The photographic process is a little peculiar in that it only captures a single slice of a dynamic three-dimensional world. This process can lead to images that are beautiful, touching, shocking, or mundane. And sometimes it leads to images that are just weird.
Welcome to the Fourandsix blog, where you’ll find tips on image forensics techniques and commentary on issues relevant to photo tampering and the responsible use of imaging tools.
By some counts a surprising number of people believe that the 1969 moon landing was a hoax. These dis-believers point to, among other things, purported inconsistencies in some of the moon landing photos. I’ll describe the application of a new forensic technique that refutes some of these claims.
You have probably all seen this 20th Century Fox introductory screen dozens of times. As I was settling in the other day to watch a movie, the cloud formation on the screen caught my attention. Upon closer inspection I was surprised to see obvious and clumsy signs of photo manipulation.
I was sitting on my deck the other day on a video conference call. As the sun turned the corner I noticed that my face suddenly turned a surprisingly bright blue. At first I thought something was wrong with the color balance on my camera. I then realized that the sun was striking the blue table-top and then illuminating my face from below. The appearance of objects and people in a scene are affected by the color of their surroundings (painted walls, carpet, grass, etc.). This simple physical fact can be helpful to an image forensic analyst.
In some ways computer generated imaging (CGI) is impressive. In other ways, however, it is still fundamentally lacking in its ability to create photo-realistic images. You can see for yourself by taking the latest “fake or foto” quiz sponsored by Autodesk (makers of the popular computer rendering software Maya).