I need help trying to see if this photo has been messed with in any kind of way.

File Type   JPEG
File Type Extension jpg
MIME Type   image/jpeg
Exif Byte Order Big-endian (Motorola, MM)
Current IPTC Digest d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
Image Width 1700
Image Height    2200
Encoding Process    Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
Bits Per Sample 8
Color Components    3
Y Cb Cr Sub Sampling    YCbCr4:2:0 (2 2)
JFIF Version    1.01
Orientation Horizontal (normal)
X Resolution    72
Y Resolution    72
Resolution Unit inches
Color Space sRGB
Exif Image Width    1700
Exif Image Height   2200
IPTC Digest d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e
Image Size  1700x2200


  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You can't tell. Digital information can be manipulated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Sep 25, 2023 at 7:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The existence of the IPTCDigest tag (different from the CurrentIPTCDigest) indicates that at some point it has passed through a program such as Lightroom. This tag is created by higher end programs when IPTC IIM metadata is added. The output here lacks any IPTC IIM data, so the data was added at some point and then removed. This is does not indicate that the image itself has been manipulated, only that the metadata has been manipulated. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Sep 26, 2023 at 4:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ A correction, the IPTCDigest is an MD5 hash of the IPTC IIM data in the image. A MD5 hash of d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e is the hash for a null string. So, while the program was passed through a Lightroom type program, no IPTC IIM metadata was added, just the IPTCDigest for a null string. The hash value looked familiar (how many people can say that), so I had to go double check. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Sep 26, 2023 at 4:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the point of this question. I'm genuinely trying to understand so that we can help those users who come here (more and more frequently) asking this. It's simply impossible to say with 100% certainty whether an image has definitely been manipulated since first creation, or that it has definitely not been manipulated. What are the question-askers really trying to figure out here, and why? Is this related to legal proceedings? Maybe some (strange to me) hobby? \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Oct 1, 2023 at 12:19

2 Answers 2


If your concern is the metadata, not really, because it is easy to edit, unless there are discrepancies between some fields (but from what you show there is very little metadata to work with anyway).

If your concern is the image, since it is a JPG, you can have some luck with Error Level Analysis.

However, the lack of metadata and the size of the picture looks like the result of a resizing/recompression done on a smartphone before sending the image (MMS, WhatsApp, Signal...), that would have removed any usable clues. And on a smartphone, using "filters" isn't considered as "messing" with the pictures.


I need help trying to see if this photo has been messed with in any kind of way.

Most likely the image has been modified from the original.

  1. Image appears to have had an edge detection filter applied. Natural images don't usually look like that.

  2. Image dimensions are 1700x2200, which is not a typical resolution produced by digital cameras.


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