Real or Photoshopped? Fake News Photos and Adobe's Fake Photo Quiz

in photoshop •  5 months ago

Was reading a BBC article on fake news photos and found this link to Adobe's 25 Years of Photoshop celebration quiz.

It isn't super-new, but if you've never seen it before it's a fun little quiz!

Most people do no better than average guesswork - the average is a mere 47% correct, about 12 out of 25.

Thing is, all the images in the fake photo quiz are artistic in nature; they elicit an aesthetic reaction, making no claims to being true realism (even when they are).

My feelings are similar to those when being sold fake goods. If I know something is a copy, and comes at a commensurate price, I can make an honest decision. The problem is when being offered some faux genuine item - then I really care if it's really real or nearly real.

I think the quiz would have been more interesting with a few journalistic images. Then, perhaps, I would have cared more to figure out which ones were genuine.

What do you think? And how well did you do?

Have fun!

image: pixabay


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There was a journalist who was found out to have a fake account and have created fake images based on images from other journalists, and we would work them. No one knew what he looked like, only that he had been at this place or that place, in the heart of the action apparently, when in reality, he'd been nowhere. I forget the full details, but this made me think of that.

I like to know if it's a copy/imitation/alteration of an original too. If it claims to be the real deal when it's not, then that's dishonesty and the opposite of transparency, no?

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Yes, sure! What was running through my mind was that many images seemed to be enhanced through lens filters; at that point, the image may not have been digitally altered, but it is also not what the eye would see if standing at the same spot. I also admit that some weather conditions can produce amazing colours.

I'm no pro on digital authenticity, but I have seen how, for example, compression artefacts change at the boundaries between composite images.

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Yeah. I'm not an expert for on-set things, but I do a lot of colour correction for video and I started altering photos in Photoshop, especially for CC. Sometimes enhancements are necessary to make it look more like what the eye sees, and sometimes it alters it completely.

Nature is an amazing being and I find that no picture can truly capture what we can see with our own eyes.

I think the the test is false. There are photos that have clearly been edited using photoshop, but because the content was real they marked it as real, which I have an issue with. If I take a photo, that photo is real, once I start to apply filters and edit the photo, that becomes no longer real but photo shopped and enhanced.

Maybe I'm just too strict with the definitions.

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Yeah, I commented above, I think some of the "real" photos have filters applied, so perhaps not photoshopped, but not exactly true to reality.

But, I figure, the whole point of the advertorial-quiz is to promote the idea that one can't really tell the difference.

Thing is, all the images in the fake photo quiz are artistic in nature; they elicit an aesthetic reaction, making no claims to being true realism (even when they are).

[...]

I think the quiz would have been more interesting with a few journalistic images. Then, perhaps, I would have cared more to figure out which ones were genuine.

I agree 100%, show us the long lens paparazzi photos and let us pick!

My feelings are similar to those when being sold fake goods. If I know something is a copy, and comes at a commensurate price, I can make an honest decision. The problem is when being offered some faux genuine item - then I really care if it's really real or nearly real.

It very much depends on what the item is. If a copy works as well as the real thing, isn't that just as good?

The assumption is that copies are always inferior products because they do not follow the exact process, do not use the correct materials, and not guided by the same principles (and often legal obligations) for quality. This might turn out to be correct most of the time, but perhaps not always.

It also comes back to the idea of intellectual property perhaps being stolen, or that a certain artistic or aesthetic item (such as a painting by a certain artist, a real massive diamond, whatever) must be "real" to be actual imbued with the spirit of authenticity, that it is "real" in the sense of the narrative about it.

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There is also a "reality industry" (or industries) that sell the narratives that keep some markets afloat. Sometimes, the object and the narrative are inseparable. I used to trade in old books and have had collections of historical documents; it was often a matter of negotiation as to how to sell such collections so that each bundle retained its authenticity.

Going back to news images, the authenticity of the scene being presented is more important than any technical changes made; I mean, I can resize an image and resave it, thereby losing its originality but not its authenticity. I could crop an image and thereby change the narrative - then I'd be joining the news corps!

25 years ... Time flies!

BTW I only scored 13/25 :-(
Barely better than random!
Did you do any better?

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14/25. Tough.