Photo Mechanic Integrates Content Credentials to Fight Fake Imagery

A digital screen displays logos, including the Camera Bits logo with a stylized camera aperture icon, and the C2PA logo featuring a circular design with horizontal lines and a dot. The words "camera bits" and "C2PA" are written next to their respective logos.

Camera Bits are introducing C2PA Content Credentials technology into Photo Mechanic to help in the fight against disinformation.

The image provenance system will soon be available as an option to “those who require a photo editing workflow that is compliant with the C2PA standard.”

C2PA (Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity) provides a framework for applying digital signature technology to certify the source and provenance of photos, as well as providing information on how it has been edited. Something that is essential for new organizations that rely on truthful images.

With the recent introduction of cameras creating C2PA-signed photos (notably the Leica M11-P), news gatherers using Photo Mechanic will now have a clear path to publish authentic imagery with a provenance going back to the moment of capture.

“Photo Mechanic preserves the digital signature and provenance of these photos throughout the entire application workflow,” Camera Bits writes in a press release.

“Many photos begin their journey with Photo Mechanic as it is used not only for copying photos from the camera card but also for culling to choose the selects and for adding required metadata. Therefore, it is essential that Photo Mechanic preserves the digital signature and provenance of photos taken by C2PA-compliant cameras.”

Camera Bits says it has achieved provenance protection by creating a “Provenance Locker” that is stored within the photo itself, not on a separate blockchain or elsewhere.

“With a Provenance Locker, Photo Mechanic can make multiple metadata edits, even by multiple editors, while still maintaining the integrity of the Provenance Locker,” Camera Bits adds.

“Then, before handing off a photo to other C2PA-compliant software such as Adobe Photoshop, Photo Mechanic can digitally sign the photo with the C2PA standard and assess metadata changes that were made since the Provenance Locker was created.

“This provides a clear before-and-after view of the metadata and allows for detailed assertions to be included in the new manifest that is created when the photo is digitally signed, according to the C2PA standard.”

The president and founder of Camera Bits, Dennis Walker, likens it to an Olympic flame.

“The camera ignites the flame, and the photo is the torch. Since Photo Mechanic is often the first runner to carry that torch, so to speak, and likely many of the runners until the torch reaches its destination, we have a huge burden to keep that flame alive,” he says.

“I believe we have created a robust solution to carry that torch and preserve photo metadata provenance.”

Although the C2PA system is not totally foolproof, it is currently the best image provenance system in place and something that professionals can rely upon in an eco-system that is rapidly being inundated with AI images.

Photo Mechanic’s provenance system is currently in beta testing and is expected to be released this spring to select markets.