Real or CG?

By Deane Barker on April 25, 2005

Fake or Foto??: I found this in one of my feeds this morning (I forgot which one). This has been floating around the Web for at least three years now. I took the test back then, and I apparently haven’t gotten any smarter because I didn’t do any better this time around.

Ten pictures. Five are real (meaning they used a camera to take a picture of an actual thing), and five are computer-generated. You pick which are which.

Besides being a nice little game, it gets you thinking about the value of a picture. It used to be that a picture was gospel — if you had a photo of Bigfoot, well, that was proof. Now, it’s probably just Photoshopped. We can’t even trust pictures anymore.



  1. I scored 7/10. I’d say that it’s pretty hard to trust digital photos nowadays. Darkroom Magic notwithstanding, it’s fairly tough to fake out film.

  2. I got eight out of ten, and when I redid the game, found that if you get all ten right it takes you on to a bonus round. I didn’t fare so well there; 2 out of 4 right.

    It’s actually more difficult to pick out the real photos that have been hacked up to make them look artificial than to pick the artificial ones that are made to look photorealistic. I think it’s similar to why the movie “Polar Express” didn’t do so well… when something looks almost real but isn’t, the eye picks up on the little discrepancies and you just sense that there is something wrong with it.

  3. I actually didn’t fare as well on the first round…7 / 10. But after I corrected my guesses, I aced the bonus round. Either I’m getting better at seeing the fakes or at least a good guesser.

  4. I took this a long time ago, I think I got about 6 or 7, but that was a while before I started getting into the graphical side of computers. Today I saw this on digg (may be where you got it from, but they probably got it from somewhere else, too, so I don’t know) and I showed it to my friend. He got 5 right.

  5. What good will video evidence be in court someday when anyone can sit down at a PC and make a video of you robbing a bank you’ve never been in? It’s not far away either.

  6. I was sent 7 phots to pick in an e-mail. I think they were originally from postman 7 , I would like to know which one is real and which is fake. When I took the challenge I got 9/10, but did not find the 7 from my e-mail. If anyone knows the answer plese let me know.

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