How To Tell If An Image Has Been Manipulated or Photoshopped

Have you ever seen a picture that seems surreal or does not make sense to you? If you have, then the question you probably asked yourself was, has this image been photoshopped?

Well, telling whether an image has been manipulated or photoshopped is not as difficult as we all think. Naturally, we all have an instinct that tells us not to believe what our eyes are seeing at a particular period.

It is this same instinct that tells us to challenge the authenticity of an image we see with our eyes. But as we all know, telling whether an image has been manipulated or photoshopped is not that easy.

In this digital age we are living in now, manipulated and photoshopped images are circulated throughout the internet every day. The majority of these images are circulated on various social media platforms.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of social media users has increased and this has led to an increase in the spread of the photoshopped images. Some of these images are used to lure people especially to scam them.

Because of the difficulty in determining whether an image has been manipulated or photoshopped, I decided to write this article. In this article, I am going to show you how to tell if an image has been manipulated or photoshopped.

Check For Signs of Warping

In photography, warping is the process of manipulating an image digitally in such a way that any shape portrayed in the image has been significantly distorted. At times, all you need to do is to look beyond the subject of the photo.

To check for signs of warping, look for straight lines in the background and see if they conform to the laws of science. The same thing is used to exaggerate weight loss or some of the effects of clothes that help you to slim down.

Look For The Shadow

Although this is not always the best way to detect whether an image has been manipulated or not, it is sometimes helpful. This is because not all the objects in the world will cast a shadow where a photo is taken.

But mostly, objects will cast a shadow when a photo is taken. For example, if you take a photo at night in a room, your body has to cast a shadow on the wall in the room.

When an image is manipulated or photoshopped, it is very difficult to make this happen. Even if you see a shadow in a picture taken in the sun, be very careful to check the angle of the sun too if it is natural.

In some images where there is a textured object, the shadow should look similar to that textured object. For example, if there is a rock behind a human being, the shadow should look similar to the texture of the rock and not like the normal shadow.

Use Image Edited

Apart from using your eyes and your photography skills to tell whether an image is manipulated or not, some tools are also available for you to use. These tools have been created purposely for checking the authenticity of an image.

One of the most popular tools available is Image Edited. Image Edited uses some of the technical photographic methods to check the image. It looks at the EXIF data to check for inconsistencies in some specific areas.

When you test for images on Image Edited, they match the details to see if it matches that of a camera or that of a photo editing software. You can check Google Image Edited and then follow the on-screen instructions to continue.

Apart from these ways of telling if an image has been manipulated or not, below are some of the other ways you can equally do that.

  • Perform reverse image search on the image
  • Check if the image has been airbrushed
  • Look for patterns and repeated images
  • Look for blurry areas.


in this guide, I have shown you some of the best and trusted ways of telling if an image has been manipulated or photoshopped or not. Although we have compiled a lot of them in this article, we do not know it all.

So, if you know of any other ways we can do this, feel free to write it in the comments section below and I will make sure to add it to the list.

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