye can see if parts of an image have been cloned from patterns of repeating pixels within an image. Also, sloppy image enhancements can result in “halos” around the effected bits that are often tell-tale signs of tampering.

Search shadows and reflections. Manipulators make mistakes, particularly with shadows, reflections and perspective lines. You need to train yourself to spot these irregularities that the eye does not see naturally.

To read the full story with more details on each of the three tips, please click here.

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