The use of Photoshop is so popular in the photo editing community that “photoshopped” is entrenched in people’s minds as a term for edits that drastically changes the original image. Is it good to completely change an image’s appearance in product photo editing? It may not be so, because professional picture editing professionals often aim to achieve some amount of originality in the output, unlike other forms of manipulation.
When a photo is manipulated to such an extent that it becomes difficult to tell apart real and “photoshopped” works, you may need to put your thinking caps on. Some photos, when edited, look so distant from their originals that you will need a way to tell whether it is indeed an edited one.
A Visual Inspection
Can you trust your eyes for it? If so, a visual inspection may help you to find a fake photo. You may feel that expert manipulators may perfect their work but there tend to be telltale signs that an image has been “photoshopped”. Even famous magazines have faced criticism for such obvious “chop-shop” photos featuring extra or missing limbs. If you know where to look, a simple inspection will reveal a lot about just how ‘real’ a photograph really is. For that, look for the following signs.
Bending and Curved Surfaces
The bending or curving of light, when it is natural, gives wonderful things such as a blood moon. When it is not natural, we will eventually get obvious giveaways. Look at the backdrop where you suspect anything foul in action. Besides, the curve on a wooden panel is an extremely obvious giveaway. If the photograph is of even poorer quality, then it would be considerably grainier where a tool was used to pop or push something out.
Loss in Quality
Amateur editing professionals are the smart type of stupid. They just know that what they have done is a choppy job, that it is obvious, and that they can still trick viewers by reducing the quality. Viewers will then feel that the issue has to do with low quality camera or low light.
Another telltale sign of a doctored photograph is that if a cheap quality-reduction method is used, one will see that it is not reduced evenly. Doctored areas will appear lower in quality most times.