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Passport-sized pictures are usually scary and ugly. I am not sure about everyone, but I look very bad, rather awful, in my passport-sized photos. Thankfully there is a way out to combat the ugly passport shot. I recently came across software that helps to convert our crystal clear digital pictures into a valid size passport photos. I am talking about IDPhotoStudio, a simple tool that can turn any of your digital photographs into a valid size passport photo. Even if you don’t have a printer at home, you can create your passport-size photo from any of your good and attractive digital photos and take it to some studio to get the prints done.Create Passport Sized Photos From Digital Photos
IDPhotoStudio is a freeware that comes as a perfect solution to get a good passport size photo at home. This lightweight application lands and installs in your computer system in just a few minutes. It is simple enough to be handled by anyone.
The tool has an absolutely simple and clean interface with all options clearly visible in its main overview. With no specific steps or guidelines this tool is very simple to use. You just have to load any of your images stored on your computer system, and you can get the passport size photos in next few minutes.
You can also rotate your photo by 90 degrees to bring it in the right position. The tool re-sizes the photo to the required proportions automatically. However, the tool lacks the options of cropping and editing the image – but it still works well.
The best part about IDPhotoStudio is that it provides the standard dimensions for many countries, and you can get the passport size photos complaint to so many countries. The countries/states are compiled in alphabetic order, and you can easily select the state you want your photo to be compliant with.
Once you load your image and select the dimensions you can then set the number of copies you want for your photo. The program is set to print an A4 sheet, and you can select the number of copies accordingly.
Pros of IDPhotostudio
You can preview the entire sheet of images before you get them printed actually.
You can save the entire sheet in your computer system or can transfer it into pen drive also.
You can choose to apply greyscale or sepia effect to the photo.
You can select the number of copies you want to get printed.
Features 27 different languages and various countries.
Can rotate the image by 90 degrees.
Cons of IDPhotoStudio
We expected a lot from the program, but overall it does a great job. The developer however can add value to the program by adding a few basic photo editing options like red-eye remover, cropping, editing, adding effects, adjusting brightness/contrast . It also lacks the Undo option, and if you have selected sepia effect for the picture accidentally, you will have to start it all again.IDPhotoStudio free download
IDPhotoStudio is a nice and useful freeware, but it might land a few unwanted software on your computer. To avoid the installation of unwanted adware install the Lite version of the software.
In a nutshell, if you have a good quality digital picture of yourself and want to print out a set of passport-sized photos quickly, IDPhotoStudio can help you out. It is a freeware that installs and uninstalls without issues. Go get it here.
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My grandmother always told me to wear clean underpants everyday in case I got hit by a car—and to keep my camera lens clean in case I needed to take a good photo.
Granted, I made that last part up, but the fact that I invented it doesn’t make it less of a truth. Using a dirty camera lens is like looking at the world through a dirty window, and even a few tiny specks of dirt or rain will affect the photo you’re taking.
Just look at the image below—it’s a great shot except for the blurry bit right in the middle caused by a water droplet on my lens. There are also a few other less obvious blurs and smudges throughout the image.
If I’d kept my lens clean, I’d have a wonderful, moody shot of a Scottish loch. But as it is, I’ve only got an example for this article. Harry Guinness
While this is mainly an issue with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, a drop of water or a fingerprint smudge on your smartphone lens will also affect the photos you take. Just remember that time you were eating greasy fries and when you pulled out your smartphone to take a picture you realized all the lights on the street looked elongated on your screen. So, even if you only shoot with your phone, you should still do your best to keep the lens clean.Clean your lenses regularly
The simplest way to make sure you’re shooting with clean lenses is to regularly clean them yourself. If you’re out shooting and notice a dust spot or two in your images, you can do it then, but it’s better to preemptively clean your lenses in the quiet and safety of your own home. You’ll have more time, better tools, and run a lower risk of making it dirtier by just spreading smudges around.
Cleaning a camera lens isn’t hard, but you will need to be a little bit careful—if you do some real damage, it will be expensive to repair or replace. You don’t need to be scared, though—the outer element of a lens is designed to stand up to a bit of abuse, so unless you go at it with a wire brush or break out the industrial bleach, you’re unlikely to scratch it or strip away its protective coatings.
There are three things you’ll have to clean off your lenses: dust, dirt, and smudges from fingerprints or evaporated water. There are different tools and techniques for getting rid of each one.Get rid of dust and dirt with a brush or a blower
Oh, what a beautiful photo of a le… yeah, that’s dust. Matthias Oberholzer via Unsplash
To get rid of dust and dirt, the best tool is either a lens brush or a manual air blower.
A lens brush has soft bristles specifically designed not to damage camera lenses, so don’t use a toothbrush or a makeup brush instead. They’re pretty simple to use: just gently brush the surface of the lens until you’ve removed any dust or dirt particles. Make sure to brush around the edges of the lens since that’s where dust is likely to gather. If something still sticks, don’t force it—we’ll deal with it in the next step.
An air blower is useful for cleaning off dust in places that are hard to brush. You can use one to clean the front surface of your lens, but they’re most useful for cleaning the back element of the lens—the one that goes inside the camera. If you’re careful changing lenses, you shouldn’t have to clean the rear element very often, but if you occasionally do need to, you may find it hard to properly reach the lens element with a brush. Blowers are a better option in those cases and are also quite simple to use: point the nozzle at the element you’re cleaning and squeeze hard. The air will blow away any particles of dust.
One thing: always use a manual blower instead of a can of compressed air. It’s unlikely, but there’s an outside chance that the chemicals and fluids in compressed air could damage the electronics in your camera. Also, the force you get is a lot more than necessary to blow dust off a lens and could eventually damage your camera. It’s definitely a risk not worth taking.
While you’re cleaning dust from your lenses, it’s also worth taking your brush or blower to the inside of your lens cap. Dust and dirt can gather there, too, and if you put a dirty lens cap on a clean lens, you might end up with a dirty lens again.Wipe away smudges and stubborn stuff
Clean the lens in a circular motion, starting from the center and moving outward. Ikaia Pal via Unsplash
Brushes and blowers are great for cleaning off anything that’s easy to remove, but for smudges and stubborn bits of dirt, you’ll need to take a more direct approach.
Dry microfiber lens cloths are handy for giving your lens a quick polish when you’re out shooting but, when it comes to removing smudges, they can make things worse and just spread fingerprint grease around. Instead, wet them with a few drops of lens cleaning fluid first, which will dissolve grease and make it easier to remove dirt. You can also get single-use lens wipes that are pre-moistened with cleaning fluid. It’s worth keeping a few in your bag, but as with all single-use items, they’re a bit wasteful.
To clean your lens with a cloth or wipe, start in the center and gently circle outward toward the edge of the lens, rubbing away any dirt or smudges. Don’t rub too hard, especially if there are any dust or sand particles—if you’re too aggressive, you could scratch your lens.Keeping your lenses clean when you shoot
Having nice, pristine lenses sitting at home isn’t much good—you have to go out and use them in the real world. That’s where keeping them clean gets a bit harder.
If you’re not planning to shoot immediately and don’t need to be ready to respond to something happening quickly, keep the lens cap on or even put your camera in your bag, especially if it’s dusty, sandy, or wet out. If your lenses are protected from the elements, they’re much more likely to stay clean.
If the weather is bad and you want to take a photo, pull out your camera or remove the lens cap until you’re sure of the shot. Frame the image in your mind, get into position, and dial in the exposure settings. When you’re ready, take out your camera, shoot, and put it away again.
If you need to, find cover and wipe your lens down with a lens cloth. While not as effective as a proper clean at home, a lens cloth can get the worst of the dust or raindrops off in a few seconds.
Though it might be tempting, you should definitely not try to get rid of whatever is on your lens by touching it. Grease from your fingers is really sticky, and without cleaning fluid, the lens cloth won’t be able to do much about it.
Don’t change lenses unless you really need to, either. If you’re not careful, it’s an easy way to get dust or smudges on your lenses. Even worse, you can let dust or dirt into your camera or onto the rear element of your lens—both places that are not easy to clean. If you do decide to change lenses, do it somewhere sheltered, put any lens caps on quickly, and keep your camera pointing at the ground, which will stop debris from getting blown into it.Go shoot
In an ideal world, every lens would remain clean forever, but if you use them, they will get dirty. Don’t overthink things and stress too much. It’s better to mess up a photo because your lens was a little dirty than to not take it at all.
Around the same time, another image popped up on the forums of the conservative Web site chúng tôi Now the sign read “Lcpl Boudreaux saved my dad, then he rescued my sister,” and a debate raged. Other versions of the sign appeared-one was completely blank, apparently to show how easily a photo can be doctored, and another said “My dad blew himself up on a suicide bombing and all I got was this lousy sign.” By this point, Boudreaux, 25, was back in his hometown of Houma, Louisiana, after his Iraq tour, and he found out about the tempest only when a fledgling Marine brought a printout of the “killed my dad” picture to the local recruiters´ office where Boudreaux was serving. Soon after, he learned he was being investigated by the Pentagon. He feared court-martial. It would be months before he would learn his fate.
Falling victim to a digital prank and having it propagate over the Internet may seem about as likely as getting struck by lightning, but in the digital age, anyone can use inexpensive software to touch up photos, and their handiwork is becoming increasingly difficult to detect. Most of these fakes tend to be harmless-90-pound housecats, sharks attacking helicopters, that sort of thing. But hoaxes, when convincing, can do harm. During the 2004 presidential election campaign, a potentially damning image proliferated on the Internet of a young John Kerry sharing a speaker´s platform with Jane Fonda during her “Hanoi Jane” period. The photo was eventually revealed to be a deft composite of two images, but who knows how many minds had turned against Kerry by then. Meanwhile, politicians have begun to engage in photo tampering for their own ends: This July it emerged that a New York City mayoral candidate, C. Virginia Fields, had added two Asian faces to a promotional photograph to make a group of her supporters seem more diverse.
“Everyone is buying low-cost, high-quality digital cameras, everyone has a Web site, everyone has e-mail, Photoshop is easier to use; 2004 was the first year sales of digital cameras outpaced traditional film cameras,” says Hany Farid, a Dartmouth College computer scientist and a leading researcher in the nascent realm of digital forensics. “Consequently, there are more and more cases of high-profile digital tampering. Seeing is no longer believing. Actually, what you see is largely irrelevant.”
That´s a problem when you consider that driver´s licenses, security cameras, employee IDs and other digital images are a linchpin of communication and a foundation of proof. The fact that they can be easily altered is a big deal-but even more troubling, perhaps, is the fact that few people are aware of the problem and fewer still are addressing it.
It won´t be long-if it hasn´t happened already-before every image becomes potentially suspect. False images have the potential to linger in the public´s consciousness, even if they are ultimately discredited. And just as disturbingly, as fakes proliferate, real evidence, such as the photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, could be discounted as unreliable.
And then there´s the judicial system, in which altered photos could harm the innocent, free the guilty, or simply cause havoc. People arrested for possession of child pornography now sometimes claim that the images are not of real children but of computer-generated ones-and thus that no kids were harmed in the making of the pornography (reality check: authorities say CG child porn does not exist). In a recent civil case in Pennsylvania, plaintiff Mike Soncini tussled with his insurance company over a wrecked vehicle, claiming that the company had altered digital photos to imply that the car was damaged before the accident so as to avoid paying the full amount due. In Connecticut, a convicted murderer appealed to the state supreme court that computer-enhanced images of bite marks on the victim that were used to match his teeth were inadmissible (his appeal was rejected). And in a Massachusetts case, a police officer has been accused of stealing drugs and money from his department´s evidence room and stashing them at home. His wife, who has accused him of spousal abuse, photographed the evidence and then confronted the cop, who allegedly destroyed the stolen goods. Now the only evidence that exists are digital pictures shot by someone who might have a motive for revenge. “This is an issue that´s waiting to explode,” says Richard Sherwin, a professor at New York Law School, “and it hasn´t gotten the visibility in the legal community that it deserves.”
But Farid and other experts are concerned that they´ll never win. The technologies that enable photo manipulation will grow as fast as the attempts to foil them-as will forgers´ skills. The only realistic goal, Farid believes, is to keep prevention and detection techniques sophisticated enough to stop all but the most determined and skillful. “We´re going to make it so the average schmo can´t do it,” he says.
Such programs abound. Five million copies of Adobe Photoshop have been licensed, iPhoto is bundled with all new Apple computers, and Picasa 2 is available free from Google. This software not only interprets the original data; it´s capable of altering it-to remove unwanted background elements, zoom in on the desired part of an image, adjust color, and more. And the capabilities are increasing. The latest version of Photoshop, CS2, includes a “vanishing point” tool, for example, that drastically simplifies the specialized art of correcting perspective when combining images, to make composites look more realistic. Nor are these programs difficult to master. Just as word-processing programs like Microsoft Word have made the production of professional-looking documents a cakewalk, photo-editing tools make us all accomplished photo manipulators fairly quickly. Who hasn´t removed red-eye from family pictures?
Before the digital age, photo-verification experts sought to examine the negative-the single source of all existing prints. Today´s equivalent of a negative is the RAW file. RAWs are output from a camera before any automatic adjustments have corrected hue and tone. They fix the image in its purest, unaltered state. But RAW files are unwieldy-they don´t look very good and are memory hogs-hence only professional photographers tend to use them. Nor are they utterly trustworthy: Hackers have shown themselves capable of making a fake RAW file based on an existing photo, creating an apparent original.
But digital technology does provide clues that experts can exploit to identify the fakery. In most cameras, each cell registers just one color-red, green or blue-so the camera´s microprocessor has to estimate the proper color based on the colors of neighboring cells, filling in the blanks through a process called interpolation. Interpolation creates a predictable pattern, a correlation among data points that is potentially recognizable, not by the naked eye but by pattern-recognition software programs.
Farid has developed algorithms that are remarkably adept at recognizing the telltale signs of forgeries. His software scans patterns in a data file´s binary code, looking for the disruptions that indicate that an image has been altered. Farid, who has become the go-to guy in digital forensics, spends a great deal of time using Photoshop to create forgeries and composites and then studying their underlying data. What he´s found is that most manipulations leave a statistical trail.
Consider what happens when you double the size of an image in Photoshop. You start with a 100-by-100-pixel image and enlarge it to 200 by 200. Photoshop must create new pixels to make the image bigger; it does this through interpolation (this is the second interpolation, after the one done by the camera´s processor when the photo was originally shot). Photoshop will “look” at a white pixel and an adjoining black pixel and decide that the best option for the new pixel that´s being inserted between them is gray.
Each type of alteration done in Photoshop or iPhoto creates a specific statistical relic in the file that will show up again and again. Resizing an image, as described above, creates one kind of data pattern. Cutting parts of one picture and placing them into another picture creates another. Rotating a photo leaves a unique footprint, as does “cloning” one part of a picture and reproducing it elsewhere in the image. And computer-generated images, which can look strikingly realistic, have their own statistical patterns that are entirely different from those of images created by a camera. None of these patterns is visible to the naked eye or even easily described, but after studying thousands of manipulated images, Farid and his students have made a Rosetta stone for their recognition, a single software package consisting of algorithms that search for seven types of photo alteration, each with its own data pattern.
If you employed just one of these algorithms, a fake would be relatively easy to miss, says digital-forensic scientist Jessica Fridrich of the State University of New York at Binghamton. But the combination is powerful. “It would be very difficult to have a forgery that gets through all those tests,” she says.
provide information about the compressed and lower-quality photos typically found on the Internet.
Given those rather large blind spots, some scientists are taking a completely different tack. Rather than try to discern after the fact whether a picture has been altered, they want to invisibly mark photos in the moment of their creation so that any subsequent tampering will be obvious.
Jessica Fridrich of SUNY Binghamton works on making digital watermarks. Watermarked data are patterns of zeros and ones that are created when an image is shot and embedded in its pixels, invisible unless you look for them with special software. Watermarks are the modern equivalent of dripping sealing wax on a letter-if an image is altered, the watermark will be “broken” digitally, and your software will tell you.
The Canon kit won´t prevent self-made controversies, such as National Geographic´s digitally relocating an Egyptian pyramid to fit better on its February 1982 cover, or Newsweek´s grafting Martha Stewart´s head onto a model´s body on its March 7, 2005, cover, but it would have caught, and thus averted, another journalism scandal: In 2003 photographer Brian Walski was fired from the Los Angeles Times for melding two photographs to create what he felt was a more powerful composition of a British soldier directing Iraqis to take cover. Still, many media outlets remain dismissive of verification technology, putting their faith in the integrity of trusted contributors and their own ability to sniff out fraud. “If we tried to verify every picture, we´d never get anything done,” says Stokes Young, managing editor at Corbis, which licenses stock photos. As damaging mistakes pile up, though, wire services and newspapers may change their attitude.
Meanwhile, work is progressing at Fridrich´s lab to endow photos with an additional level of security. Fridrich, whose accomplishments include winning the 1982 Czechoslovakian Rubik´s Cube speed-solving championship, is developing a camera that not only watermarks a photograph but adds key identifying information about the photographer as well. Her team has modified a commercially available Canon camera, converting the infrared focusing sensor built into its viewfinder to a biometric sensor that captures an image of the photographer´s iris at the instant a photo is shot. This image is converted to digital data that is stored invisibly in the image file, along with the time and date and other watermark data.
Lawyers are just beginning to grasp the technology and its ramifications, but the bench is especially ignorant. “Trial judges have not been adequately apprised of the risks and technology,” says New York Law School´s Sherwin. “I can recount one example where in order to test an animation that was being offered in evidence, the judge asked the attorney to print it out. What we really have is a generation gap in the knowledge base. Courts are going to have to learn about these risks themselves and find ways to address them.”
One bright spot is that for now, at least, we only have to worry about still images. Fredericks says that to modify video convincingly remains an incredibly painstaking business. “When you´re dealing with videotape, you´re dealing with 30 frames per second, and a frame is two individual pictures. The forger would have to make 60 image corrections for each second. It´s an almost impossible task.” There´s no Photoshop for movies, and even video altered with high-end equipment, such as commercials employing reanimated dead actors, isn´t especially believable.
Digital-forensics experts say they´re in an evolutionary race not unlike the battle between spammers and anti-spammers -you can create all the filters you want, but determined spammers will figure out how to get through. Then it´s time to create new filters. Farid expects the same of forgers. With enough resources and determination, a forger will break a watermark, reverse-engineer a RAW file, and create a seamless fake that eludes the software. The trick, Farid says, is continuing to raise the bar high enough that most forgers are daunted.
The near future of detection technology is more of the same, only (knock wood) better: more-secure photographer-verification systems, more tightly calibrated algorithms, more-robust watermarks. The future, though, promises something more innovative: digital ballistics. Just as bullets can be traced to the gun that fired them, digital photos might reveal the camera that made them. No light sensor is flawless; all have tiny imperfections that can be read in the image data. Study those glitches enough, and you recognize patterns-patterns that can be detected with software.
Still, no matter what technologies are in place, it´s likely that top-quality fakes will always elude the system. Poor-quality ones, too. The big fish learn how to avoid the net; the smallest ones slip through it. Low-resolution fakes are more detectable by Farid´s latest algorithm, which analyzes the direction of light falling on the scene, but if a photo is compressed enough, forget about it. It becomes a mighty small fish.
Which brings us back to Joey Boudreaux, the Marine who found himself denounced by his local paper, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, as having embarrassed “himself, the Marine Corps and, unfortunately, his home state.” The Marines conducted two investigations last year, both of which were inconclusive. Even experts with the Naval Criminal Investigative Services couldn´t find evidence to support or refute claims of manipulation.
Boudreaux has taken the incident in stride. “My first reaction, I thought it was funny,” he said in a telephone interview. “I didn´t have a second reaction until they called and said, â€You´re getting investigated.´ ” He insists that he never gave the Iraqi boy a sign with any words but “Welcome Marines,” but he has no way to prove it. Neither he nor anyone he knows still possesses a version of the image the way he says he created it, and no amount of Internet searching has turned it up. All that exists are the low-quality clones on the Web. Farid´s software can´t assess Boudreaux´s claim because the existing images are too compressed for his algorithms. And even Farid´s trained eye can´t tell if either of the two existing images-the “good” sign or the “bad” one-are real or if, as Boudreaux claims, both are fakes.
An unsatisfactory conclusion, but a fitting one. Today´s authentication technology is such that even after scrutiny by software and expert eyes, all you may have on your side is your word. You´d better hope it´s good enough.
Steve Casimiro is a writer and photographer in Monarch Beach, California.
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? REAL Plane landing at the St. Maarten airport, located about 40 feet from the beach
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? FAKE China lands on moon! Not really. But making it look authentic is easy, for a forger.
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? FAKE chúng tôi
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? FAKE A skyscraperâ€Jenga game merger, from chúng tôi
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? FAKE chúng tôi
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? FAKE From chúng tôi which hosts Photoshop contests
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? REAL An F/A-18´s sonic boom. Experts are unsure what creates the cloud; it may be caused by water-droplet condensation
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? FAKE A composite that hit the Internet as a purported National Geographic photo
by Courtesy of chúng tôi
How well did you spot the phonies? REAL Nine-foot, 646-pound catfish recently caught in Thailand
If only all Photoshop jobs were this obvious, recognizing faked photos would be a lot easier. Stan Horaczek
We see hundreds or even thousands of images a day, and almost all of them have been digitally manipulated in some way. Some have gotten basic color corrections or simple Instagram filter effects, while others have received full on Photoshop jobs to completely transform the subject. It turns out humans aren’t very good at recognizing when an image has been manipulated, even if the change is fairly substantial. Hany Farid is a professor of computer science at Dartmouth College who specializes in photo forensics, and while he can’t share all of his fancy software tools for detecting editing trickery, he has shared a few tips for authenticating images on your own.Try reverse image searching
A reverse image search in Google looks for images that are exact matches, as well as those that are thematically similar. Stan Horaczek
Before you start trying to CSI an image too hard, you can often debunk a faked photo by finding its source using a reverse image search. Google includes this function as part of its Images suite and looks for the exact image, as well as images that are similar in both subject matter and color aesthetics.
Another powerful tool is Tineye, which performs a similar function, but often returns fewer results that are closer to exact matches, which can make them easier to sort through.
“Often if you just do a reverse image search, you’ll find it right away,” says Farid. “You’ll see the original image that someone took from Getty Images and then added a UFO to the sky or something like that.”
Reverse image search can also be a useful tool if you suspect someone is stealing your social media photos and impersonating you. Upload your own photos to the tools and you can see where they appear on the web.Look for weirdness
Fight the urge to zoom in too far to examine an image. This unedited image shows weirdness and artifacts when you’re up this close. You don’t have the CSI “enhance” tool. Stan Horaczek
The first step in analyzing an image involves a logical analysis, an area in which humans typically perform much better than computers—at least for now. “Computers are very good at measuring this fine grain details like compression artifacts and inconsistencies in geometry,” says Farid. “But if someone created a picture of a boat sailing down the middle of the road, a computer might not see anything wrong with that.”
Look at an image closely and examine objects that may have been inserted, or look for evidence that other objects may have been removed. Farid warns against zooming in too far, however, because that can introduce its own obstacles. “Sometimes if you zoom into an image up to 500%, it’s very easy to look at something that’s perfectly valid, like artifacts from lens distortions or noise, and start attributing that to manipulation,” says Farid. He recommends zooming to 200% or 300% maximum to avoid false positives.
This is also the time to look for errors in scale and perspective, which are some of the trickiest things to fix in a fake. Does one person in a group photo have an abnormally large head? Does an object look like it’s sitting at an odd angle? These are warning signs that warrant an even closer look.Check the EXIF data
You can learn a lot about a photo by checking out the metadata associated with it. Stan Horaczek
When a digital camera captures an image, it appends a whole array of information called EXIF data to the image file. This data includes all the critical camera settings, as well as other info like GPS data if it’s available (which is typically the case with smartphone photos, unless the person has intentionally turned location settings off).
If you have the location of the photo, you can plug it into Google Maps and use Street View to get a general idea of what the location might actually look like. The Street View scene won’t necessarily be 100 percent accurate and up-to-date, but it can be a good starting point.
This analysis from chúng tôi shows the metadata attached to the JPEG file. Stan Horaczek
You can also sometimes find the original pixel dimensions of the image. This may not sound very useful, but you can easily look up the typical image dimensions of a photo from a particular camera and then compare them to the file you’re currently viewing. If the final version is smaller, that indicates that the photo may have been cropped to exclude information.
Also in the EXIF data is a software tag. “If an image is opened up in Photoshop and then saved, the metadata will then say “Photoshop” and then whatever version they used,” says Farid. He warns, however, that this tag doesn’t necessarily indicate that a photo is trying to trick you. Many photographs go through Photoshop or some other editing program for simple adjustments like color correction, or even just resizing.Examine the shadows
The image has been edited to flip the man’s face, which creates a clear contradiction in the direction of the shadows. It was part of a study to determine how well people can recognize faked photos. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications
We know that the shadow cast by an object will appear opposite the light that caused it. Using that information, investigators can actually map lines between shadows, objects, and the corresponding light sources to see if the image is physically possible.
“Out in the physical 3D world, I have a linear constraint on a shadow, an object, and a light source,” says Farid. “That means I can find all the objects that are casting shadows—as long as I can very clearly attribute a point on a shadow to a point on an object in the image.”
One of the original examples in the study about people’s ability to recognized edited photos showed a man whose face had been flipped so the light source was landing on the same side as the shadow. It can be easy to identify once you’re looking for it.Mess with it in Photoshop
(The comparison above show two versions of the same image. The one on the right has been subjected to the levels adjustments that clearly show brush adjustments over the front license plate)
If you have access to Photoshop yourself, there are a few adjustments you can make to try and draw out artifacts that you might miss with your naked eye.
One tool Farid suggests using is Levels. You can access this by pressing Command + L (Mac) or Control + L (PC). “If you bring the white point all the way down really close to the black point, what’s going to happen is that the narrow range of black will expand out quite a bit,” says Farid. “If somebody has taken the eraser tool and erased something in a dark area, you can see the traces of the tool.” The same effect happens if you drag the black point all the way up to draw more detail out of the image highlights.
You can try a few other Photoshop tricks to shed some light on alterations. Cranking up the contrast or the sharpness will help emphasize hard edges in the photo, which can sometimes occur when an object is pasted in. Farid also suggests inverting the colors on an image (control + I or command + I) to get a new perspective on the photo, which could jolt your brain into drawing out some irregularities.Look for patterns
There are some patterns you can recognize with your eyeballs. A novice Photoshop user may well leave repeating patterns behind when trying to clone out an object. Zoom out and look at the image from afar to see if your eye can pick up on any patterns, then zoom in closer to see if there might be some repeating objects in the scene.
Researchers also often look for patterns in artifacts left from JPEG image compression. JPEG is a “lossy” format, which means it jettisons some information from the original file to save space and make it readable by a wider array of machines. This causes artifacts, or changes in the data introduced over time—especially when you save it more than once. “Imagine you go out and you buy your brand new iPhone and even the packaging is beautiful. Everything fits just right down to the tape,” says Farid. “Try putting that back together and see what happens. It never works. The same thing is true of a digital file. When you unpack it in Photoshop, and then recompress it, you can’t get it perfectly right. It leaves artifacts that we can recognize.”Be wary of online tools
A popular image validation tool says my photo of corn has been edited because the EXIF has been stripped and it was exported from Adobe Lightroom. This is, in fact, what the corn looked like. Stan Horaczek
There are places online where you can upload an image to check for warning signs of editing, but results can be very tricky to interpret. For instance, I uploaded this picture of corn to a popular site and it was flagged because it was “not an original camera image.” I exported a JPEG from a DSLR raw file with some color corrections myself, so I know it wasn’t faked, but it’s still flagged. It didn’t claim the photo was doctored, but it also casts doubt where there shouldn’t be any.
There are some websites that can read the software tags, like this one that can tell you exactly what actions were taken in Lightroom when editing a photo. That’s more useful, but you still need an understanding of the software itself to make an accurate interpretation.
There is software out there that can identify these more complex manipulations, but it’s typically only available commercially, for security and law enforcement operations.
“Making that stuff public is tricky because the more I make the information public, the easier it is to circumvent,” says Farid. “We release the details in scientific publications, but to really go back and implement all that technique would be really hard for somebody. That’s the compromise we have right now.Don’t fall for false positives
The final step is realizing that sometimes things look altered when they aren’t. “Photographs just look weird sometimes,” says Farid.
A California man has pled guilty to impersonating iCloud customer support over email in order to gain access to thousands of accounts.
He stole more than 620,000 photos and 9,000 videos, stopping in mid-2024 after an FBI investigation raided his house. His motive: Stealing and sharing images of nude women, hosted on his Dropbox account.
The upsetting incident is a reminder that Apple security can’t account for phishing attempts.How the Scam Worked
Notably, this was not a hack or a data breach. Apple’s security never failed, and Apple didn’t know their customers’ private information was being stolen. Instead, it was a phishing scheme: The man, 40-year-old Hao Kuo Chi, worked with his still-unnamed co-conspirators to send emails intended to lure victims into revealing their Apple ID login passwords.
The Los Angeles Times broke the story, working with information from federal authorities, court documents, and the FBI investigation. Chi created Gmail addresses to pretend to be an Apple customer support representative: Two examples from the FBI were “applebackupicloud” and “backupagenticloud.”
These two accounts held more than 500,000 emails, according to the FBI, 4,700 of which included iCloud user IDs and passwords.The Consequences
Chi has pled guilty to four federal charges: One count of conspiracy and three counts of gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer. Each count could add five years to his sentence.
He fears public exposure of his crimes would “ruin my whole life,” as he told the LA Times, saying, “I’m remorseful for what I did, but I have a family.” Most people would argue that committing federal crimes is what would ruin his life, rather than the exposure of them.
While Chi is facing justice, the rest of his co-conspirators aren’t, and other phishers remain out there. This entire story is a reminder of how misogyny overlaps with cybercrime to stomach-churning results. How can you stay safe from phishing attacks?Avoiding Phishers
There are a few general pointers that anyone can watch out for when trying to dodge phishing attempts from their email inbox, the internet, or even a phone call.
Check for spelling errors — Email addresses are tough to fake (you’ll never get an Apple support email with a Gmail address, for example), and many phishers rely on users not reading very closely. They’ll substitute a 1 for an I or a “rn” for an “m.”
Check your email history — if it’s really an email from Apple support, you’ll likely have dozens of earlier emails about routine check-ins. If it’s a phisher, you won’t have that history.
Consider if the phisher is trying to scare you — People can fall for a scam when they’re in a heightened emotional state. That’s part of why the pandemic has seen a rise in scammers, and it’s why those automated phone calls are constantly telling you that your car warranty is expiring. They don’t want you to think twice about verifying them before you act.
Get a good password manager — Many top password management tools will flag a suspicious website, and if it’s a fake site masquerading as one you’ve already used, the password manager won’t auto-load your password for it. We’ve ranked the top options over here, as well as the best picks for Macs or iPhones.
As always, stay on guard if you ever get an email asking for your login information to anything. No one wants to wind up losing data over an email they could have sent straight to their spam folder instead.
How to Find & Delete Hidden Photos with Photos Cleaner Start Recovering The Valuable Storage Space on Android
From birthday parties to hangout sessions & private pictures, we keep them behind a security wall (hidden). & with time, maybe we forget about those or don’t bother much & feel bad about lesser storage space on the device. That’s where we need an expert solution like Photos Cleaner that helps you find the hidden files in one place & take proper action.What Photos Cleaner is All About?
If you are also looking for managing your photos perfectly & display the hidden as well open photos, go for Photos Cleaner, without a doubt. From internal as well as external media, Photos Cleaner scans for hidden pictures to help recover the storage space.
Keeping thousands of photos on your device makes your photos collection unmanageable, and duplicate photos cause additional chaos. To get rid of such images we use a duplicate cleaning tool, but what about the images that we cannot see?
You read it right, besides the photos you see in your phone’s photo Gallery there are other photos too. These usually are social media images, from the backup you have taken, etc. Finding them manually isn’t easy.
Please note: Whatever images that you deleted with Photos Cleaner, you won’t be able to recover them as they are permanently deleted.Find & Delete Hidden Photos with Photos Cleaner
Now that we know how powerful & reliable Photos Cleaner software is, we should move ahead with the scanning for internal & external media. The next step would be to select the photos from the scanning result & take proper decision of deleting or keeping them. Let’s start with finding the pictures & get shocked to know that you have that many old pictures:
1. Let’s start by visiting the Play Store & downloading the Photos Cleaner tool
2. Once the downloading & installation parts have been completed, tap on Scan Photos.
3. The above command will start scanning your device for external & internal media & you will need to grant permission for that.
4. Within a few seconds, the app will display a lot of pictures along with the number of pictures.
5. Since there are many, the app will automatically divide the scanning results into different categories.
7. Now, start tapping on the ones you want to view as sometimes, you cannot view the picture properly in the grid view.
9. There are 3 ways to delete pictures, one by one, select the pictures to delete, or preview & delete if you want to.
The above process will help you take out the ‘almost trash’ files from your device that you weren’t aware of.
Don’t forget to rate the overall experience with the Photos Cleaner app by coming out to the hope page & tapping on the icon (top right corner).Wrapping Up
Intentionally or unintentionally, you had those files on your device that ultimately covered quite a good space. Now with the deletion of those files, you will be able to recover that storage space to use it for other commands.
So don’t waste much of your time & download the Photos Cleaner from Google Play Store. Install the same & let it help you reclaim the storage space back for you. & say goodbye to your old unnecessary pictures.
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How to Delete Duplicate Photos Using Duplicate Photos FixerQuick Reaction:
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