In 2009, computer programmer Adam Gurno was looking at photos from The New York Times Magazine online and thought one of the shots just didn't look right. The image of a room under construction seemed too symmetrical. Using graphics-editing program Macromedia Fireworks, Gurno created a mirror reflection of one half of the image and discovered that it matched the online photo perfectly. He notified the newspaper and the images were quickly removed.
Gurno told CNET that he just "got lucky" in managing to spot something more-trained eyes had missed. And while it's assumed that models are routinely Photoshopped in fashion magazines, in general it's not always easy to tell when an object or person has been removed from or inserted into a photo or when an image has otherwise been manipulated.
The ability to scrutinize images has become a topic of conversation since President Obama refused earlier this week to release any postmortem photos of Osama bin Laden, despite calls for him to provide them as evidence that the Al Qaeda leader is really dead. Meanwhile, online scammers wasted no time in distributing fake images of bin Laden with a bullet hole in his head in order to dupe people into clicking on malicious links.
The discovery of the original, unmodified photos of bin Laden on which the faked images were based provided immediate proof of the trickery. And though the shots might have fooled naive Web surfers, they were fairly transparent to experts. … Read more