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enter image description hereHi I received a photo from a friend who claimed she was at venue.The venue sould of had more ppl where there was no one the barman looks very small against what seems to be a large head of someone. I have asked if she is having me on for a laugh but she swears she was there. I have asked regarding mobile cameras and how could that affect what I'm believing is fake.Used all of the online do it yourself image fake finds but have no clue as to what I'm looking for seems everything I find these an explanation for.I need to know can you help thanks

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, it seems the most likely explanation, however much you must not like it, is that your friend is telling the truth. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ The photo seems pretty unremarkable to me - do you really see anything "fake" here, other than your assumption that the bar should be busier? Maybe the photo was taken early in the night when the bar was emptier. Ultimately, it's not possible to tell definitively if a photo has been manipulated or not. It sounds to me like you don't really have a photographic problem here per se - rather some kind of interpersonal/trust-based disagreement with a friend that probably doesn't really belong on this site. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 9:25

2 Answers 2

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I do not know who is your "friend". But here we go. Let's play CSI, it will be fun.

I am numbering the Ladies from left to right. 1, 2, 3.

  • The Green line is projecting a shadow from the lamp on the back. So the lady at the center is there.
  • Both ladies 2 and 3 have a reflection of an unseen light source (cyan) they are both consistent.
  • This same light seems to be the one illuminating the lady's 1 nose, and her hand is casting a consistent shadow on her arm.
  • The same light providing backlights on the hair seems consistent (orange)
  • The refraction of the glasses on lady 1 (magenta) would be VERY difficult to fake, so lady 1 is there.
  • Blending the hair on any 3, would be difficult and look natural.

enter image description here

Is your friend Lady 1?

  • Lady 1 looks weird because it is blurred because she moved during the photo.
  • The skin tone looks a bit off, but this could be her natural color or some additional light.

Is your friend Lady 3?

  • The head is big because it is close to the camera. Cellphones have wide-angle lenses so people can take selfies just like this one.

  • The barman looks tiny because it is far away. The change in size is geometric, meaning he is let's say 20 times further away than Lady 3, so it is 20 times smaller.

  • The perspective of the 3 looks natural, distorted by the lens, but natural on the scene.


It is a lot of work to fake a photo like this even for an expert in VFX. Is your friend an expert?


The following image is inspired by the "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" of Scottsbb's answer, but also to show some points.

have no clue as to what I'm looking for

What you are looking for at first glimpse is consistency in:

  • Light direction
  • Shadow projection
  • Overall tones of color
  • Smoothness in the borders
  • Perspective
  • etc.

See the difference?

enter image description here

One off-topic question (no need to answer). If she is your friend... you should trust her. Friendship is based on trust. n_n

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    \$\begingroup\$ The change in size is logarithmic - no it is not. 🤓 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Noted. I changed the word for geometric. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might say "inversely proportional". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 6:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see nothing wrong with the pic at the end of the answer... \$\endgroup\$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ The dinosaur... \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 23:32
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It looks real. The background is small compared to the heads of the ladies because of perspective distance. The camera has a fairly wide angle view, so that objects near the camera appear much larger than objects further away. (Similar to the side view mirrors on cars, "objects in mirror are closer than they appear").

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    \$\begingroup\$ If there were a dinosaur at the back, then it is probably fake. n_n \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 8:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Cows: Small Or Far Away? \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 9:26

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