While we all need a vacation once in a while to relax and get away from our problems at home, traveling is sadly expensive these days. There are not only preparations to be made, such as buying tickets and other essential items for the trip, but one also has to consider the various expenses that’ll inevitably happen during the trip. This can range from essential things like food and lodging, to souvenirs which are non-essential, but people buy them anyway to remember the places they went to. So when all these expenses add up, it just seems easier to say home and save money rather than blow it on a temporary vacation that might turn out to be more stressful than it’s worth.
But for those who have the vacation itch, but can’t afford to go anywhere, there are ways to fake a trip. With the increased capability of technology and the Internet, it takes a simple program with the right tools to photoshop a picture to make it seem like a person has gone somewhere else when they actually haven’t. There are even photography services that help people in this endeavor, so there’s clearly an industry for this line of work. But here are some bad examples where people tried to fake a vacation, and it’s pretty obvious they faked it.
25 “Hawaii Vacation” - Non-Matching Elements
In this picture, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out this one’s been photoshopped. The young man and the small puppy he’s holding in his hands have a distinct line around them, indicating they’ve been outcropped from their original location, with a significantly different lighting than what’s in the background image.
As for the background image itself, it looks too nice to have been taken by a phone (though todays iPhones are capable of taking some amazing pictures) with the light source coming from above instead of to the side as indicated by the man and the puppy.
24 “Dream Holiday” - Faking Photos for a Prize
Now right from the get-go, it’s clear this image isn’t meant to fool anyone but promote something. From the professional-level quality of the picture itself to the lack of trying to hide the fact that the man in this picture is trying to fake a vacation using a printed background, it’s clear this is meant to set an example for a certain activity.
Posted on the ENTERTAINER Hub website, the picture serves as the cover for an article that’s advertising a contest where one can win a free vacation if they submit a fake vacation photo that's convincing.
23 “Old Lady Riding a Fake Surfboard” - Not Trying to Hide Anything
While the “Digital Wave” picture may have been an adorable pun that was being used to promote a certain company, the picture here is meant to be a family photo of an elderly woman standing on a wooden platform shaped like a surfboard in front of a painted background of a wave. With that said, though, it does beg the question of where this picture was taken. Well, the answer is on the label on the surfboard which says, “Ocean World”. Located in Crescent City, California, it is an aquarium of sorts with displays like this one out in front.
22 “Weekend Mood” - Pretending to Have a Boyfriend
In various travel photos, one of the more popular poses to do is known as “Follow Me To”. Started by a Russian photographer and his wife, according to HuffPost Life, this pose basically consists of one person standing with their back facing to the camera while they hold their hand out to another person offscreen that’s holding the camera (who’s presumably the subject’s partner).
But there are some travelers who take pictures that trick one into thinking they have a partner (like the one above) when really they’re holding a selfie stick attached to the phone or camera they’re using.
21 “Fakecation” - Deliberately Faked
In the same vein as the “Hawaii Vacation” and “Krabi Beach” photos, this picture falls under a category of pictures called “Fakecations” according to Heart Cambridge. As the name implies, it’s a fake vacation.
Though in particular, it’s when someone pretends to be somewhere else by manipulating a picture and posting it online.
This can be done digitally, or in the case of the man here he just took a picture of himself in front of a screen that shows the Leaning Tower of Pisa at a close enough distance to make us think he’s really there when he isn’t.
20 “Window of the World” - What is Real?
Instead of asking the question of what is fake, one should ask: what isn’t fake? Well, the sky for starters and the wedding outfits that the couple are wearing seem legitimate too.
Yet the styrofoam-like texture of the stones in the foreground and the reality-shattering proximity of the pyramid with the Eiffel Tower in the background undoes the whole illusion that this is a real place.
Ironically enough, the picture was taken at the Window of the World, according to WIRED, which is a theme park in Shenzhen, China, containing replicas of popular landmarks from around the world.
19 “‘Vacation’” - Incredibly Fake
Like the “Hawaii Vacation” picture, this one is so clearly fake that it’s astonishing if anyone was fooled by this for a moment. This includes everything from the clear outline of the couple who are holding the camera with a selfie stick to the pristine-looking lake in the background.
The lighting in both elements is completely different, nor does it seem to come from the same direction despite what the picture wants the viewer to think.
Also, the image that’s partially shown on the camera just before the couple take their picture seems way too clear to be true.
18 “Hong Kong’s Fake Skyline” - That Makes Sense
Because of China’s ever-growing smog problem, cities such as Hong Kong will be frequently hazy which doesn’t bode well for tourists who want to take pictures of some famous areas in the city such as the Victoria Harbor where one can see Hong Kong’s skyline.
But because it’s not always visible, PetaPixel reported in 2013 that the city has created these “Fake skyline banners” such as the one that’s shown above so tourists can get a good shot of Hong Kong and the Victoria Harbor without the hassle of waiting for the right day or time to do it.
17 “Krabi Beach or Phi Phi Island?” - Not Intended to Fool People
In the same vein as the “Hawaii Vacation” picture which was posted under the tagline “NoMoreFakecation” on Twitter, this one is also obviously fake to the point of almost being amusing.
While the upper half of the man’s body sticking out of the water would suggest that he’s kneeling, the lack of visible knees implies he was outcropped from the waist up and superimposed onto this picture.
Another telltale sign of this is that the man’s overall size is much larger than he should be in relation to the distance between the shore and the person who’s taking the picture.
16 “Thailand jump” - Unusually Springy
So here is an example of a photoshopped image that’s subtle enough to where one doesn’t immediately notice anything strange, but upon careful examination a few things become noticeable.
For instance, while this specific picture is titled “Thailand jump,” the height that this woman is jumping seems unusually high.
Though we’re supposed to assume she’s jumping from the rock that’s closest to the camera, the shadows and the clear outline around her body indicate something’s not right. Also, the sandals seen in the corner of the picture suggest the picture was taken much closer than what the woman’s size suggests.
15 “Imaginary Girlfriend” - How Sad is That?
While this may seem like a typical romantic moment between a young man and his girlfriend, the truth of the matter is that the woman is actually nothing more than a wig while the man is actually hugging himself.
Yep, this is just one of many photos taken by a Japanese photographer named Keisuke Jinushi who’s been taking various pictures of himself with his imaginary girlfriend.
He calls this photography technique the “Hitori date,” or “One-person date,” according to CNN Travel. Posting these pictures on his blog, he apparently does it to feel less lonely while he’s traveling.
14 “FOMO?” - Guess It’s That Easy
In an article published on USA Today’s website this year, it was reported that there is an app called Krome Photos which alters someone’s picture for a fee to make it seem like they were taken somewhere else.
One such example is this picture, where a child is seemingly smiling in front of a camel in a desert even though the quality of both elements is strikingly different implying they were taken by two different cameras.
Also, the child isn’t dressed appropriately for the environment that’s she’s apparently in and her posture is off in relation to the sitting camel.
13 “fakeparis” - China’s Little Secret
At a glance, this picture looks like it was taken in Paris. Yet the buildings around it don’t seem particularly Parisian in design. That’s because this isn’t the real Eiffel Tower but a replica of it.
Located in Tianducheng, a suburb in Hangzhou, China, this replica also comes with a few other buildings that are similar to their Parisian counterparts (though they’re not visible in the above picture).
On top of that, it’s also a functioning town according to CNN Travel. So for those who want to see Paris without actually going there, this is just the place to go.
12 “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle” - A Successful Experiment
Those who are popular on social networking sites are often praised for their apparent authenticity when it comes to taking pictures of themselves in their daily lives. At the same time, though, their authenticity is also questioned depending on the quality of the picture.
Such was the case here, where a young woman named Carolyn Stritch (aka The Slow Traveler) took a picture of herself going to Disneyland standing in front of the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle attraction.
But later, according to Business Insider, she revealed that she had tweaked a few things to prove how easily pictures could be faked.
11 “Taj Mahal” - Just a Little Touch-Up
While Miss Stritch may have deliberately faked her photos to prove a point about social media in general, such was not the case here where an Internet personality named Amelia Liana was accused of faking her images without making it clear that she did.
One such example is the above picture, which was taken at the Taj Mahal in India.
As Refinery29 reports, a few things have been altered in this picture from the lack of a scaffolding that’s been on the Taj Mahal since 2008 and the unbelievably convenient lack of crowds who normally surround the place each day.
10 “Fake Palm Photo” - Wait a Minute
Though the title gives it away, this picture requires a second look to see that the palm tree is indeed fake. Because of the lighting in this picture, and the distance between the palm tree and the photographer, it almost seems like a trick of the light.
But upon careful examination, it becomes quite clear that the palm tree is undoubtedly fake due to the texture being more akin to plastic rather than wood due to its smoothness. Even the leaves don’t have the same shine that real plants do as it’s way too green in texture to be real.
9 “Fake Nature” - Those Aren’t Real Trees
While the previous photo may have tried to replicate the places it was imitating, though not very well, this picture has an obvious painted palm tree while real trees stand against the background. The contrast between these two elements may seem strange to the viewer, but it’s apparently a growing reality in Indonesia.
According to an article on Fox News, Indonesia’s logging industry is at an all-time high causing many of its forests to start shrinking.
This in turn has led to the rise in fake trees, from plastic ones to painted backdrops like the one in this picture.
8 “Seals” - Stuffed for Display
Judging by the reflection of the glass, and the lifeless look of the seals, it’s clear this picture wasn’t taken at some kind of beach despite what the environment may suggest.
The background looks too fake to be real, and the sand the seals are occupying doesn’t quite have the same texture that real sand does.
On top of that, the lighting is too dull to be taking place at an actual beach. So where was this photo taken? Flickr claims it was taken at the Shanghai Natural History Museum which is known for having all kinds of animal specimens.
7 “Fake Destination Vacations” - Nice ‘Boat’
Much like the Window of the World picture, this one is clearly not at a real location. Apart from the faded lava on the sides of the styrofoam-textured volcano the chalk-like sand and shallow pool, there’s the obvious rail that the boat is on with the lone person sitting in it.
So this is clearly some sort of ride, but where is it? The answer, as stated by WIRED, is the Movie Park in the city of Bottrop, Germany, which is home to a number of rides and attractions that are modeled after or based on popular movies.
6 “Digital Wave” - Haha, Very Funny!
So want to go to the beach but can’t afford to go to one (or not live anywhere near the ocean)? Then get the contraption shown in the above picture that comes with an inflatable wave and a surfboard-shaped platform to stand on. With these things, one can easily pretend to surf some waves as the folks above are aptly demonstrating.
Although their intention is not to fool the viewer into thinking they are actually surfing on a wave, and badly faking it, but to promote their company which is called Digital Wave making the whole thing a pun.
5 “Illustrations on Tour” - Paper Dolls on Parade
So here’s an interesting idea: create a life-sized paper doll, and place it at some famous landmark. Sounds kind of silly, right? Not so for the person who made this picture, known as lacecrystal46 according to Wordpress, where they took an illustration of a figure that’s similar to the kind drawn by fashion designers enlarged it in Photoshop and superimposed it onto a picture of a famous landmark which in this case is the downtown area of London, England, in front of Big Ben.
Of course, this picture is not the only one as there are many others like it.
4 “Penguins in Sweaters” - How Did This Fool Anyone?
Though it may seem hard to believe now, but these obvious plush penguin toys wearing small knitted sweaters actually fooled a bunch of people on social media outlets who thought they were real back in 2015.
According to ABC11 (or WTVD), these penguins were meant to promote sweaters that were being made for a contest that was inspired by an old man in Australia who was knitting sweaters for real penguins that were being saved from oil spills by a conservation group to prevent them from trying to clean their feathers at the risk of swallowing the oil by accident.
3 “Social media experiment” - Busted!
While we take it for granted that the accounts on different social media websites are made by real people, the fluidity of identity on the Internet makes it just as likely that they’re manufactured. In the case of the picture above, it may seem like the kind of picture a real person would take.
But in actuality, this was a stock image used in place of an account by a marketing agency called Mediakix. The purpose of this, according to The Independent, was to influence users by purchasing several fake accounts and to make money off of subsequent brand deals.
2 “Chanel’s Spring 2019 Runway” - So Long As It Looks Good
Now here’s a way to go above and beyond the typical runway at any given fashion show. Instead of going to a real beach and having to deal with unpredictable elements such as the weather and the amount of people present, the fashion company Chanel decided to create an actual replica of a beach for their Spring 2019 collection show which occurred last month as reported by Harper's Bazaar magazine.
They not only included sand for the models to walk on, but also a painted background of the beach itself despite adding real water below it and apparently a lifeguard.
1 “Faking Vacation” - Coming Clean
Now unlike the previous two images which were faked before admission on the part of the photographers-in-question, though Miss Liana claimed her images still captured “The true setting” according to Refinery29, this one makes no notion about trying to be something other than what it is.
Apart from the title, the woman who took this photograph (who calls herself Classy Kate online) admits to finding a “Palm Springs-esque building” in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, and taking a photo in front of it to pretend she was at a tropical beach instead of her actual frigid location.
Resources: twitter.com, redd.it, cnn.com, huffpost.com, wired.com, foxnews.com, flickr.com, independent.co.uk, harpersbazaar.com, businessinsider.com, refinery29.com, classy-kate.com, hub.theentertainerme.com, usatoday.com