Can you trace a photo's origins?

By DaniellaYells ·
I downloaded a photo from the internet. I made a few changes and used in a document. Is there anyway I can go back and trace where the image was originally from? Even after I downloaded it and used it in photoshop? It is now a psd file.

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Well this is possible depending on how heavily modified it was

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Can you trace a photo's o ...

But do you have the time to waste looking at the Individual Bits of the Photo?

Even then I'm not totally sure that it's possible to say where it came from just which camera took it.


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Forensic Science, maybe

by NexS In reply to Well this is possible dep ...

Not only would it be tedious, it would also not be worth the time and money spent.

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Except for when

by santeewelding In reply to Forensic Science, maybe

Comes a lawsuit for copyright violation.

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How much

by NexS In reply to Except for when

Do you plan on making out of a lawsuit regarding a single breached photo?

Surely, it would not cover the cost of your adventures(photo tracing) and major court lawyer/barrister.

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Depends on who took the photo

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to How much

Some photos are worth a lot of money to the right people.

Of course using Photoshop destroys any value involved to those organizations as it's a Altered Photo but some Photographers who Copyright their work do enforce the copyright.

It also depends on the contents of the Photo the image itself not to mention what was stored in the File as Meta Data originally or now. Remember the report of the FBI failing to turn off the Meta Data in Word so that the receiver could track and undo every change to the file?


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So you can't trace back a psd file?

by DaniellaYells In reply to Can you trace a photo's o ...

But i was pretty sure you can for a jpeg?

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No No No, This isn't about plagiagarism or lawsuits.

by DaniellaYells In reply to So you can't trace back a ...

I simply want to know if a downloaded image can be traced back to the website if it is a psd file

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If you post the PSD, it does contain metadata.

by seanferd In reply to No No No, This isn't abou ...

Although why one would display an image as a PSD on a website, I can't imagine. Many image formats are capable of containing metadta.

Are you trying to avoid getting nailed for posting an image of someone's face p-shop'd onto some other person's nude form? Is that it? :^0

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Did it, or does it (if you go back to the original site)

by seanferd In reply to Can you trace a photo's o ...

contain EXIF data, IPTC information, comments, and other data? I mean, did you ever look at the image properties in Photoshop or another image viewing/processing app? I have no idea how to do this with Photoshop - another PS user might know, but it should be an obvious menu selection. (I'll bet data about the PS processing, and probably the directory it is stored in, and your username are all stored in it now, if nothing else.)

Not all image types will necessarily contain any particular type of data, if any at all. Such data can also be stripped or overwritten, so there may not be any.

You might also find info not displayed in normal property fields (if it is non-standard, or broken) by viewing the hex data display for the image and looking for anything you can actually read.

If you know the original file name, you can look it up in your browser's download history if it hasn't been cleared. You can also search the filename in a search engine to find the original file and website.

You can also try a <A HREF="">reverse image search.</A>

Are you sure you don't have a copy of the original? Best practices would suggest that you should have a backup of the original. But again, best practices would also indicate that you should determine the ownership and any licensing associated with the image before using it for any other purpose (public purposes, at least).

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by robo_dev In reply to Did it, or does it (if yo ...

EXIF data is not all that useful

If the photo was taken with a smartphone like an Apple iPhone, it may contain GPS info in the EXIF.

There are lots of free apps to view EXIF data, and several online exif viewers.

All that being said, the EXIF data would tell you only the make/model of camera, when it was taken, and the exposure settings. The GPS data would tell you exactly where it was taken, although that might be obvious from the photo (e.g. Eiffel Tower photo).

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