Fake Photo Fest
« on: July 13, 2017, 10:04:22 PM »
I keep hearing about all the fake NASA photos and videos, but I've never seen one.
Please take this opportunity to post some official NASA photos and videos that you claim are fake.
Please post the pictures one at a time with the source and the reason for claiming that it is fake.
Let's talk about each one.
The foundation of any Path is learning to accept the world as it is, not as you wish or even observe it to be. -Will Wight

Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 04:44:52 AM »
A word about composite photos...
Here is an example of a composite photo that I created today.


In this set of images I took the same picture twice; once with the ball focused and once with the background focused.  Neither picture captures a clear image of the ball and the surroundings.  But when I make a composite of the two photos I get a focused background and ball.  In some places around the ball I left a bit of a fuzzy halo and a little transparency on one of the fingertips.

To me this demonstrates that a composite picture doesn't have to be fake, or an invalid representation of reality.  In some ways it is a better representation of reality than what my camera can do in one picture.  Even though it is modified, it isn't a deception; it is an enhancement.  It is still a true representation even if it isn't raw. 

This is what I believe to be the case with the NASA composite photos of the Earth.  They are a collage of real photos, made composite with the edges smoothed out or sharpened, or the colors adjusted.  Yes, NASA altered the end image, but they didn't change the Earth from a flat disc to a globe.  The composite image still show a good representation of reality.
The foundation of any Path is learning to accept the world as it is, not as you wish or even observe it to be. -Will Wight

Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2017, 12:10:49 AM »
Great idea!

But please post pictures published on NASA website.
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Offline 3DGeek

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Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2017, 05:15:42 PM »
A word about composite photos...
Here is an example of a composite photo that I created today.


In this set of images I took the same picture twice; once with the ball focused and once with the background focused.  Neither picture captures a clear image of the ball and the surroundings.  But when I make a composite of the two photos I get a focused background and ball.  In some places around the ball I left a bit of a fuzzy halo and a little transparency on one of the fingertips.

To me this demonstrates that a composite picture doesn't have to be fake, or an invalid representation of reality.  In some ways it is a better representation of reality than what my camera can do in one picture.  Even though it is modified, it isn't a deception; it is an enhancement.  It is still a true representation even if it isn't raw. 

This is what I believe to be the case with the NASA composite photos of the Earth.  They are a collage of real photos, made composite with the edges smoothed out or sharpened, or the colors adjusted.  Yes, NASA altered the end image, but they didn't change the Earth from a flat disc to a globe.  The composite image still show a good representation of reality.

The latest "Google Pixel" phone does this automatically.   When you take a picture, it actually grabs something like 32 pictures at different exposure settings within some tiny fraction of a second - then processes them to extract the best exposure levels for each small patch of the image.  The results are quite impressive - you can do things like "shooting into the sun" which are normally no-no's for good photography.  Better still, you can retain the original set of single-exposure images and (in effect) alter the exposure settings of the camera AFTER you take the picture - so if you want a deliberately over or under exposed photo for artistic reasons, you can precisely tune how over or under exposed it was at any time after you took the picture!

Sadly, I don't own a Pixel phone - mine is not that good.

But (getting back on-topic), you're right.   It's a thin line between a photo that's a true representation of something, a photo that's been optimised to "look right", a photo that's a realistic depiction made from a bunch of separate photos - and an outright fake that's intended to deceive.

For me, the litmus test is that if the photographer comes out and admits that they created the image by artificial means - then you can't call it a "fake".   If you interpret the image on the assumption that it is literally a point-and-click photo, and they clearly tell you it's not - then that's entirely your own fault.

But it is a thin line.

Offline 3DGeek

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Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2017, 05:32:49 PM »


"Fake" is a stretch here.  Certainly this is not an image that was arrived at by pointing a camera out of the spacecraft window and pressing the shutter button.   It IS made from a collection of real images...hundreds of them...composited together to make a single, beautiful image.

It's not "fake" because they tell you, very clearly, that it's a composite.

So - yeah - this particular photo is "photoshopped" and nobody denies that.

However, the photo called "earthrise" that was taken of the Earth from Apollo 8, in orbit around the moon is not.  It was taken with a Hasselblad 500EL and the resulting film (not digital) was processed and printed.  Subsequent processing of prints taken from the original film have played with contrast, brightness and color balance - and the result is a clearer picture of Earth and a crappier picture of the lunar surface.

This isn't "faking" the image - this is just an artistic choice of how to set exposure settings that your cellphone makes automatically every time you take a photo.   That processing isn't making the Earth any more or less round.

Like ALL NASA photos - the original high-rez, high pixel-depth scan of that photo is publically available to anyone who wants to use it...and the Earth is still round.

So - either you're prepared to label as liars and cheats: call all of NASA, and all of the other space agencies, and all of their contractors, all of their crews, all of the technical people at Dish Network and all of the cellphone and other GPS manufacturers and all of THEIR contractors, all of the astronomers and all of the astrophysicists and cosmologists...or you accept the evidence and admit that this is clear evidence of a round earth.   You can't have it halfway.   Either tens of millions of people are lying to you - or you're wrong.  You choose.


Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 09:41:04 PM »
Started this topic 5 days ago and only nunya has posted anything close to what I'm asking for, so let's talk about that.
I watched the posted video with the caption -NASA Confesses all images of the Earth are fake-

The video actually shows real images from the Apollo 17 mission that are unaltered single shot photos of the earth.  It also explains how the Blue Marble 2.0 image was created by Rob Simmons.  The video does a good job of explaining that this particular image was not created from light onto film, but from real data translated into an image.  I argue that it counts as a true representation of Earth base on the information given in the video.  I don't count that as fake.  It is a true representation of real data.

NASA videos like this, disclosing the the method of the presentation of the data, give me more confidence in the image, not less.  On the other-hand, the caption on this video gives me less confidence in the Flat Earth argument.  Is there a Flat Earth believer who watched the video and can share a counter point to my argument?  The Blue Marble 2.0 is not a real photo, but it is a true representation of real data. It is a true image.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 09:44:47 PM by JHelzer »
The foundation of any Path is learning to accept the world as it is, not as you wish or even observe it to be. -Will Wight

Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 09:44:02 PM »
... or we can leave that one and move onto the next "fake" space program image or video that someone wants to post.
Kindly explain why you think it's fake.  Something more than, "This is obviously fake" would be great.
The foundation of any Path is learning to accept the world as it is, not as you wish or even observe it to be. -Will Wight

Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 11:08:50 PM »
This thread has devolved pretty quickly. I am moving it to CN since you people can't seem to have a conversation like normal humans.

junker,  This one was a disappointing decision to me.  You've got a difficult job on here.  Thanks for all you do.
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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 08:51:46 AM »
In this set of images I took the same picture twice; once with the ball focused and once with the background focused.  Neither picture captures a clear image of the ball and the surroundings.  But when I make a composite of the two photos I get a focused background and ball.  In some places around the ball I left a bit of a fuzzy halo and a little transparency on one of the fingertips.

To me this demonstrates that a composite picture doesn't have to be fake, or an invalid representation of reality.  In some ways it is a better representation of reality than what my camera can do in one picture.  Even though it is modified, it isn't a deception; it is an enhancement.  It is still a true representation even if it isn't raw. 

This is what I believe to be the case with the NASA composite photos of the Earth.  They are a collage of real photos, made composite with the edges smoothed out or sharpened, or the colors adjusted.  Yes, NASA altered the end image, but they didn't change the Earth from a flat disc to a globe.  The composite image still show a good representation of reality.
Why not just adjust the width of your aperture? Any amateur photographer would be able to capture this in one shot. Bring the right tool to do the job. This excuse is particularly poor for an organisation the size of NASA.
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Offline junker

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Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 02:33:18 PM »
I've cleaned up and restored this thread to FED since there was some decent discussion taking place. It seemed unfair to discard it because a couple of users were derailing it.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 02:43:23 PM by junker »
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Offline 3DGeek

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Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 04:16:16 PM »
Why not just adjust the width of your aperture? Any amateur photographer would be able to capture this in one shot. Bring the right tool to do the job. This excuse is particularly poor for an organisation the size of NASA.

The problem with adjusting the aperture is that it affects all of the image at once.   So if you have one part that's over-exposed and another that's under-exposed, no amount of fiddling with the aperture (or the film speed or anything else for that matter) will get you a well-lit photo.

Human eyes have dynamic apertures that change without conscious thought - so as soon as you concentrate on a particular spot in your field of view, it appears well-lit...but cameras are only just becoming able to do that.

I believe I mentioned the Google Pixel phone that can do this by taking a bunch of pictures at different exposure settings and compositing them appropriately to get everything in the scene to be well lit.   When NASA do this, you accuse them of faking the image...which is semi-justifiable.

But no, you can't just adjust the aperture and get a perfect photo.


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Offline TomInAustin

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Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2017, 09:01:08 PM »
Why not just adjust the width of your aperture? Any amateur photographer would be able to capture this in one shot. Bring the right tool to do the job. This excuse is particularly poor for an organisation the size of NASA.

The problem with adjusting the aperture is that it affects all of the image at once.   So if you have one part that's over-exposed and another that's under-exposed, no amount of fiddling with the aperture (or the film speed or anything else for that matter) will get you a well-lit photo.

Human eyes have dynamic apertures that change without conscious thought - so as soon as you concentrate on a particular spot in your field of view, it appears well-lit...but cameras are only just becoming able to do that.

I believe I mentioned the Google Pixel phone that can do this by taking a bunch of pictures at different exposure settings and compositing them appropriately to get everything in the scene to be well lit.   When NASA do this, you accuse them of faking the image...which is semi-justifiable.

But no, you can't just adjust the aperture and get a perfect photo.

I have used composite layers from bracketed exposures many times.  That does not make a fake image.
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Re: Fake Photo Fest
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 06:23:39 PM »
But no, you can't just adjust the aperture and get a perfect photo.

I have used composite layers from bracketed exposures many times.  That does not make a fake image.

I agree - but many here would not.   Some here have been complaining that images are "photoshopped" - but that's a common tool for adjusting lighting to account for exposure issues (and also for something called "Gamma Correction" which makes images look more realistic by accounting for the differences in brightness sensitivity curves for camera, screen and human eye).

My point is that any "digital" image has inherently been "processed" if only by the act of displaying it on a particular type of display.

At what point "correction" becomes "fakery" is a matter of opinion.

To my mind "The Blue Marble" is very, very close to the "fake" end of the spectrum - and I'm happy to dismiss it as evidence.  But the Apollo 8 "Earthrise" photo is right at the "correction" end, and should be believed.