As photo doctoring grows ever more sophisticated—and common—so does the art of “digital forensics,” or identifying fakes. Lighting is among the most tell-tale signs of a photo that’s been altered, reports Technology Review, because it’s hard to get it consistent. Still, current tools are mostly for expert users, and the best protection against getting duped is to “be on the alert," says one industry author.
"Many of the things that software can point out, you can see with the naked eye, but you don't notice it," says the author. The creator of one highly technical tool for identifying lighting discrepancies says there’s a need for a user-friendly interface for such tools that a news organization, for example, could use to filter fakes.