Experts Work to Create Ways to Identify Altered Photos

New tools can sniff out fakes
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Mar 17, 2008 12:45 PM CDT
This undated screen grab provided by Yahoo Inc., shows photo editing tools for their popular online photo-sharing service, Flickr.   (AP Photo/Yahoo Inc.)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – 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.