They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, some photos are so astounding that a thousand questions bubble to the surface of our thoughts the moment we see them. In the 21st century, one of the first questions usually is: “Was this photoshopped?”

Whether you think that Photoshop should never be used to edit pictures ever or you believe that it’s an inseparable part of a photographer’s existence in the digital age, the fact is, more and more pictures are being post-processed than ever before. Simply because of how easily accessible cameras and editing software is nowadays. However, once in a blue moon some very intriguing photos pop out from the woodwork. Photos that look photoshopped, but that aren’t.

We love collecting stunning eye-candy for you to gaze at all day long. And today’s no exception. We’ve gathered the finest examples of fascinating pictures that definitely weren’t photoshopped. Grab a cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa, get your scrolling finger ready, and enjoy what our team of hard-working Pandas prepared for you. Upvote your favorite photos, share this post with your buddies, and let us know in the comments what you think of each picture. And check out our previous posts about incredible photos that weren't photoshopped right here and here.

Scroll down for Bored Panda’s exclusive and in-depth interview with professional photographer Anna Chii about the ‘morality’ of editing pictures, her take on ‘all-natural’ photos, her philosophy of photography, what clients usually expect, as well as the importance of trust between a photographer and their clients.

#1

My Friend Just Got This Once In A Lifetime Picture

My Friend Just Got This Once In A Lifetime Picture

nimo4749 Report

#2

The Water Also Looks Like An Elephant

The Water Also Looks Like An Elephant

RailTieYardGame Report

#3

Landscape Perfectly Divided By The Rails Of A Fence

Landscape Perfectly Divided By The Rails Of A Fence

youcancallmealsdkf Report

Whether it’s a house almost completely blending into the sky, a dog covered with Holi powder that looks like it’s on fire, or a highway that seems to extend into the heavens, some pictures are able to addle, befuddle, and confuse our senses without needing even a byte of editing software.

Anna Chii talked to Bored Panda about photography, photo-editing, as well as what she thinks of ‘all-natural’ pictures. Bored Panda started off by asking Anna, who has worked with portraits for many years now, to go into detail about how much she and other photographers use editing software to alter pictures.

“Often when people hear the word “Photoshop,” they imagine Instagram girls which make their faces unrecognizable by “photoshopping” them and think that Photoshop is used just for that. Actually, people mistake it with other apps like “Facetune.” Photoshop is a software package for working with digital imagery and is used not only for photography but also for design, video editing, photo manipulations and more,” Anna gave a run down of the basics.

She then continued: “When we talk about photography, there is no single proven way of using this software when it comes to editing pictures. Every single photographer or retoucher has his or her own style, way of editing, or set of skills used for making the final image. That’s why photoshopped pictures can look wildly differently: from waxy or plastic faces to an absolutely natural look. From drastic changes in face or body features to just color corrections. From creating a fantasy world around your subject to simply removing unwanted objects from the background.”

#4

A Forest Service Worker Photographed A Fire Burning Inside A Tree While He's Fighting Western N.C. Wildfires

A Forest Service Worker Photographed A Fire Burning Inside A Tree While He's Fighting Western N.C. Wildfires

Grown_Man_Poops Report

#5

The Golden Rays Of The Sunset Entered The Cave At Just The Right Angle To Light Up This Section Of Ice, Making It Look Like Amber

The Golden Rays Of The Sunset Entered The Cave At Just The Right Angle To Light Up This Section Of Ice, Making It Look Like Amber

sarah.bethea Report

“From personal experience, after many years of learning and experimenting, shooting takes the least amount of time in comparison to the other parts of the process — planning and retouching,” Anna revealed. “I mostly take portraits. Usually, my clients are not professional models with heavy makeup, which covers all of their imperfections and barely requires any retouching. My models are people who want to have lovely pictures of themselves, who want to portray their lives and experience fun time while freezing those moments – without pressure or fear of being imperfect.”

According to Anna, she retouches her pictures every single time. “I do believe that my clients need to get the best result they can get. And making a regular picture great requires not only taking pictures correctly from a technical point of view, but also adding some magic to each and every one of them.”

“And it’s not about changing features, or making people look perfect and not representative of the way they look in real life,” she went on. “It’s about the small details, which make the photo stand out without making it look unrealistic. It’s about colors and lighting. About mood. Every person that I shoot has their own story and a unique aura. I want to make my pictures reflect the feeling I get when being with the person and share it throughout the final image. And it can take from half an hour to a couple of hours per image. Depends on the emotion I want to portray in the final picture.”

#7

Me And My Girlfriend Were Walking In The Woods The Other Week And Saw A Rainbow Pool For The First Time

Me And My Girlfriend Were Walking In The Woods The Other Week And Saw A Rainbow Pool For The First Time

brentenross Report

#8

This Spot On I-80 In Wyoming Is Known As The Highway To Heaven

This Spot On I-80 In Wyoming Is Known As The Highway To Heaven

Report

#9

My Drive In To Work This Morning (I-90 In The Berkshire Mountains, MA)

My Drive In To Work This Morning (I-90 In The Berkshire Mountains, MA)

the-crooked-compass Report

Anna the photographer also talked to Bored Panda about how ‘all-natural’ pictures can compete with heavily photoshopped images. “We need to define what kind of photography we are talking about and what are “heavily photoshopped” pictures. If we are talking about portraits, I do believe that If you have a great team (assistant, makeup artist, hairdresser, stylist), you have a beautiful location with the lighting set up correctly, you have a model with clear skin and everything is under your control, then you can take really good pictures and editing could be almost unnecessary.”

“But usually, you don’t have all the people and props which could help to create a great image. When you work alone, sometimes mistakes slip past the cracks as you need to cover many areas during the photo shoot,” she noted that everyone makes mistakes and that no photographer is perfect.

“For me, Photoshop is not about changing the person in the picture, but about enhancing the quality of the picture. Correcting shadows and lighting, enhancing colors, correcting small details like wrinkles on clothes or makeup makes a huge difference. It can be done with the help of professionals — makeup artists, assistants, stylists. Before and during the shoot they will correct makeup, clothes, hair, hold a reflector for better light. And it can also be done during post-production in Photoshop. Almost the same result, simply a different way of achieving it. Producing a quality photograph requires time and effort. So Photoshop is not an easy way to get beautiful pictures with just a few clicks of a mouse.”

#11

This Window That Makes My Back Yard Look Like It’s In 4 Different Seasons

This Window That Makes My Back Yard Look Like It’s In 4 Different Seasons

pommiegurl130 Report

#12

My Boy Climbing An Old Rotten Tree Stump Looks Like A Giant Climbing Mountains

My Boy Climbing An Old Rotten Tree Stump Looks Like A Giant Climbing Mountains

AidenAsh15 Report

What’s more, Bored Panda was interested to hear what Anna thinks of photography purists who detest any use of editing software and want everything to be ‘natural.’ According to her, a lot depends on an individual’s perspective and how they perceive the purpose of a specific picture.

“The purpose of a picture can be very different. Photos are like a form of art, images for advertising, family pictures, nature, product posters and many other genres. All of them serve a different purpose. The viewer should also have critical thinking while looking at the images and understand the nuance and the nature of the photos in question.”

“People have different beliefs on every subject possible. Some think girls with makeup are unnatural, some think it makes them prettier and more feminine. Same goes for photography. I think it’s a really lovely thing to have something you do like as well as something you don’t like about the final images.”

The photographer continued: “If you like pictures without Photoshop and want to have a photo shoot for yourself — that’s great. Find a photographer that takes “natural pictures” and hire her/him. And yet, I don’t believe that, if they are professionals, they will give you a photo without any (at least slight) retouching. Maybe the picture will look natural, but will it really be, is a different question (unless all a photographer cares about is to get the money and get rid of the client as fast as possible).”

#13

Rosie Caught The Sunlight Just Right. She Was Sitting At The Curb Edge With The Sun Setting Just Under The Car. One Hell Of A Cool Effect

Rosie Caught The Sunlight Just Right. She Was Sitting At The Curb Edge With The Sun Setting Just Under The Car. One Hell Of A Cool Effect

Itsmeerl Report

#14

The Pole In This Picture Makes It Look Like Two Different Pictures

The Pole In This Picture Makes It Look Like Two Different Pictures

morphdarko Report

#15

The Dog Is Covered With Holi Powder, Looks Like He's On Fire

The Dog Is Covered With Holi Powder, Looks Like He's On Fire

the_malociraptor Report

“As time passes in your photography journey, you want to take better pictures and improve the quality of your work. And for that you need to learn new techniques. And get new skills. Including Photoshop. I think, if a photographer has good Photoshop skills, it’s only a plus,” Anna said without any reservations.

“But you can’t produce good photographs if you can’t take good photographs. Photoshop won’t help you create a good picture out of a terrible shot. If you don’t know how to use Photoshop, probably it will end up being the opposite. You can make a picture even worse than it was before. But if the photograph itself is good, then Photoshop can enhance it and make it a little bit better in a different way — depends on the goal.”

“I believe that the best way to get natural, unretouched picture is to shoot on good old film. Film cameras take lovely pictures. And it’s so fun to make. I would say, film cameras have a certain magic about them,” Anna exclaimed that sometimes old cameras are the best. “After all, it’s all about your preferences. There is no good or bad photography. There are just the photos which you like and the ones you don’t. Remember, you are the one who chooses the photographer for your own photo shoot. So talk with a potential photographer, look at his/her work and decide if the style, mood, colors, outcome, attitude are the ones you would like to see in your pictures. And trust. Trust and believe in your photographer.”

#16

6 Years Ago I Posted My Wife's Eye That Her Doctor Told Her Was The Weirdest He'd Ever Seen. Since Then My Photography's Improved Quite A Bit, So Here's A New Pic I Took A Couple Days Ago

6 Years Ago I Posted My Wife's Eye That Her Doctor Told Her Was The Weirdest He'd Ever Seen. Since Then My Photography's Improved Quite A Bit, So Here's A New Pic I Took A Couple Days Ago

AlwaysSpinClockwise Report

#17

In Cute Cat News, My Mom Put Up An Easter Decal On Our Front Door And It Makes Gigi Look Like A Dr. Seuss Character

In Cute Cat News, My Mom Put Up An Easter Decal On Our Front Door And It Makes Gigi Look Like A Dr. Seuss Character

drewsoulman Report

#18

This Black Car Looks Like A Mirror After Being Washed

This Black Car Looks Like A Mirror After Being Washed

Tittzo Report

The Wall Street Journal writes that social media and editing tools have altered the landscape of photojournalism. Sometimes, people are accused of digital manipulation even if the picture is genuine and unaltered. For example, when Tamina-Florentine Zuch won an international contest with a picture of a woman in the open door of a Mumbai train, some online critics accused her of having composited the image and doctoring the photos.

The use of Photoshop and other digital editing programs has been compared, by some, to doping in sports competitions. Some recent photography contests have been tarred by accusations of cheating and using digital tools to enhance photos in order to snag top prizes. It’s a good thing that not all accusations are true and that there are plenty of pictures that look so amazing that people think they’re photoshopped.

#19

This Photographer Was Probably Excited

This Photographer Was Probably Excited

Report

#20

The Black-And-White Costume Was The Best One I Have Ever Seen. No Masking... Honest

The Black-And-White Costume Was The Best One I Have Ever Seen. No Masking... Honest

Andy Thomas Report

#21

These Burnout Marks Look 3D

These Burnout Marks Look 3D

Zevyn Report

#22

This Photo From Inside A Tent Looks Like Photoshop Trick

This Photo From Inside A Tent Looks Like Photoshop Trick

Ingelo8Jean Report

#23

The Way My Closet Separates This Light

The Way My Closet Separates This Light

weepysplash Report

#24

This Viaduct In South England, UK

This Viaduct In South England, UK

naypenrai Report

#25

The Frost On The Fence This Morning

The Frost On The Fence This Morning

trevorche Report

#26

This Cow Eating Grass

This Cow Eating Grass

sixfeetunder98 Report

#27

Very Clear Water In Sweden

Very Clear Water In Sweden

Suborb Report

#28

World's Tallest Tram

World's Tallest Tram

SuperCub Report

#29

Perfectly Timed

Perfectly Timed

McVoax Report

#30

The Rain Turned Our Yard Into A Van Gogh Painting

The Rain Turned Our Yard Into A Van Gogh Painting

ericb303 Report

#31

Wasp On The Water Surface

Wasp On The Water Surface

solem specto Report

#32

This Falling Clock That Took The Wall With It

This Falling Clock That Took The Wall With It

i_was_a_lemur_once Report

#33

These Teacups Look Like They Have Little Holes In Them

These Teacups Look Like They Have Little Holes In Them

UncannyDonuts Report

#34

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Starlings Migrating Across The Region Covered The Skies Of Rome Making It Appear Like TV Static

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Starlings Migrating Across The Region Covered The Skies Of Rome Making It Appear Like TV Static

MrRubberBurner Report

#35

Russia Hasn't Got Anything On The Monterrey Stadium In Mexico

Russia Hasn't Got Anything On The Monterrey Stadium In Mexico

beachdogs Report

#36

We Recently Had A Storm In Germany

We Recently Had A Storm In Germany

mybliss Report

#37

This Unicorn Picture Is Different In The Mirror

This Unicorn Picture Is Different In The Mirror

scsilly Report

#38

The Way My Cup Broke

The Way My Cup Broke

cotton-swabs Report

#39

Waterfowl Lake In Banff National Park, Alberta / Canada

Waterfowl Lake In Banff National Park, Alberta / Canada

ANJCI ALL OVER Report

#40

The Paint On This Building Is The Same Shade As The Sky

The Paint On This Building Is The Same Shade As The Sky

pachew96 Report

#41

The Reflection Of The Light On My Coffee Looks Like A Glowing Castle

The Reflection Of The Light On My Coffee Looks Like A Glowing Castle

MadnessDreamer Report

#42

Standing In A Huge Pond That Sinks Every Dry Season

Standing In A Huge Pond That Sinks Every Dry Season

bradyboh Report

#43

This Photo I Took Of Fog Over A Lake Makes This Warning Sign Look Like It Is Surrounded By Nothingness

This Photo I Took Of Fog Over A Lake Makes This Warning Sign Look Like It Is Surrounded By Nothingness

N_O_A_H Report

#45

Simple Yet Creative

Simple Yet Creative

corne1ius Report

#46

Changing Seasons Got Me Seeing Red

Changing Seasons Got Me Seeing Red

greenfeltfixation Report

#47

Every Morning Right Before Sunrise, The Highrise Across From Me Looks Like This

Every Morning Right Before Sunrise, The Highrise Across From Me Looks Like This

utstudent2 Report

#48

Space Needle In Seattle Over Clouds Looks Like The Cloud City From Star Wars

Space Needle In Seattle Over Clouds Looks Like The Cloud City From Star Wars

MadMoosee Report

#49

Dude, He Is Floating!

Dude, He Is Floating!

FaustoYoshihara Report

#50

Flower I Came Across While Hiking

Flower I Came Across While Hiking

urmamasmama Report

#51

This Flower Looks Like Deep Space

This Flower Looks Like Deep Space

gravem Report

#52

The Way This Picture Of A Frozen Puddle In My Backyard Looks Like A Landscape From The Perspective Of A Plane

The Way This Picture Of A Frozen Puddle In My Backyard Looks Like A Landscape From The Perspective Of A Plane

SigmaNukem Report

#53

This Pic Of London Looks Like It Should Be A Video

This Pic Of London Looks Like It Should Be A Video

hey_watti Report

#54

This Picture I Took Of Two Swans That Looks Like One Swan With A Smaller Second Head

This Picture I Took Of Two Swans That Looks Like One Swan With A Smaller Second Head

Im_DIzE Report

#55

Architecture Of Norway. These Small Houses Named Rorbuer Have Been Adapted To Meet Norwegian Climatic Conditions, Including: Harsh Winters, High Winds And, In Coastal Areas, Salt Spray. They Even Carry Mountains

Architecture Of Norway. These Small Houses Named Rorbuer Have Been Adapted To Meet Norwegian Climatic Conditions, Including: Harsh Winters, High Winds And, In Coastal Areas, Salt Spray. They Even Carry Mountains

eventyr Report

#56

Sunrise Today In Texas

Sunrise Today In Texas

Jayohn Report

#57

Tree In The Napa Wildfire, Taken By My Buddy

Tree In The Napa Wildfire, Taken By My Buddy

ickolas Report

#58

A Hole To Heaven

A Hole To Heaven

Report

#59

Reflection Of Steering Wheel Looks Like Planet With Artificial Ring

Reflection Of Steering Wheel Looks Like Planet With Artificial Ring

tralala14 Report

#60

This Lisianthus Mutated To Be Half Purple And Half White

This Lisianthus Mutated To Be Half Purple And Half White

kidneon Report

#61

Iowa Children's Hospital

Iowa Children's Hospital

nicks1205 Report

#62

Water Droplets On The Tips Of Rose Bush Leaves

Water Droplets On The Tips Of Rose Bush Leaves

KannehTheGreat Report

#63

This Pic Of My Friends Catch Today Looks Like A Bad Photoshop Job

This Pic Of My Friends Catch Today Looks Like A Bad Photoshop Job

Where_Da_Party_At Report

#64

This Picture Of My Cat Looks Like He Is Floating

This Picture Of My Cat Looks Like He Is Floating

consolq Report

#65

An Incredibly Lucky Shot, This Is Not Edited. 30 Seconds Sooner Or Later I Would've Missed It

An Incredibly Lucky Shot, This Is Not Edited. 30 Seconds Sooner Or Later I Would've Missed It

Sbmalj Report

#66

I, For One, Welcome Our New Baboon Overlords

I, For One, Welcome Our New Baboon Overlords

Report

#67

Caught Someone Else’s Camera Flash When Taking This Photo Of Snow Falling At Ginzan Onsen

Caught Someone Else’s Camera Flash When Taking This Photo Of Snow Falling At Ginzan Onsen

madforfeijoa Report

#68

A 2D Building I Found In Amsterdam

A 2D Building I Found In Amsterdam

BrigadierBearThe3rd Report

#69

A Small Gap In The Clouds Allowed The Sun To Catch A Small Island Off The Coast During A Stormy Day In Mallorca, Spain

A Small Gap In The Clouds Allowed The Sun To Catch A Small Island Off The Coast During A Stormy Day In Mallorca, Spain

Pync Report

#70

This Picture Of A Car Bumper Taken After A Car Crash Looks Like It Belongs To Car Coming From Another Dimension

This Picture Of A Car Bumper Taken After A Car Crash Looks Like It Belongs To Car Coming From Another Dimension

Vatramint Report

#72

My Lamp Is Projecting Its Own Lightbulb

My Lamp Is Projecting Its Own Lightbulb

Felix_Aterni Report

#73

So It Snowed On The Cabbage Field

So It Snowed On The Cabbage Field

9999monkeys Report

#74

This Fire Looks Like A Pheonix

This Fire Looks Like A Pheonix

Epcc7890 Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#75

My Friend Had A Bug On His Windshield That Made Him Look Like A Godzilla Monster

My Friend Had A Bug On His Windshield That Made Him Look Like A Godzilla Monster

HooptyDooDooMeister Report

#76

This Purple/Pink Sky At The Hotel I Am Staying

This Purple/Pink Sky At The Hotel I Am Staying

CummingSoda Report

#77

This Tree I Saw Today Looks Like It Didn’t Render Correctly

This Tree I Saw Today Looks Like It Didn’t Render Correctly

WizerdBoy Report

#78

Noticed That A Cloud Behind My Girlfriend Looked Like A Though Bubble

Noticed That A Cloud Behind My Girlfriend Looked Like A Though Bubble

Dodoman0 Report

#79

Sealion Beheaded And On Display For The World To See

Sealion Beheaded And On Display For The World To See

reddit.com Report

#80

Butterfleye Effect

Butterfleye Effect

twelvecountries Report

#81

This Wood Dust Makes My Arm Look Like Dry, Cracked Dirt

This Wood Dust Makes My Arm Look Like Dry, Cracked Dirt

Cahzz Report

#82

Mother Of Surreal!

Mother Of Surreal!

beeedubs Report

#83

This Shadow That Perfectly Lined Up With The Light Pole

This Shadow That Perfectly Lined Up With The Light Pole

caitwcam Report

#84

This Cloud Looks Like A Ufo

This Cloud Looks Like A Ufo

Glurt Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#85

This Blue Fungus Growing On A Dead Branch

This Blue Fungus Growing On A Dead Branch

Gman902 Report

#86

Girlfriend Took A Pic That Made It Look Like I Was Trapped In The Concrete

Girlfriend Took A Pic That Made It Look Like I Was Trapped In The Concrete

Huddunkachug Report

#87

Fresh Snow On Frozen Lake

Fresh Snow On Frozen Lake

wecontroleverything Report

#88

It's Fall Out Of One Of My Windows, Winter Out The Other

It's Fall Out Of One Of My Windows, Winter Out The Other

hbrumage Report

#89

This Is Egmont National Park, A Protected Area In New Zealand. To Prevent Agriculture From Ruining The Mountainside, Construction Is Prohibited In A Radius Around The Peak Of Mount Taranaki

This Is Egmont National Park, A Protected Area In New Zealand. To Prevent Agriculture From Ruining The Mountainside, Construction Is Prohibited In A Radius Around The Peak Of Mount Taranaki

panther009 Report

#90

This Is Magic!

This Is Magic!

Report

#91

Reflection Of Tunnel In Mirrored Sunglasses

Reflection Of Tunnel In Mirrored Sunglasses

zZzZzZz7zZ Report

#92

The Water Reflecting Off Our Old Trampoline Makes It Look Invisible

The Water Reflecting Off Our Old Trampoline Makes It Look Invisible

huntermanhlh Report

#93

This Weirdly Oriented Picture Looks Like Escher Stairs

This Weirdly Oriented Picture Looks Like Escher Stairs

dytigas Report

#94

Photo I Took Of The Charles River Looks Like Two Different Pictures

Photo I Took Of The Charles River Looks Like Two Different Pictures

_jackkk Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#95

This Spider Web That Looks Like A Spider-Man Mask

This Spider Web That Looks Like A Spider-Man Mask

meistertigran Report

#96

The Way This Dust Settled On My Arm Hair Makes It Look Like A Rug

The Way This Dust Settled On My Arm Hair Makes It Look Like A Rug

Fatal_Edge Report

#97

Steel Cup Looks Transparent Inside This Bowl

Steel Cup Looks Transparent Inside This Bowl

Gabenman Report

#99

Lens Flare In This Picture I Took Looks Like It Beams A Poor Scottish Sheep To An Alien Spaceship

Lens Flare In This Picture I Took Looks Like It Beams A Poor Scottish Sheep To An Alien Spaceship

mapam Report

#100

My Picture Of Today’s Sunset Looks Like It Is From GTA

My Picture Of Today’s Sunset Looks Like It Is From GTA

DField118 Report

#101

Found Crystal Clear Ice Chunk In Alaska River Bed

Found Crystal Clear Ice Chunk In Alaska River Bed

traviskalaniAK Report

#102

This Building Looks Like It Had A Rendering Error

This Building Looks Like It Had A Rendering Error

zcrc Report

#103

The Way The Vents Are Oriented Makes It Look Like Mirror Symmetry Is Broken

The Way The Vents Are Oriented Makes It Look Like Mirror Symmetry Is Broken

fitzdrizzle Report

#104

This Woman Seems As If She's A Giant Lounging In The Ocean On A Large Mountain

This Woman Seems As If She's A Giant Lounging In The Ocean On A Large Mountain

Ahowardusf Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#105

Abandoned Apartment Building Being Claimed By The Sea In The Former Fishing Village Of Kirovsky, Russia

Abandoned Apartment Building Being Claimed By The Sea In The Former Fishing Village Of Kirovsky, Russia

Meunderwears Report

#106

Straight Ladder Has A Crooked Shadow

Straight Ladder Has A Crooked Shadow

bpcity81 Report

#107

Ice Sheet Holding Onto Trees After Flood Subsides

Ice Sheet Holding Onto Trees After Flood Subsides

Magical-Latte Report

#108

My Friends Look Like Giants

My Friends Look Like Giants

KidKuiper Report

#109

Best Beer Mat Ever. Deceiving! Found In Austria (Obviously)

Best Beer Mat Ever. Deceiving! Found In Austria (Obviously)