“Exposing Photo Manipulation With Inconsistent Reflections” by O’Brien and Farid

  • ©James F. O'Brien and Hany Farid




    Exposing Photo Manipulation With Inconsistent Reflections



    The advent of sophisticated photo editing software has made it increasingly easier to manipulate digital images. Often visual inspection cannot definitively distinguish the resulting forgeries from authentic photographs. In response, forensic techniques have emerged to detect geometric or statistical inconsistencies that result from specific forms of photo manipulation. In this article we describe a new forensic technique that focuses on geometric inconsistencies that arise when fake reflections are inserted into a photograph or when a photograph containing reflections is manipulated. This analysis employs basic rules of reflective geometry and linear perspective projection, makes minimal assumptions about the scene geometry, and only requires the user to identify corresponding points on an object and its reflection. The analysis is also insensitive to common image editing operations such as resampling, color manipulations, and lossy compression. We demonstrate this technique with both visually plausible forgeries of our own creation and commercially produced forgeries.


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