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Fake EXIF Data Helps Photographer Overcome Megapixel Myth


Here’s an interesting snippet from an article published today by David Pogue of the New York Times that describes a trick one photographer uses to overcome the megapixel myth:

A few years back, one of his clients, a stock-photo company, rejected his submissions because they didn’t meet the company’s minimum-resolution requirements. All photos had to be, for example, 10 megapixels or higher.

Tom knew that his five-megapixel photos (or whatever they were) would print perfectly well; he knew that the megapixel myth was at play. But he couldn’t convince the stock agency that its megapixel requirement was based on mythology.

So he took a photo file from a buddy who owned a fancy high-end Canon SLR, pasted in his low-res photo, and dragged it out bigger, so that it filled the full area of the higher-resolution photo. (Why did he start with his buddy’s file? So that the metadata—the invisible information about the photographic settings embedded in every digital photo—would indicate to the stock agency that the picture was taken with that high-end camera.)

Not only was the stock agency fooled, but to this day, many of its customers have used Tom’s phony high-megapixel photos in professional publications. They’ve all been delighted by the quality.

It would be interesting to find out how widespread this kind of fakery is in the photo industry.

Image credit: exif data by jbylund