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Telltale Shadows Highlight Reveal Doctored and Hoax Photos

Updated on November 15, 2016
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Dr. John applies his scientifis PhD, research skills & 30 years photography experience to develop reviews & guides for cameras, photography

In a strange twist of fate, the claim that Apollo moon landings in 1969 were a fake because the shadows were out of whack, has led to an improved method to test photo authenticity using shadows. The new software was used to test the Apollo images and found that they were genuine despite the weird shadow lines.

Peter Pan's shadow got disconnected and reattached. Perhaps the release of this new software will trigger the development of a new Photoshop application called "Fix those Shadows Now".

In the modern age, Photoshop and similar software can change and manipulate images in ways that blur the distinction between real and 'doctored' images. But the software does not deal with the shadows.

Peter Pan Lost his shadow and new software can test for fake images from the direction of the shadows
Peter Pan Lost his shadow and new software can test for fake images from the direction of the shadows | Source
Many of the claims that the Apollo moon landings were fakes is based on the shadow lines, but new software claims the shadows are valid
Many of the claims that the Apollo moon landings were fakes is based on the shadow lines, but new software claims the shadows are valid | Source
The shadow lines on the Apollo landing images appear to be no aligned. This triggered claims the photos were faked
The shadow lines on the Apollo landing images appear to be no aligned. This triggered claims the photos were faked | Source
The famous Loch Ness monster photograph was proven to be a fake when the photographer admitted it. The shadows don't seem to align.
The famous Loch Ness monster photograph was proven to be a fake when the photographer admitted it. The shadows don't seem to align. | Source

New Software Finds Fake Photographs by Testing the Alignment of Shadows

Most images you see in most publications are touched up in some way. There is on going debates about whether photos of the Loch Ness monster, Yowie or Bigfoot are real or fake.

The famous Loch Ness photograph taken by a Surgeon, who you would have thought was a man of principle, but it was shown to be a fake and the sighting a hoax. The Surgeon admitted that he had faked it.

Identifying and validating manipulated photos is big business for lawyers, journalists and is also important for national security, copyright issues and law enforcement.

Researchers have developed new software that uses physics and geometric formulas to detect and analyze visible shadows, and hidden ones, that are invisible to the naked eye. It then aligns all the shadows in the image with the potential light sources and tests for cases of misalignment. The software ranks the shadow 'errors' as being physically implausible and if more than one occur it suggests that the photo is likely to be a fake.

Because of the sensitivity of the software, which can examine tiny shadow remnants that cannot be seen with the human eye, the algorithms are deemed to be 'Fool Proof".

But is there an app or software tool for aligning and faking shadows correctly? Perhaps there soon will be.

Many forgers fakers and hoaxers have in the past not noticed when they placed an insert with an incorrect shadow on an image. This left tell-tale evidence of their devious practices on the photos.

The new software can 'sniff' these tell tale signs out and catch the fakers.

Perhaps the Apollo landing fakers were smarter than that? Perhaps they spent hours and hours aligning all the shadows. They certainly look a little dicey. Bit the new software toll said that they were OK.

Even Peter Pan could re-attach his shadow? Perhaps he was ahead of his time, or the images were faked?

Do you think the Apollo Photos have shadow that don't appear to align properly?

See results

© 2013 Dr. John Anderson

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