It’s happened to us all. You’re scrolling through social media or the news, when suddenly a photo comes up that you need to share immediately. So you do, but then people start telling you it’s fake.

In the modern world, programs like Photoshop are easy to acquire and it’s up to the everyday person to now analyze nearly every photo they come across online. Don’t worry, NorthEast is here to save the day! Below are some tips on how to recognize a Photoshopped picture.

If everything is in focus, chances are it’s multiple images put together. In reality, objects farther away (background) would be less in focus than those closer up (foreground).

Speaking of background, if things look misshapen or warped, then it’s a sign

the image has been altered. This is especially popular with celebrities or influencers who alter their body shapes to become more “appealing” in beauty standards.

As much as the beauty and skin care industries want you to believe, there’s no such thing as perfectly smooth and blemish-free skin. Everyone has pores. Therefore if you come across a photo with porcelain skin, no pores or lines, then it’s been altered.

Those new to Photoshop don’t take advantage of the more advanced tools, which usually means they copy and paste a portion of the image on top of what they’re covering up. This leaves a pattern which is easy for our brains to spot if you take the time to look.

From experience, the hardest aspect to Photoshop is lighting. Usually when you put two images together, their shadows and highlights are different. Look at those two items in particular. Is the left side of one person’s face shadowed, but the other isn’t? Light doesn’t bend one way and the other.

Edges are important to check as well. Do the edges of objects in the image seem too sharp or jagged? Many forget to blend or blur together images just because they’re of similar color.

The quality of an image can help you identify altered images. While lower resolution images hide signs of a faked photo, you can tell the differences based on how pixelated an image is. Also the more altered an image is, the lower the quality it has.

If you feel like being a digital Sherlock Holmes, look at the photo’s metadata. This is invisible data that digital cameras embed into the image file. Websites or even your own photo editing software can access metadata. Photoshopped or faked images won’t have any metadata, while the original would show information like what camera was used and when.

Finally, be extra aware around sensational or trending topics. Altered images are made to anger or trigger its viewers, they want to go viral. Studies have shown that we’re most likely to share an image that makes us sad or angry. This is why fake photos become so popular online, we’re not stopping to think and analyze because we’re too busy feeling emotional about it.

So if you can’t tell right away if a photo is real, what then? I’ve got a few resources that do the hard work for you!

Reverse Google Search

Fun fact, nearly all photoshoppers aren’t using their own images. While you already know google lets you search for images using text, you can also search with images as well.

Websites are out there that analyze images by looking at a variety of variable, like differences between edges and surface.

  • Foto Forensics
  • Image Edited
  • Image Error Level Analyser

There you have it! Some tips and tools to help make sure you’re not being fooled by an image online!

Here at NorthEast Insurance Services, we’re more than insurance. We protect what means the most to you and we’ve built our business on connecting with our clients. At NorthEast Insurance Services we know that your protection is a very important matter. We also know that understanding insurance can be a complicated topic. And choosing an agent to whom you will entrust the future of your home, valuables, business and even your family should be more than just an internet search away. If this is what you are looking for in an insurance agent, then you’ve come to the right place. Don’t wait another minute and contact us today at
(732) 972-1771 or Toll Free at (800) 290-8120. Visit our Contact Us page for more information!