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Monday, April 16, 2007

Adobe Tackles Photo Forgeries

Adnan Hajj's infamous "cloned smoke" photograph that got him fired from Reuters News Service in 2006. Kind of makes you wonder if he would have gotten away with it if he'd simply done a better job....*

by Randy Dotinga, WIRED

A suite of photo-authentication tools under development by Adobe Systems could make it possible to match a digital photo to the camera that shot it, and to detect some improper manipulation of images, Wired News has learned.

Adobe plans to start rolling out the technology in a number of photo-authentication plug-ins for its Photoshop product beginning as early as 2008. The company is working with a leading digital forgery specialist at Dartmouth College, who met with the Associated Press last month.

(Click here for a gallery of famous fake photos.)

The push follows a media scandal over a doctored war photograph published by Reuters last year. The news agency has since announced that it's working with both Adobe and Canon to come up with ways to prevent a recurrence of the incident....


Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON, thanks to Mark

*Caption by T.O.P. is not from the WIRED article.


Blogger Sylvain said...

I've always been concerned with history accuracy and recent articles reporting photo manipulation have just reheated my interest in ethics & technologies. On one hand, modern technologies are opening new ways of cheating with history but also, on the other hand, new stronger ways to ensure that one hasn't cheated.

From what I know, there's two ways we could use for that effect.

*steganography : hiding an id or key for that matter among pixels values (luminance, color). Any manipulation will then alter the hidden information. The photographer would have no way of knowing where his images have been marked (think one-way "hash" functions) and an image received without a full read of the key would then always be an altered one. This is IMO an interesting way of doing because you cannot reverse engineer the file structure and/or brute force it.
FYI, steganography is also associated with the idea of watermarking so that you cannot erase copyright information. I've seen incredible demos where we'd crop, tear apart & glue back, resize, noise, recolor etc and the signature would remain.
My only gripe here would be that marking it WOULD alter the original image (and might increase SNR). Also at the pixel level, it might render the image as historically inaccurate.

*some encryption scheme embedding the picture. That would leave the image identical to capture time. But might be more easily attacked.

I don't suppose Adobe will go for the steganography way ;)

Your reader, sincerely

P.S.:Steganography is fascinating and truly has an immense market potential, just think of steganography on individual frames of a movie

5:07 PM  
Blogger Jedrek said...

I'm surprised that Wired 'sidebar' on edited photographs of note lacked the infamous photo of the taking of the Reichstag in 1945. In the original image, the soldier is wearing what appears to be two watches. It was deemed unacceptable for a Red Army hero to be wearing two watches, so it was removed before distribution.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the original "smoke" shot, I don't see where the manipulated image is all that more dramatic.

And, you're right. It's a horrible clone easy to spot.

1:00 PM  
Blogger buckley said...

is this similar to their announcement of "Nostalgia"?

3:29 PM  

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