There are plenty of fake, miscaptioned and old photos being shared as California wildfire photos in 2018. I will concentrate on only one image, because the story is worth sharing.
This image started spreading in social media probably because it looks quite dramatic and there’s a firefighter looking at the inferno.
I was asked about this photo and managed to trace it to Instagram user Kellansworld aka Kellan Hendry. Looking at other works of Kellan: it is obvious this image is not an actual photograph, but a composite.
I managed to found one photograph used in the composite fairly fast:
Originally Kellan didn’t mention the image is a composite made with Photoshop which made some people believe it is a real photograph. And as usual, the image was being spread by others without giving credit to Kellan.
Kellan didn’t create the image to deceive. The intention was actually a good one: asking people to donate to the California Wildfire Relief fund (see the tweet below). It’s important to give credit. It’s also good to mark the images as composites or “digital artwork” if that’s the case.