I was displaying a parking pass face up in my windscreen whilst visiting my friend. When I arrived back there was no ticket on my car which meant I could not take my own photos as proof. A few weeks later I received a parking charge. The photos they had taken showed the pass as being blank. All I was sent was a few photos printed on paper. I took the case to an adjudicator. After they failed that appeal I looked at the digital photos they had uploaded. This was the only digital photos is seen. The only explanation I could think of was that the original digital photos has been edited then printed to send me. Now the digital photos they sent to the adjudicator I put through 2 different photo analysis sites. Both photos showing the supposedly blank pass came up with this while none of the others came up with the words photoshop. I have requested all of the original non cropped or edited photos and they have not supplied them. I now have debt collectors chasing me. Although I have a witness who saw me place the ticket in the windscreen this bore no weight. I now need to find a way to prove these photos had been edited. One had been majorly cropped too.

The following metadata is in the images I went sent - does this prove they've been edited?

8Photoshop 3.0
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly not directly from the camera, but the absence of some photoshop tag wouldn't mean that the picture hasn't been edited either. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Aug 15, 2022 at 12:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Would you consider a photo that has been opened in Photoshop, had its exposure or colors slightly adjusted, and stored as JPEG, edited? It would leave each and every tag Photoshop puts in there. \$\endgroup\$
    – juhist
    Aug 15, 2022 at 14:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I think that chasing this possibility - photos having been edited - is the wrong way to resolve your issue. I doubt some parking enforcement company is editing photos to catch out drivers - it is just not an efficient way for them to operate, not to mention the risk of devastating legal repercussions for them. More likely is that the actual lighting at the time the photo was taken somehow obscured your parking pass. Best advice I can give - get professional legal help. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Aug 16, 2022 at 8:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe next time you will display the parking pass from inside the windscreen so that another parker can't take it and put it on their car? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 16, 2022 at 10:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ All that it takes to make a printed document look blank is to overexpose it enough at the time the image is captured. What were the ISO, shutter duration, and aperture recorded in the EXIF information? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 16, 2022 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


No, that exif string is not indicative that the image has been edited. There are many exif tags/lines that have the name of the original developer such as kodak, photoshop (adobe), etc.

E.g. Photoshop 3.0 is over 30 yrs old now and will not run on any remotely current computer or operating system.

The APP13 block contains data in a format called "Photoshop 3.0". This format is a de-facto standard and used by many applications; it is not exclusive to the graphics program called Photoshop. (This is what happens when companies like Adobe define a general-purpose data structure but name it after their specific application.) This specific data format begins with the text string "Photoshop 3.0". Because it is written as text, it appears in the string extraction listing. However, the purpose is to define a binary structure and not to identify the generating application.

It is possible for the image of the pass to have been so overexposed as to not record the text. But the only way to know if the missing text is due to editing is to have such an edit noted in the header data (e.g. adobe xmp tags); or by doing pixel level comparisons (e.g. an area that was cloned or painted out is very likely to have a slightly different tone/color and a different noise level/texture).

This is a portion of the exif from one of my images that was edited in photoshop. Earlier in the exif it has a line that states "Software : Adobe Photoshop 23.3 (Macintosh)"; and later in the exif is this section that describes the multiple edit layers that were used. Also note that it lists a modification date/time different from the original/created date/times. Even with that data it doesn't make it clear that some things were removed (cloned out) although I know for a fact there were.

enter image description here


Metadata does not prove that a photo has been altered. Metadata is information that is in a "file area" that is unrelated to the registered image area.

We understand that metadata is information in text format and can help identify which camera or cell phone was used to record the image, in this case informing the manufacturer and model.

Other technical information about the photo can be provided such as shutter speed, focal length, ISO and etc. In addition to date, time and location information, in the case of cell phones or cameras that have GPS.

The information "Photoshop 3.0", for example, may appear if the photo is opened in photoshop and only its dimensions have been changed. With the use of photoshop to change the image resolution, it would be common for the program used to resize the photo to record information in the file's EXIF. However, this does not prove that an element has been removed or added to a photo. When expertise is performed to verify that the photo has been edited, an image analysis technique is performed, looking for distortions, extraneous elements that have been caused by editing the photo and other elements. As per Steven Kersting's answer, the text string "Photoshop 3.0" refers to the name of a binary structure created by Adobe

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Photoshop 3.0 tag has nothing to do with the image being opened in photoshop. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 16, 2022 at 12:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StevenKersting It makes sense to read your explanation stating that this is a binary structure created by Adobe and used by various graphics related programs. Thank you very much. \$\endgroup\$
    – RodrigoKrz
    Aug 16, 2022 at 13:57

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