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Top 10 Photos You Wont Believe Aren't Photoshopped

Updated on March 10, 2016
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10. A Crowd Divided

There is a lot going on in this photograph that could easily have one crying foul, but alas, everything you see is as it was the moment the shutter snapped. One half of the audience is filled with North Korea’s decorated soldiers, the other half reserved for Kim IL Sung’s devoted followers. The picture was snapped in 2012 on Kim IL Sung’s 100th birthday, and if not for the lines of color from some of the audience’s colorful female members, it would be a dreary mix of olive garb and navy blue suits.

9. Charlotte’s Light Pillars

This clever photograph has clearly been tampered with to look like a perfectly timed snapshot of the rapture… is what you would probably think had we not spilled the beans that all of these photos are real! That’s right, this picture, taken in Charlotte, Michigan by self-proclaimed Nocturnal Photographer Vincent Brady, depicts a real phenomenon – and it has nothing to do with the end of the world. The supposed beams of light are actually patches of freezing cold air that turns fog into crystals known as “diamond dust.” Light is reflected off of these floating crystals, making it look like creepy lights from above.

8. Cartoon on the Horizon

Strolling through the hills of New Zealand you may expect to see a hobbit or two, but definitely not a large cartoonist piece of paper. While you may want to rush to call “BS” on this image, what you’re actually looking at is the product of Neil Dawson. Dawson is known for his surreal sculptures, and this over-sized piece of paper is just another of his works. The metal structure creates a three-dimensional look from afar, but as you get closer, you’ll realize it’s little more than some metal rods and mesh, which creates the bit of color, or shading, on the upper left and lower right sides. An honorable mention goes out to Dawson’s other well-known sculpture, “Ripples."

7. Real World Art

Clearly somebody took a picture on this train and then painted the old man in after, right? Well, if that’s the case, then what are the two people flanking the old man looking so intently at? In actuality, they see him just as we do and this picture has not been altered to achieve this effect. Instead, artist Alexa Meade applied acrylic paints directly to the subject of the photo, covering him head to toe to look like a living portrait. Meade is known in Washington, DC for her painting on 3D objects, and this is just one example of how impressive her work really is.

6. The Painted Trees

There’s almost no denying that this picture is Photoshopped, right? How often in nature do we see perfection like this, especially when it comes to color lines? Well, it may not be frequent, but it does happen; and this picture, taken in Western Hungary after a 2010 toxic waste spill, is the best depiction of it. The reddish tint in the lower half of the photo is the after effect toxic sludge from an aluminum factory that killed nine and nearly destroyed a village of thousands. Though the villagers have all returned home, they have this picture as a reminder of that tragic event.

5. Air Traffic

How clever of the editor of this photo to make it look like the Lufthansa airlines plane is in the middle of landing on the highway… but, wait. Could this picture really be just a trick of the eyes and not the product of some crafty tampering? Take a close second look and you’ll notice that the craft is actually on the bridge in the background. Also, if you’ve been brushing up on your knowledge of German airports, you’ll probably know about the Leipzig / Halle Airport, where the highway cuts underneath the runway. That’s right, this picture is 100% real and not a Photoshopped trick.

4. Black and White Clause

Colorizing one selection of a photo is a pretty simple Photoshop trick that most beginners learn, so it’s obvious that the Mrs. Clause in this picture was given the ‘ole gray scale treatment to stand out. Except, that’s not the case at all as this cheeky Clause was done up in gray scale make-up and thrown in a black and white version of the iconic holiday costume. Other fine examples of this technique are out there, such as the unedited photograph of RuPaul’s Drag Race star Detox posing in complete gray scale alongside Candis Cayne, but the mass of color and obvious artistic look of this one simply makes it look incredibly edited.

3. Hole in One

It may look like Eli Roth has set himself up in a great publicity stunt for one of his finer films, being photographed with a gent that was later Photoshopped to look like he can shove his finger up his nasal cavity through his eye socket. Meet Billy Owens, a man who actually can stick his finger through a hole in his nasal cavity and out his right eye socket. That’s right, this is no trick of digital tampering, this is a real photo of Billy, who suffered from sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma, a form of cancer with a 10% survival rate. Billy pulled through, granted with a few things missing, but continues to use his state to tell his miraculous story.

2. Andy Pavlov’s World of Ants

When the world around you starts to feel too big, you may want to turn to Andy Pavlov’s World of Ants! This Russian photographer took insect photography to a new level when he started to introduce these 100% real shots. Even more incredible than the clarity of these snaps is that the ants in these pictures are actually alive and are interacting with a sort of obstacle course that Pavlov set up for them. Having studied the nature of ants, Pavlov set up props along their trail and snapped pictures of the live specimen interacting with them. The product? Some truly surreal photos that are initially impossible to believe as real and unaltered.

1. Kitty Copter

Ah, the internet. If people aren’t arguing over whether "Damn, Daniel" is funny or not, they’re spending their time altering pictures of cats. This gem, which depicts a cat transformed into a helicopter, isn’t actually one of those modified photos. You heard us right. This is a real cat hooked up to propellers, an engine, and landing gear. A dead cat, mind you, but still a real cat! In 2012, Dutch artist, Bart Jansen, took the corpse of a cat hit by a car and installed the remote control equipment needed for this kitty to fly… all in the name of art.

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    • Renson John profile imageAUTHOR

      Top Known and Unknown Facts 

      2 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Anne Harrison

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 

      2 years ago from Australia

      Amazing photos, and such a range of techniques. thanks for sharing!


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