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Graphics Software The Media Technology

How Photoshopped Is That Picture? 226

Posted by timothy
from the pretty-darn dept.
Freddybear writes "Digital forensics experts at Dartmouth have developed software that can analyze digital photos to rate how drastically they have been altered by digital editing techniques. 'The Dartmouth research, said Seth Matlins, a former talent agent and marketing executive, could be "hugely important" as a tool for objectively measuring the degree to which photos have been altered.'"
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How Photoshopped Is That Picture?

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  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:56PM (#38228428)
    It also uses advanced neural-network powered learning algorithms to allow it to also leverage "having seen a a great many shops".
    • by TheMeuge (645043) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:12PM (#38228776)

      You mean they're promoting a law that would make Victoria's Secret disclose the endless belly-fold-tucking and (B to D) breast enlargements they love so much? As a doc, looking at those anatomically-impossible bodies it makes me sad, because they change our perception of what should be seen as attractive to a standard that is literally impossible to meet. And at times even I have caught my own perceptions as being skewed, despite knowing full well how it happened.

      • by Pope (17780) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:14PM (#38228820)

        That's why amateur porn is the best.

      • They may be wearing push-up bras but those women are mostly just young and gifted. If people weren't so superstitious about cloning all your patients would look like them!
      • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:38PM (#38230194)
        If you think such things are 'anatomically impossible' I rather doubt you're a medical doctor. Aside from spherical boobs, both the goal and the result of plastic surgeries are generally such physical characteristics as can be found in nature but not in the patient. Plastic surgery did not invent the flat stomach or pouty lips or what-have-you.
      • by Onymous Coward (97719) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:42PM (#38230228) Homepage

        I refer to this as "burning your eyes out" on impossibly great beauty. Sadly, it raises our overall dissatisfaction.

        It's a similar kind of desensitization to what you get more generally from absorbing years of hyper-real broadcast media. TV = mind candy. Most folks = mentally prediabetic.

        • by wdef (1050680) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:53PM (#38230390)
          There's truth in this except for your use of "hype real" which is incorrect. Nevertheless to echo a post I made somewhere else: Read the statistics, beauty is not purely socially determined. It's not in the eye of the beholder. It's a near absolute. There are small variations and individual preferences, yes. What happened is this: before mass media and transport, the most beautiful girl most of us ever saw all our life was that one in our village or the next village. Probably 1% of the population. We never saw anyone more attractive than those one or two beautiful girls. Economics was much more important than looks in choosing a partner back then anyway. Nowadays, the media selects thousands of beauties (men and women) who are in the top 0.01% of beauty rankings and puts them on a pedestal. That has exposed us all to extremely attractive people as if they were all around us and we crave it. Given the obesity epidemic in Western countries, if I could only train myself to go crazy for fat women with huge, wobbly, grotesque butts, I would be living in heaven.
          • There's truth in this except for your use of "hype real" which is incorrect.

            There's little on television that's not some overblown version of reality, including stuff called "reality television". If it's not hyper-real, what is it? Would you call what you see on TV just "real"?

            • by wdef (1050680)

              Perhaps I was being pedantic. I certainly wouldn't call much on TV real, no. But we know for sure it isn't real (hopefully). I meant the definition of the term. "Hyper-real" is an expression first coined in the 1980s by postmodernist cultural theorists such as Jean Baudrillard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperreality [wikipedia.org]

              It is usually used to refer to that tendency of postmodernity to so blur the boundaries between reality and our reproductions of reality (eg in design or the media) that we can't really

          • by Kartu (1490911) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:14PM (#38232598)

            What about Mona Lisa? (she was a beauty at those times and, cough, she got rid of eyebrows)
            Cough, Rubens' beauties?
            I recall my grandma telling me that man having a bit overweight would make him more attractive.
            Heck, in India, women with slim bodies are considered not as sexy as those with a bit overweight. (in western terms)
            Ever seen what some african tribes do, to look more attractive? ;)

      • I don't even notice those ads. I suspect that the people whose perception is changed by such visual trickery are deficient in some way.
      • It makes you sad because you realized you should have gone to Plastic Surgery. Kidding! Kidding!
  • reliably? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drdanny_orig (585847) * on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:00PM (#38228502)
    I wonder.... will it be fooled if images are converted to/from lossy formats a few times.....
    • Or printed on physical media and scanned?
      • Or simply a high quality CG rendering (which technically speaking, won't be a photoshop job at all....)
    • Re:reliably? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gr8Apes (679165) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:29PM (#38229094)

      Or just provide better feedback to photo editing programs to create better pictures.

    • Re:reliably? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:55PM (#38229500) Journal

      Actually, conversion is one method of detecting photoshop changes. It's called Image Error Level Analysis.

      http://errorlevelanalysis.com/ [errorlevelanalysis.com]

      The gist is that every time you save an e.g. JPEG, the quality will get worse. However, the worsening of quality decreases each time it is saved, eventually asymptotically approaching the worst level. Therefore, if you're working on a photoshopped picture, each time you save it the quality of the various parts of the photo will decrease by different amounts. This can be used to identify which pieces of the photo have been modified more recently than others, since they will have a different error level than the pieces that were modified first.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by ColdWetDog (752185)

        I use TIFF, you insensitive clod.

        Nobody doing image alteration for anything beyond amusing the droolers at various low end web sites is going to use a lossy compression algorithm. In fact, you can set up any program written in the past 20 years not to compress the image, even using JPEG. So that sort of thing isn't terribly useful.

    • by kanto (1851816)

      I wonder.... will it be fooled if images are converted to/from lossy formats a few times.....

      From what I can tell this is completely useless; the basic idea seems to be that the people who do the airbrushing are the ones who then have to run the comparison software against the original and label the image "meaningfully changed". Even if it does a half decent job of comparing images there's still no sensitivity to context e.g. enlarging bosoms vs removing a stain from a carpet which I assume is the idea behind this type of grading system.

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:01PM (#38228528) Journal

    If it did the analysis using just the "after" image (maybe by looking statistically at ithe ndividual pixel level, I dunno I'm not an image expert) that software would be SO useful for Internet dating sites! ;)

    Actually I'm wondering if images CAN be analyzed using statistical data from the individual pixel data to determine things like what camera was used to take the picture, maybe what software was used to edit/convert it (using gamma curves?). Then you could see (maybe) who was posting pictures of themselves from long ago (not like I've ever done that!).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hedwards (940851)

      It's a hard problem, just because a photo looks photoshopped doesn't necessarily mean that it was. These days one can shoot in RAW or TIF which makes the compression artifacts that used to be helpful non-existent. And ultimately somebody that's willing to put the time and effort into the work is probably going to be able to make it so that it fools the software most of the time.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by fatbuckel (1714764)
      It needs a "before" pic? Really? (could`nt reach the provided link) Could`nt one simply look at the before pic and see if there was retouching? We need software for this?
    • by gmuslera (3436) *

      Not sure if equipment would leave some sort of fingerprint in a generic, not sure if retouched or not image, to say for sure that it was some brand or model of camera (or certain specific camera with not so perfect lenses). Same shoud go for algorithms to retouching images (probably different tools, using the same algorithm leaves pretty similar fingerprints).

    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:18PM (#38228874) Homepage Journal
      For some time now there has been resources online to look at the error rates in a JPEG to guess which parts have been photoshopped into a picture. I use it all the time [errorlevelanalysis.com] when I suspect something has been photoshopped. It's not a perfect tool,and someone who is expecting it can defeat this particular analysis, but online it has proven to be quite valuable in spotting fakes.

      TFA's link appears to be slashdotted, so I can't tell if they're using a similar technique or not.
      • by sootman (158191) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:35PM (#38230140) Homepage Journal

        I used the "levels" tool to prove to someone that a photoshopped version of NASA's famous "Earthlights" picture was NOT a real satellite photo of the big blackout in the northeast a few years ago. Besides recognizing the original picture right away and knowing the story behind it (that it was a composite made of pictures taken over many months), lightening it a whole lot showed which parts were natural (dark but not quite black) and which parts were merely the result of someone using a big, soft-edged brush to put down a lot of pure black.

        As the saying goes, I really can tell from some of the pixels, and from having seen quite a few 'shops in my time. :-) (Some of which weren't fake celebrity nudes.)

    • by RCL (891376)

      Then you could see (maybe) who was posting pictures of themselves from long ago (not like I've ever done that!).

      You can see that already, because a lot of people do not remove EXIF data which has (among others) "date taken", "date digitized", "date modified" fields :)

  • Revert? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bobcat7677 (561727) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:02PM (#38228538) Homepage
    What would be even more cool is if the software could "put it back"...re-create the look of the original picture. Obviously that would not be possible for some edits...but maybe for some of the airbrushing and such done on models?
    • Re:Revert? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hentes (2461350) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:07PM (#38228664)

      Yeah, it shouldn't be that hard to uncrop [youtube.com] a picture.

    • It might be possible to make a very well-informed guess (as with some existing software that can "increase resolution" on human faces) but that's all it is, a guess. It would be impossible to recover the original image with any certainty.

    • Re:Revert? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:12PM (#38228768) Journal

      Not likely. When you airbrush, you're destroying the original data. That's why you can detect the change; it no longer has the same fringing around areas of contrast, the noise levels don't quite match, the gradients don't look exactly the same, the reflections of lighting are subtly off, etc. There's nothing to restore because the original information is gone. The best you could do is highlight the areas that were altered. Maybe, if you were lucky, you might be able to approximately reverse a virtual tummy tuck by showing where the moved portions probably were originally, then leaving a gap where content was elided, but that's kind of the exception rather than the rule.

      What would be more entertaining would be if someone took this algorithm, then rewrote it (or wrote a parallel successive approximation algorithm to feed into it) so that it generates photos that, although heavily doctored, pass this test. Put another way, this sort of methodology is only effective if the details are kept secret....

      • Re:Revert? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mooingyak (720677) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:16PM (#38229828)

        What would be more entertaining would be if someone took this algorithm, then rewrote it (or wrote a parallel successive approximation algorithm to feed into it) so that it generates photos that, although heavily doctored, pass this test. Put another way, this sort of methodology is only effective if the details are kept secret....

        Yeah, basically my first thought on the process was that this is also an algorithm to tell you how to make better looking fakes.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:02PM (#38228542) Homepage Journal

    My copy of The Commissar Vanishes. Of course, the author presents original photos of Stalin with Large group, smaller group, all by his lonesome at one point and you can examine the technique used for filling in background. Also, photos where someone was added (Comrade is now in favor, include with Stalin at glorious parade!)

    As for Photoshop Disasters, there's a website and the checkout aisle for that sort of mental exercise.

  • by c0l0 (826165) * on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:05PM (#38228608) Homepage

    ... because THAT story title quite obviously is not in compliance with Adobe's Permissions and trademark guidelines [adobe.com]!

    Next time, better talk about images being "GIMPed". Just to be safe and all that ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dgatwood (11270)

      The best part of that is their suggested replacement for "Photoshopped", which is "enhanced with Adobe® Photoshop® Elements software." This has several problems:

      • It contains two registered trademark symbols in the sentence. In addition to making the sentence harder to read, these symbols are only required (legally) if you work for Adobe or are otherwise using the term as part of selling their product or a competing product. It does not dilute Adobe's mark if the term is used in reference to their
  • Photoshopped (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drpimp (900837)
    What if it was GIMPed or [INSERT EDITOR]ed?
  • by squidflakes (905524) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:11PM (#38228742) Homepage

    By no means would I consider myself a professional re-touch artist, but I am familiar with the techniques and have produced a few works that were high enough quality for advertising and magazines.

    I gotta say, the amount of work that goes in to even the meanest image is staggering. An acquaintance of mine does interior photography for commercial real estate and multi-unit dwellings (apartments, condos, etc.) and while his photography is top notch to begin with, his re-touching is on another plane all together.

    He was excited when Photoshop got an upgrade in CS5 to handle more layers because he was routinely bumping up against the limit in CS4. Usually, his work flow consisted of him selecting and making a separate layer for every surface that had a different texture or zone of light, then manually adjusting the levels to bring the brightness and contrast to where he wanted. While tedious and mind-numbing, the over all effect is beautiful true High Dynamic Range images.

    • Or...he could have just bought an HDR rig and saved himself a lot of work.

      • by squidflakes (905524) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:06PM (#38229688) Homepage

        If by "HDR rig" you mean software like Topaz Adjust, then no. That software typically produces the sort of sliders-to-the-right, grainy, neon-lit abortions that people on Flickr call HDR but tend to be referred to by photographers as PCS, or pastel colored shit.

        When you're doing high dynamic range in an attempt to present more tones and contrast in an image than your camera is capable of reproducing, you're almost forced to take multiple exposures and combine them. Once you've done that, there is still work to be done to ensure that it doesn't look artificial or retouched.

        Just like with human skin, you can grab the clone stamp tool and smooth someone out so much they look like a porcelain doll, or you can dodge and burn until the skin tone is even and you've preserved the texture. One looks obvious, the other is very subtle. Magazines prefer subtle and pay for subtle.

        • By "HDR rig" I would easily assume he means a camera with HDR capabilities, not some crappy application that just saturates the fuck out of the images.

        • No I meant a stereoscopic rig, which can do both 3D and HDR. In fact it's even possible to do HDR with a single camera but I'm not sure the quality is up to professional standards with this method.

          • As you said, you can do HDR with a single camera, and that's usually what is done, but work is still needed to ensure that the transition between zones is smooth and pleasing to the eye. A stereoscopic mount would be terrible because your images wouldn't be aligned.

    • Conjecture: People who have the money to buy "commercial real-estate and mult-unit dwellings" aren't stupid enough to be swayed by a bit of retouching of pictures and the only person being conned is the Realtor[tm] who pays the photographer. "It took me all that time to make all these changes!"

      • by jbengt (874751)
        Sounded to me more like the people with enough money to buy "commercial real-estate and mult-unit dwellings" were the ones hoping a bit of retouching would help way potential condo buyers and office renters. In my limited experience, it would help sales/rentals.
      • by squidflakes (905524) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:18PM (#38229864) Homepage

        Counterpoint: The property owners aren't the market for these images, their potential tenants and customers are the market.

        For example, when you're viewing images of hotel rooms on-line:

        http://www.fourseasons.com/ [fourseasons.com]

        Even the image on the landing page has been retouched. If you were taking a picture down an outside corridor like that, you would either blow-out the highlights and have a dark grey blob where the tree is, or you would under-expose the shadows and not see the corridor at all. That image is a composite of at least two images taken with different f-stops and probably different shutter speeds.

        http://www.fourseasons.com/accommodations/ [fourseasons.com]

        See that room? See the Hong Kong sky-line? Notice how the exposure on both the room and the outside are perfect? Notice how the exposure on everything in that room is perfect? Even with good lighting equipment you can't get that sort of perfection with a single exposure. Go look at any other hotel site and notice their pictures too. That takes time and expertise.

        The point of all of this? Marketing and advertising. Even paying someone like I've mentioned a couple of thousand for some really excellent images is worth it when you're selling million dollar condos or multi-million dollar office spaces. If you can close on a property even 10% faster due to a really well done image, that's 10% more time you have to find and move other properties. Time==Money and people are swayed by advertising images all of the time.

        When was the last time you ordered food because it looked damn good on the menu?
        When was the last time you listed after a car, or gun, or other piece of hardware because it looked so god damn cool?
        When was the last time a picture of someone in a magazine or ad got your blood pumping and hormones raging?

        Advertising.

      • >> "Conjecture: People who have the money to buy "commercial real-estate and mult-unit dwellings" aren't stupid enough to be swayed by a bit of retouching of pictures"

        If only that were true...

  • some questions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wierd_w (1375923) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:13PM (#38228798)

    Ok,

    So what happens if your "I don't want to be called a 'shopper" types simply print out their digital modifications on paper, then scan it again?

    That would introduce inkjet pattern/toner dither pattern, and balance the colors in the image.

    Would that defeat the genuine check?

    If not, how would it react to a scan or photograph of a painting, or line drawing?

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:20PM (#38228902)

    I must admit I grew up in an environment where I was not that exposed to media, be it TV or magazines.

    But once a magazine came my way, my thoughts wondered as to what the beauties in the magazines ate! They looked so beautiful...with no "flaws", (for lack of a better word).

    In adulthood, I left my community for the big city, hoping to get a good job and to also see the "beauties" on the streets. I must say I was, and still continue to be disappointed. In the decades I have been in the big city, I have not met a single beauty once! Never!

    The ones I see on TV and in the magazines are all "fake!" Needless to say, I returned to my old small town, found a real woman and have never regretted it. I have also asked her to show me one beauty if she comes across one if we're together. It's never happened.

    Sadly, the practice of photoshopping is damaging our daughters' and sons' self esteem, with eating disorders that have only gotten worse. Sad, sad indeed.

    • You must live in America!

      / kidding --- shame that is necessary

    • Is that you Buzzkillington? Who let you out of the 19th century? This being 2011, you don't see much hotness on 'the street' anymore. If you're lucky there's a five minute transition period where the sports car is handed over to the valet, and then they head to the VIP.

      It just boils down to jealousy in the end. That predates photoshopping and airbrushing by millennia. The bell curve is a harsh and relentless force, and the 1% of people who are intrinsically more fit with better skin/hair etc. will always
      • by wdef (1050680)
        But wouldn't you say what you masturbate to tends to take over your desires? A chicken and egg argument I know. Not that I masturbate to chickens or eggs (not very often anyway).
        • I've never let sexuality be the primary driving force of my long term relationships. The most important thing is to find somebody with whom you want to spend time, and that they have the same feeling about you. Sex is great and all, but even in peak condition there's really only so much time to kill that way.

          My exposure to porn started even before puberty, and I'm a living example how wrong such assumptions are about the corruption of minds with wild standards that can never be satisfied. It's really just
    • by wdef (1050680)

      In the decades I have been in the big city, I have not met a single beauty once! Never!

      Then you are blind? Even I have known technically extremely beautiful women and even dated one or two in my youth. But not for long before I was dumped. Because I am not a handsome man and biology is the supreme fascist.

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:27PM (#38229038)

    It's certainly interesting, but also pointless. I mean, if you don't know that anything out of Hollywood is heavily retouched then you're embarrassingly naive. And even before photos are loaded up in Photoshop the celebrity has already been loaded up with a pound of makeup, sat under carefully positioned lights and been photographed by a professional. That's why those sexiest people lists are so stupid. Almost anyone subjected to that amount of effort will look great.

    It's like those stupid articles where some celebrities fitness "secrets" are revealed. I'll tell you what their secrets entail: enjoy an immense amount of leisure time, make it your job to look good and pay a fitness trainer six figures to accomplish that.

    American society is more influenced by the entertainment industry than any other culture on Earth.

  • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:32PM (#38229142) Homepage

    ...when researchers fed unaltered pictures of Michael Jackson into the system. The system determined that not only were the later pictures manipulated, but that there was only a 0.01% probability that they were even based on the original.

  • So cool, they have developed a function p = F(x) where x is an image, and p is True if the image is photoshopped and False otherwise. Seems useful, and I'm sure it will be.

    However, if this ever becomes deployed widely and if the verdict p = True ever has a negative financial effect on the image producers, then all the producers will do is acquire their own F and incrementally photoshop their images until it reads them as False. End result? Maybe photos will be photoshopped to a slightly less degree.

  • Such technology would make for a very useful and fun web site ( or app ). Just upload a picture or feed a URL and it will tell you if it is fake.

  • This is the only one I know of, but I hope others will follow. Jacob [jacob.ca] magazine ads also state that they aren't retouched. Good for them!

    ...laura

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:07PM (#38229702) Journal

    It is advertising, it is illusions to get you to buy products you don't need. What next, warnings before Disney movies that porcelain does NOT really do a song and dance routine at the slightest provocation?

    It reminds of sci-fi morons who always try to link anything with a sci-fi story as proof that some writer nobody ever heard about foretold the future. The only difference between that and follow Nostradamus is that at least that guy people have heard off.

    Long before photoshop photo's have been touched up, if not after being shot, then during the shooting by picking the prettiest human beings (yes there is a reaon YOU never starred in an ad, not even a "before" ad) and touching them up with make-up. Look in your girl-friends make-up... oh okay, your mothers make-up collection. Only a small percentage is about color and smell, the rest is about covering up her real look and make it appear she is younger, more in shape and less ravaged by daily life. Wearable photoshop. Most proffesionals plasterers would be ashamed to use that much material to cover up the cracks in a wall.

    It is advertising and it is lying. GET FUCKING USED TO IT.

    Here are some hints, the burgers at a fast food restaurant NEVER look as good as the picture, in fact taking a look at your burger is the ONLY way to become as thin as the models eating them because you won't be able to force a single bite down. Unless you are American and the look of congealed yellow plastic on half-raw meat on a dry bun is your culinary contribution to the world. Go sit in the corner and be ashamed.

    There is NO shampoo or after shave that will turn women wild for you. If you REALLY want girls to fight over your worthless ass, hang around girls with issues (99% of them) and treat them bad.

    No matter what car you buy, the roads will NEVER be as empty as they are in the ad. You could drive your new car on the most barren road in no-mans land after the apocalypse and there will be more cars on the road then in all car commercials combined.

    Air travel is not fun. Ever and you cannot afford the seats they advertise. Only people in advertising can afford those because you are a gullible fool.

    The time of the month is NOT a time when your girlfriend... mother... wishes to go outside and do active sports.

    Hope this helps you separate reality from illusion. Next time: Why magicians are NOT all rounded up for horrible acts of cruelty.

  • Okay the program tells me that the document has been photoshopped heavily.

    That's great, but how can I convince somebody that the document really has been photoshopped heavily? In other words, does the program have an "explain to humans mode?"

    Without the explanation, the program is just a black box.

  • I wonder what all the retouching does in relation to the Uncanny Valley... are we changing our perception of what is "real" over time, so that eventually real people will feel very uncomfortable to look at? Or is this retouching coming to the point where people not exposed to the images on a regular basis will look at them and be creeped out instead of seeing them as the ultimate beauty?

  • by MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @04:11PM (#38230674) Homepage

    While interesting, it will not be of much use with professional photographs.

    I'm a pro photographer and used to program in Assembly, C and Forth. The way I hide the "life experience" of older women is to use specialized lighting. Small point lights create sharp shadows in skin folds, causing the subject to look extremely old. Very large lights might leave no shadows at all because the light wraps all sides of the skin fold. To achieve this, I use a 7 foot diameter Octobox - a light modifier that creates a huge soft light source. I also use a lens that focuses red light on a different plane than green and blue. The net effect is to soften skin, as blemishes will not be in sharp focus. The camera does not record JPEG, but saves raw sensor data that is later converted into a picture using Photoshop or Lightroom.

    Thus as far as software can tell, the JPEG photo produced is the original. There are no re-compression artifacts. In fact, until the RAW sensor data was "de-mosaiced" in Photoshop, one could argue that the picture did not exist as such. And most of the smoothing of the image takes place in the analog world, before a digital file is produced.

  • by yeremein (678037) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @04:15PM (#38230716)

    I recently got a tiny point-and-shoot camera, a Canon ELPH 300 HS, and I've been participating in CHDK [wikia.com]'s effort to hack it. When we got RAW support working, I learned the camera's lens actually has severe barrel distortion that gets "corrected" in software before saving a JPEG.

    Images are "shopped" before they even emerge from the camera these days.

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