How to discover if a photograph is false with FotoForensics

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FotoForensics is one of these websites that can help us to solve another problem with the photos we see on the internet. Even if we are members of a photographic jury and have doubts that the correctness of a picture can really be useful. Let’s see how FotoForensics works to find manipulated images.

Imagine the situation. Family dinners or dinners with friends who are ready among the guests. In the conversation that circulates through the networks, a photo is displayed … You just have to download it and analyze it with FotoForensics. At the moment and with a little practice, you can know if the photo is real or is lying. And so it’s easier to move on to another, more interesting topic …

A lightly trained eye can easily distinguish digital montages. In many cases, however, it is difficult to notice. Recently, a photo of the stars on the pyramids has been circulated, others of the famous red moon … And many people have fallen into the trap. Certainly with FotoForensics doubts will end once and for all.

Some observations before you start

There’s nothing like reading before you start working with FotoForensics . It is a page that serves for research. And therefore, as they themselves warn:

To reiterate: FotoForensics is a research site; the loaded content will be used for research purposes. We will not publicly disclose personal information, and we will not provide information collected to external third parties (such as advertisers and data aggregates). This website does not collect email addresses. It also does not sell content. By uploading an image, you agree that the photograph be viewed by FotoForensics, Hacker Factor and the research partners for purposes related to the analysis. If the images contain illegal or potentially illegal content, site administrators may be required to share the information with the authorities.

I imagine we will not have anything to hide, but we may not want the researchers to have pictures of our children or our personal stories … It depends on each one.

How to discover if a photograph is false with FotoForensics

The supported image formats are JPEG, PNG and WebP. More than anything else because of space and speed of processing. In one fell swoop, we’re eliminating the ability to work with RAW or TIFF, two of the formats most commonly used by photographers.
And finally, the size and weight. A very compressed image is much harder to identify. And the file must be between 100×100 px and 10000×10000 px.
After looking at the limitations, we’ll see how we can determine if a photo has been changed or not.


How Fotoforensics works

It can not be easier. We can work from an internet address or upload a file from our hard drives. Once chosen, just give the Upload file button and in just a few seconds the program will return the results. The most spectacular, what is most striking is the Error Level Analysis (ELA) , an algorithm developed by Dr. Neal Krawetz to detect altered images.

How to discover if a photograph is false with FotoForensics
Unretouched photo
And it’s the first thing we’ll see. In the middle the photo. On the left side are the various options, such as reading metadata or the percentage of data compression in JPEG format … In the page you will find good tutorials that teach us to read all the data correctly.
Because we have to keep in mind that it never tells us if a picture is wrong or not. It is our duty to know how to interpret the information you give us in order to arrive at a final conclusion:


  • The edges of the objects and their texture must always look the same.
  • The edges are highlighted and the textures darker in detail.
  • And regardless of the color, the entire photo has the same color. Any significant change in these conditions will be an indicator of image manipulation.
How to discover if a photograph is false with FotoForensics
Altered photo

Now we just have to download our images and start doing tests to detect, with our innate ability and this new tool, those who want to pass for truth the lie.



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