Prince Andrew photo is fake!

Article by Philip Copeman
first published August 10, 2021, 3:18 pm
updated August 27, 2021, 1:17 pm

If you found a picture of yourself circulating on the Internet that had been taken at one place in space-time, edited with a crude raster editor and placed into a photo of a crime scene. If you did not repond angrily, could I describe you as "egregious"? Prince Andrew is currently enduring such a cyber attack.

Over the last few days with the announcement of the case brought by Ms Virginia Giuffre, there has been a publishing frenzy posting a picture placing Prince Andrew at the "scene of the crime". Lying on my couch, ten thousand miles away, watching TV, it took me no more than a few seconds to pause the TV show and see that the digital photo is a fake.

I have been working for thirty years with photo editing software. Composite images have been a core component of TurboCASH branding. As a power user, I do have a headstart on the average viewer, who may already found Prince Andrew, in trial by media, guilty based on this photo evidence. My forensic mind works otherwise.

As imaging software becomes more sophisticated, we developers have the ability to create reality altering images. With such power comes responsibility. It is a particularlty evil mind that would construct a picture of Prince Andrew with Virginia Giuffre. This act has the develish malice of a denial of service virus. When the stakes are so high, more care should have been taken by media publishers to establish the authenticity of what they published.

With no opinion offered on the court case at hand, I offer my evidence of why this photo is fake.

Below is an advert that I made last month. Using very simple editor I was able to create the image below. The priciple is to use a background erasor to edit the alpha channel of the picture of the two figures in the foreground and place it onto the background picture of the European village. The foreground figures have been isolated and placed as a layer in the second picture. The background layer has been "stretched" to accomodate the foreground figures into the focus point. The minor figures on the right, most importantly the dominant man in red, are looking directly at the foreground figures. However, is just and ad, does anyone believe that the firemakers are actually in Europe?

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A litany of errors

Even if it may be none of my business, like any power user of raster paint programs, my eye is immediately drawn to anomalies. This picture of Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre that has been coming at me from the TV all day, is obviously constructed.

It will take an expanded scan of a certified original to confirm it, but even from first low res observation, the following appears to be of concern: Consider the possibility that this is a composite photograph of Prince Andrew, superimposed on one of Ms Guiffrey. The first point that jumps out is the white-black wall that divides the two figures. This background split is very typical of all photos that require manipulation of the alpha channel, particularly those that were made in a time when "red eye" was still an issue. Every digital photo has a given hue pallet. If you are going to match any two photographs, this would be the first thing that you would do. No photo artist, no matter how good he is can ever get it perfectly correct. And this artist makes a mistake. Even the untrained eye can see that the hue of wall area marked 1 is different from the area marked 2.

The photo of Prince Andrew has been edited with a "Background edge" eraser down the left (our right) side of his head and body. See that there is a dark shadow that outlines his left edge. This is the erasure edge and is typical of an eraser set at around twenty pixels. The shadow line is inconsistent with lighting and varies too much. The top left curve of his head is clearly "shaven off", the shadow just under his left eye is too thin relative to reality. The shadow around his pot belly is inconsistent. Look closely at the small gap between him and her at waist level. There are shadows on both sides. It would take a wormhole to distort space time so much as to make that shadow effect.

If that doesn't convince you, consider the light source that is throwing the flash on the back window. That same light source is saturating her face and darkening her left arm (our right). That same light source should be saturating the left side of Andrews face (our right). Instead, the shadows on his face and shirt are coming the other way. She and he are looking at different cameras!

Look at the hands, her left hand is saturated, but the groping hand is dark red. Compare the color of the groping hand to his right hand. It is unlikely that these three hands come from the same photograph. Analysis of a high res photo should confirm this.

For those that understand anatomy. I try to trace the skeleton bones, the humerus and the ulna. This Prince Andrew would have a left arm nearly reaching his knee.

I am not in a position to comment on the other merits of this case, but when Prince Andrew says he cannot remember this photograph being taken, he is probably right!

 

 

 

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Drilling down



In the pic at the very top of the article you should be able to discern a white jagged vertical line down the left of his trowsers.

Now focus on the zoom-in above. See that at the horizontal grey lines from the balistrade stop short of the trouser line by about 5 pixels. That would not happen in an unaltered picture. If this were an unaltered picture these lines would extend further to the trouser line.

The editor has omitted to reinsert the lines into his alpha channel. The trouser line iself has been made concave giving him a non-real "pointy ass". Her hand reaching around is stretched and creates an "non real" scenario at the confluence with his belt line.

I could go on with this analysis, there are many more indicators, perhaps you can see some yourself? This composite can never pass as an unaltered image.

Alternate view
This view is disputed by Michael Thomas If he has the original as he says he has, I challenge him to make it available in a publically accessible hi res format.

Published Sources

Below is a list of publications that have carried the fake photo. They are by no means exaustive as the photo has been widespread, but they all share the same faked source.

Disclosure - There is more detail. I can bring out far more detail if required.

I have never met any of the parties involved or had any contact with the parties concerned. I am a computer software developer with an interest in fairview accounting and blockchain verification.

The information below contains:

The SHA256 Hash was generated using https://hash.online-convert.com/sha256-generator

Publishing source Company

WebURL

PhotoURL

File Download date time

File size

Shar256

Comments

*****************************

Evening Standard

Story

PhotoURL

‎Thursday, ‎12 ‎August ‎2021, ‏‎10:42:18 AM

51,608 bytes

503de36490bbe089165da845f99c460173a53644b28b84f3aa596d1ea3fb7131

Lower res reproduction, but still shows construction errors

*****************************

The Mirror

Story

PhotoURL

‎Thursday, ‎12 ‎August ‎2021, ‏‎11:14:39 AM

53,622 bytes

09e07e9830b3692619697dd9442328441726a7f5989da3d1974a5aead9c01ca3

Uses the same original file as the BBC

*****************************

The BBC

Story

PhotoURL

‎Thursday, ‎12 ‎August ‎2021, ‏‎11:34:30 AM

53,622 bytes

09e07e9830b3692619697dd9442328441726a7f5989da3d1974a5aead9c01ca3

Uses the same original file as the Mirror

*****************************

News24

Story

PhotoURL

45,194 bytes

Thursday, ‎12 ‎August ‎2021, ‏‎11:49:52 AM

76282840e6e97bff216dcdef48ae11363a8059819832eb05477324280dc11235

Lower res reproduction, but still shows construction errors

*****************************

CNN

Story

PhotoURL

45,956 bytes

Thursday, ‎12 ‎August ‎2021, ‏‎12:27:08 PM

44d5ca3f815e068c5f72263368220bd02b7c4d2019d3873650f6d3211de3623e

CNN posts a very low res – cropped version of the photo. It carries the stamp “Florida Southern District Court" (top right)

*****************************

The Sun

Story

PhotoURL

56,179 bytes

‎Thursday, ‎12 ‎August ‎2021, ‏‎12:27:08 PM

This is the highes res so far. Introduces so many fake edits.

*****************************

Sky News

Story

PhotoURL

105,927 bytes

‎Thursday, ‎12 ‎August ‎2021, ‏‎3:36:34 PM

a7e1000c5c9598197801c3f3714b9a489baa9529fd42a27942b6baf0839bb67f

Uses a higher res photo. I would like to get their original. In the interests of public accountability, perhaps Sky would publish this. They have cropped much of the image, but even on a crop as small as this the errors are present. This version of the photo, because of its detail open even more questions as to the motivations of the faker. (details if required)

References



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Anders Brown, Simple web demo

Deloittes. Intro to blockchain

Blockchain for Dummies a deeper read sponsored by IBM.

Here is some info on photo forensics

Tim Brookes. How to Tell If an Image Has Been Manipulated or Photoshopped

Photoforensics

Raster vs Vector Graphics