close
Advertisement

Are you among the one third of people that can't tell these photos have been manipulated?

You might be suspicious of a model with zero wrinkles, but you're probably less likely to spot when a dog was added to a photo – or when a beer was removed.

Are you among the one third of people that can't tell these photos have been manipulated?
iStock

These are the sneaky signs that reveal a photo has been manipulated. Do you think you can spot when an image has been airbrushed, retouched or altered in some other way?

Advertisement
We can't always spot what's been altered
We can't always spot what's been altered
Sophie Nightingale / University of Warwick

Do you think you can spot when an image has been airbrushed, retouched or altered in some other way?

There are certainly some great photo editing apps that make tweaking photos easy. Too easy.

Researchers from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom wanted to find out if people could spot the tweaks.

They asked participants to review a bunch of original and tweaked images and asked: "Do you think this photograph has been digitally altered?"

According to their results, published in Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, people were able to determine that a photo had been tweaked only 60 percent of the time, and could point out exactly where only 45 percent of the time.

"Our study found that although people performed better than chance at detecting and locating image manipulations, they are far from perfect," said Sophie Nightingale, PhD student and lead author from the University of Warwick.

When researchers asked people to point out what may have been altered in a photo, they performed better, which suggests that it's easier to spot manipulations than to say in general if a photo has been manipulated or not.

Can you spot the differences in the photo of the woman by the canal above?

  • Take a look at the right-hand corner. The pipe spouting water into the canal was added.
  • The woman's appearance has also been altered: There's been removal of blemishes on the forehead, cheeks, and chin; removal of shadows around the eyes, whitened teeth, rounding of the face shape, and there's even been volume added to her hair.
  • The two columns between the chain railings in the center of the scene have been moved, leaving the railing hanging freely in the air. In addition, the shadows of the white columns to left of the scene have been elongated, and shadows for extra railings that do not exist on the object have been added.


Advertisement
13 books we bet you never knew were banned

13 books we bet you never knew were banned

They were taken off the shelves for the craziest reasons.
9 great fantasy epics every Game of Thrones fan needs to read

Game of Thrones fan? You need to read these 9 great fantasy epics

If you're a fan of the series, these other epic series are a must read.
22 surprising movie trivia facts you won't believe are true

22 surprising movie trivia facts you won’t believe are true

You’ll never see your favourite films the same way.
13 words you will never, ever hear the royal family say
If you laugh at these dark jokes, you’re probably a genius

If you laugh at these dark jokes, you’re probably a genius

Laughing doesn't make you a bad person – just a smart one.

Advertisement