Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is It Photoshopped?

We've all seen the photoshopped photos, emailed by people claiming "Look at what my aunt's cousin's baby sister's neighbor's pool boy's grandma saw in her photo!" We know, and can easily determine that "the face of Saint Aurelia of Austria she saw in the clouds above Cincinnati" is actually Lady GaGa's face photoshopped over someone's Cincinnati postcard. But what about the good Photoshop jobs? Like, maybe, photos that are used as evidence in court cases? Well, scientist Hany Farid has figured out a way to look for signatures, much like ballistic forensics, in photographs. He says that he is able to tell what camera make/model took the photo by looking for these signatures. If the signatures are altered, then photo editing software has been used on it. It does not, unfortunately, show where or how the photo has been changed.

This allows new verification to a photo's authenticity, useful of course for legal things, court cases and such, but also to photographers and photo purists. Just think: we can finally know if there are legitimate photos of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster,and UFO's!

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