Photo manipulation is nothing new. For as long as there have been people taking photos, there have been those who get creative with the final product. But now that anyone with a PC can be a digital magician, how can you tell what’s real and what is trickery?
The photo shown here (courtesy of snopes.com) is one of the most widely distributed pics on the web. It captures the moment right before a lethal encounter between a great white shark and a navy sailor trying to get aboard his helicopter.
It’s also a fake.
The image was assembled from two completely unrelated photos…
It’s a great example of just how creative software like Photoshop lets you get with digital imagery. And it’s a reminder to maintain a healthy skepticism when you see photos that are presented as being authentic visual accounts of events.
But how can you tell when an image has been manipulated? When done at a professional level, using prepared photo-shoots (like magazine covers) it can be nearly impossible to tell. However most fakes leave tell-tale signs that you can easily identify once you know what you’re looking for.
Your turn… Be honest… if someone sent you the fake version of the shark attack, were you fooled? I know I was :-)