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General photography questions and answers: Discuss What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?...My son just received pictures where I know for a fact that his long cornrow braids have been photo shopped...but ...
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Old 11-03-2007, 03:41   #1 (permalink)
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What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

My son just received pictures where I know for a fact that his long cornrow braids have been photo shopped...but I need to prove it. Is there a way to do this?
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Old 11-03-2007, 08:41   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

If it's been done correctly, then I would say no. Best you can do is to get the largest size image you can of the shot & then zoom in to 100% & scan the shot for tell Tale editing. Eg. If parts are cloned, can you see where they do blend in correctly, .....is the shade / colour slightly different to the rest of the shot etc.

What do you think has been changed on the shot ?
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

He has extremely long cornrow braids that hang down AT ALL TIMES when viewing him from all angles including head-on. In this photo his braids are totally absent except for one small part that it looks like somebody "forgot" to remove. I can give you the site to view the picture if you want to look at it and see if you can tell. I know for positive it has been done because I see my son everyday-- however to prove it I would need a bit of help. He is biracial and I believe this was an act of racism especially when I confronted the photographer about it and he made a derogatory comment about cornrows...
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:32   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

TSS Photography
Go to the above site and then click on "View Your Photos", then click on the 2nd Lincoln Jr High basketball link, then click on 8th grade boys...My son is #3. If you zoom the photo of him and also the team photo you will see no braids whatsoever. That is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE---they are ALWAYS hanging down. Also if you look above his Right shoulder you will see a small dark piece of hair that somebody forgot to remove. Everybody that knows my son and has seen these pictures knows that his image was destroyed because he does not ever look like this (his hair anyway!!)
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:43   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

This is awful. Good luck in doing whatever you can to sort ou the idiot who is resposible.
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Old 11-03-2007, 11:38   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

Looking at the shots it seems the guy has used the same background for all the images. If you look at the crowd behind all the boys every person is in exactly the same position which would be impossible if they were the real background to the shots.

This raises a question..where were the boys photographed...at the game with the crowd present or somewhere else and then the crowd added to make the shots more pleasing? If the photographer did the latter with your knowledge then it may be sloppy work that he has removed and altered your sons braids/appearance but it probably wasn't done to deceive. If the former (IE you were not told/aware of the shooting situation) and expected unedited results then I believe you would have cause for complaint to the photographer and the people who commissioned him.

Without knowing the full situation its a little to hasty for me to jump on the 'that's awful and shouldn't be allowed' bandwagon.
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Old 11-03-2007, 11:48   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

i agree with what Steve says about the backgrounds, it certainly looks as if they have been added.. however im not sure i would be going down the line that it was racial.........and im not for one minute saying that he should have done it BUT it may have been done thru some misguided aesthetic appeal.. ie. the photographer may have thought it would "neaten" the image. or that he would look better without them?... has any of the other kids been retouched in anyway?.... i am not sure what the difference is between removing braids and removing say freckles? which of course does not make it right, but i dont think it makes it a big deal either.
Im also not sure what you could do about it anyway apart from not buy the picture?

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Old 11-03-2007, 12:28   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

Well I think the only proof you need is the fact that everyone who knows your son knows full well that he is never without his cornrows, rather than looking for technical proof in the photo itself.

Having said that, I'm afraid I just don't see the big hoo hah, I mean I always wear my earrings but I wouldn't be upset about a photo being taken without them or them being edited out if the photographer felt they were distracting

OK you may feel it doesn't show your son as he normally looks, but hairstyles are cosmetic, + photographers routinely make cosmetic changes to photo's. It's a sports photo, let your son enjoy his fame, with or without his cornrows, without turning the photo thing into a drama, is what I say

Best recourse, if you feel so strongly about it, is to request the photographer to put them back

If he/she refuses, you could always revoke your parental permission for it to be displayed on the internet + simply ask that the picture be removed from the website.
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Old 11-03-2007, 13:56   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

Is your son equally upset about the image? Have you contacted the photographer and asked him/her about the photo?
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Old 11-03-2007, 14:59   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

It does not appear to be an act of malice.
I am guessing the editor just had trouble accurately cloning complex forms onto the back drop.
As I don't know your son and just looking at the picture, I would not have thought anything other than "That's a good picture".
You obviously have reason to think otherwise.
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Old 11-03-2007, 19:01   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

If it is true that he has used a fixed background for all the images, then it is likely he cloned your son on there, and 'selecting' something as minute and complex as cornrows would be near impossible, and I think it is likely if you ask him full on why they're not there he will probably say that.
I wouldn't go as far as to immediately say it is racist...and anyway to me it looks like a nice picture of your son...
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Old 11-03-2007, 19:44   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

Well, the problem is that the photography claims that my son's braids were not removed...the importance of the braids is this...my son is well-known for this hairstyle as it is part of his culture and yeah, hairstyle doesn't make the person, yada, yada...but the photographer also claims that my son's hair looked like that when he got his pictures taken, i.e. no cornrows showing... which is an outright LIE! Also the photographer made a negative comment about "cornrows or whatever YOU call them!" Once you've heard enough racist comments from people it doesn't take long to figure out who is who in this world.
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Old 11-03-2007, 19:49   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

Oh, also the comment about the earrings being missing is really not a good comparison. Picture this instead...you have really long hair (as my son does) and you go and have your pictures taken and you now mistakenly look as if you have a crew cut (as it looks like my son does in this picture). These pictures are supposed to be of my son as he appears now, at this time of his life so that he can show his kids and grandkids. But when people see the picture the first thing they asked is "what happened to all of your hair?!"
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Old 11-03-2007, 20:00   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

Ask to see the original picture?

Did you know about the photographer changing the backgrounds on all the shots, where was your son when the photograph was taken, have you asked him?
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Old 11-03-2007, 20:28   #15 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

My son says the background was one of those "pull down" kind like you have for school portraits only this background looked like a crowd of people at a sporting event. And yes he is upset about not looking like himself...his exact words were, "I don't like it because I don't look like my normal self."
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Old 11-03-2007, 20:42   #16 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

what i said earlier i stick with....... dont buy the pics. i can understand you not being happy with the images BUT i still think you may be going overboard a little saying its racist....... i am not at all racist BUT if someone had called something cornrows I may well have said something like " cornrows or whatever you call them" cos i would have called them braids or maybe dreadlocks ( i think cos im still not sure exactly what cornrows are! )
at the end of the day if someone had altered my hair or any other part of me say my tattoos... ok i wouldnt be happy but i would not be calling it racist.

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Old 11-03-2007, 20:56   #17 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marauder37 View Post
My son says the background was one of those "pull down" kind like you have for school portraits only this background looked like a crowd of people at a sporting event. And yes he is upset about not looking like himself...his exact words were, "I don't like it because I don't look like my normal self."
I'll just say that if you son was photographed against a very detailed background which "looked like a crowd of people at a sporting event" then 99% of photographers would not be bothered to edit the shots as the amount of effort and time it would take would be just too much. It would be far easier for someone to photograph the subjects against a plain background, then edit the 'appearance' and then finally add the 'sporting' backdrop afterwards. Unless you were there at the shoot and were actually able to see your sons exact position and his hair position then it is a bit strong IMO to say that 'i.e. no cornrows showing... which is an outright LIE!'. Obviously I say that having never seen your son or any other pictures of him.

I will also add that until this thread I also had no idea at all what 'cornrows' were

The only advice I can give is to either request to see the original shot (which I suspect the photographer will just tell you that its the same or refuse) or just do not buy the photograph. I can't really see what other options you have, sorry.
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Old 11-03-2007, 21:58   #18 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

ask to see a 100% crop of the head section,. I also doubt the photog would go to the trouble of removing cornrows or whatever,. he's trying to sell the pictures after all,. ask if he has another with cornrows more prominent?

if you are offended by the image then ask and I expect they will remove it from their site?

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Old 11-03-2007, 22:12   #19 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

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.......... until this thread I also had no idea at all what 'cornrows' were ............
Me neither. Sounds like the photographer didn't either That doesn't make him/her racist.
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Old 12-03-2007, 00:10   #20 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

I did
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:43   #21 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

There is a group shot (last one) with a cloth backdrop with your son in it as well and that also doesn't have any cornrows.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:27   #22 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

In schools here, when its going to be picture day , they send you a notice and it usually comes with info regarding what to wear etc. it also has a section where you can choose the type and size of pictures you might want, in that area it has a checkbox allowing them to retouch the photos, is it probable you checked that by mistake? if not, you can talk to the school principle, and if you can actually prove the picture has been retouched without the childs legal guardians permission you can take them to court..

One thing I did notice and this makes me think it was retouched, in the group picture your son is the only one wihout a shadow,
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Old 12-03-2007, 18:45   #23 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

This also shows why you have to be careful with retouching portraits. A retired professional photographer I know said he would always re-photograph if the customer was not satisfied. He found that in his career of 40 years only 8 requested this and he noticed 7 of the 8 wore different clothing for the re-shoot. He suspected that they were unhappy with their choice of clothes rather than his photography but as long as he had satified customers that was OK. I should mention that he would normally make only subtle changes on photoshop to improve the skin a little. The end result was intended to flatter the customer but that they and their friends and relatives would have no doubt who it was in the photograph. The 8th customer who complained was also a lady but was a keen outdoor type who led expeditons to remote parts of the world etc. and was unhappy that he had softened her skin. She wanted to look rugged as this was her character.

I think it would be unwise to make a significant change unless the customer has specifically requested it.
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Old 12-03-2007, 20:42   #24 (permalink)
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Re: What is the best way to determine if a photo has been photo shopped?

I looked at the picture and from my stand point it looks like you son does have cornrow and yes I know what they are. but it looks like (IMO) that the longer part of his cornrow are tied back with an elastic, making them not as visible. Is there a chance that your son had them tied back for practice or something and then forgot to take them out for the picture? I'm sure since it was just a back drop if you are not happy with the picture that the photographer would perhaps be willing to give a retake for the individual picture. That way you could be there for the picture and make sure that your sons hair is how you like it and then if they did indeed remove his cornrows and they do it a second time you will know what the original picture looked like because you were there.
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