In the age of the internet, it’s pretty difficult to tell if an image is “real” or not. Sure, that could be Brad Pitt at your local McDonalds, or it could just as easily have been cleverly edited by someone using Photoshop.

Almost never, however, is there a case where you say to yourself: is this a painting or a photo? Paintings are painted, photos are taken with camera, thus the differences are pretty stark. Yes, that is true, in most cases, but definitely not in all.

Certain artists, both painters and photographers, are able to blur the line between what is seemingly real and what isn’t, creating images that truly boggle the mind. Photography experts like the employees at Henry’s may be able to find the fine details that differentiate a painting from a photo, but us regular folks lack that critical eye. No doubt someone from Henry’s would ace the following test of skill, but how you will fair is another story entirely.

Either painted with expert skill or photographed with professional photography equipment you could never afford (and you could win some for free here, courtesy of Henry’s) here are a collection of images that will test your attention to detail. Read on and see if you can tell the difference between a painting and a photograph.

Pins sur le lac by Denis Collette

Guess to Reveal the Answer

That’s Right!

Answer: Photograph by Denis Collette, “Pins sur le lac”

In graphic designer Denis Collette’s photo collection “My Waterbox” a series of images were taken featuring the mirrored reflection of trees against a remote lake. What looks like a watercolour painting is actually a photograph.

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Guess Again!

Answer: Photograph by Denis Collette, “Pins sur le lac”

In graphic designer Denis Collette’s photo collection “My Waterbox” a series of images were taken featuring the mirrored reflection of trees against a remote lake. What looks like a watercolour painting is actually a photograph.

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Ad Quadratum by Omar Oritz

Guess to Reveal the Answer

That’s Right!

Answer: Painting by Omar Ortiz, “Ad Quadratum”

Using oil colours to mimic the human form, Omar Ortiz is famous for transferring his subjects from the physical world onto a canvas. See more of his work here.

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Guess Again!

Answer: Painting by Omar Ortiz, “Ad Quadratum”

Using oil colours to mimic the human form, Omar Ortiz is famous for transferring his subjects from the physical world onto a canvas. See more of his work here.

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Coastline of Qingdao, Shandong province, China by Jianan Yu

Guess to Reveal the Answer

That’s Right!

Answer: Photograph by Jianan Yu, “Coastline of Qingdao, Shandong province, China”

A glimpse of the pollution that has overtaken many of China’s rivers and lakes, the striking green of the widespread algae looks like a representation of the dangers of pollution. Unfortunately, it is a reality.

HIDE

Guess Again!

Answer: Photograph by Jianan Yu, “Coastline of Qingdao, Shandong province, China”

A glimpse of the pollution that has overtaken many of China’s rivers and lakes, the striking green of the widespread algae looks like a representation of the dangers of pollution. Unfortunately, it is a reality.

HIDE

Henry’s has long been known in the Canadian photographic industry as the source for the best and newest products, informed Imaging Experts, award-winning customer service and competitive pricing. Henry’s, a family owned and operated business, first opened its doors in 1909 and has evolved into Canada’s largest independent photographic and digital retailer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Henry's

Henry's has long been known in the Canadian photographic industry as the source for the best and newest products, informed Imaging Experts, award-winning customer service and competitive pricing. Henry's, a family owned and operated business, first opened its doors in 1909 and has evolved into Canada's largest independent photographic and digital retailer.