Nowadays, the opportunities of the digital world are almost endless. People are using fake photos in order to entertain themselves or to make the images more attractive. Still, such fakes are not as innocent as it may seem. Although it is quite easy to create a fake photo, the process of identification is much more complicated.

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While watching the video created by Bryan O’Neil Hughes, titled ôAdobe Photoshop CS5: Content-Aware Fill Sneak Peek,ö I was very impressed by how easy it was to make some drastic changes on the photos he worked with. The first image was rather complicated û there was a woman sitting on a bench in the park. The author of the video created a completely different image by removing pieces of trash on the ground, lens flares on the fabric and bench, several trees on the background, and defects on the grass. Also, it was necessary to remove the tree in the upper corner of the image so that its owners could place the logo there. According to Hughes, this part was the most complicated. However, it seems that the whole process was a magic trick, actually. The author has cropped the image in order to remove the sun and to simplify his manipulations with the tree. I believe that this tool is an effective way to change the focus. While working with the next image, the author of the video was supposed to remove the road from the desert. When I look at the image with and without the road, I witness the process of creating the world or an alternative reality.

This impression becomes even stronger when I discover the photos published by FourAndSix.com. On the web page titled ôPhoto Tampering Throughout History,ö it is stated that photo manipulation has become more common in the age of digital cameras and image editing software but it dates back to the invention of photography, actually. After looking through the photo tampering examples, I discovered that the older photos are the most misleading. In particular, the images of Benito Mussolini (1942) and Mao Tse-tung with Po Ku removed (1936) are of low quality, and black and white. Also, the events presented in these photos are old enough, which means that people do not remember the true story û there are only images left. In contrast, it is much easier to identify that such images as the one with Angela Merkel removed (January 2015), or the four female Members standing on the steps of the Capitol building added (January 2013) are actually fake.

The article written by Rose Eveleth, titled ôHow Fake Images Change Our Memory and Behavior,ö illustrates the ways the fake photos can make a real impact on peopleÆs beliefs and everyday life. According to Eveleth, such fakes may be harmful, as they not only entertain people but also help to create fake memories. As a result, our memories, which are unreliable, by nature, become rewritten. The author of the article insists that false images are actually dangerous, as they are able to change oneÆs beliefs and political views, in particular. Nowadays, we live in the world of information available almost to everyone. There is no doubt that some people want to benefit from the illusions of others. I remember myself being fooled by fake images a couple of times. I was surprised by the statement that the image of Senator John Kerry and Jane Fonda together at an anti-Vietnam War campaign is actually a fake. Also, I was impressed by the pictures of nature, clouds, and hurricanes, which appeared to be fake as well.

In conclusion, I must admit that the knowledge of photo fakery is very important nowadays. People all over the world are getting fooled and manipulated by the news media and advertisers. I believe that we need to be aware of the fact that these images are misleading so that we could protect our minds and memories.

    References
  • Eveleth, Rose. ôHow Fake Images Change Our Memory and Behavior.ö BBC. 13 December 2012. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121213-fake-pictures-make-real-memories Accessed 6 April 2017.
  • Hughes, Bryan OÆNeil. ôAdobe Photoshop CS5: Content-Aware Fill Sneak Peek.ö YouTube. 23 March 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH0aEp1oDOI&feature=youtu.be Accessed 6 April 2017.
  • ôPhoto Tampering Throughout Historyö. FourAndSix.com. http://pth.izitru.com/ Accessed 6áApril 2017.