Travel influencer exposed for faking cloud photos: ‘I honestly can't believe how far this went’

A travel influencer owned up to adding clouds to her scenic vacation photos after she was outed on Twitter.

Tupi Saravia, a travel blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina, confessed to Yahoo Lifestyle — and her nearly 300,000 followers — that she uses a photo app to add the same cloud formation to her pictures.

“I honestly can’t believe how far this went,” Saravia tells Yahoo Lifestyle, adding that she uses an app called Quickshot “to help the composition of my photos.” A Facebook page for the free app states users can “recreate dreamy landscapes” with the tool.

On Wednesday, Wales-based social media expert Matt Navarra tweeted four photos of Saravia posing in Thailand and Italy, with a specific cloud pattern in each shot. “This travel ‘influencer’ spookily has the same clouds in every photo,” he wrote, setting off 27,000 retweets.

Navarra tells Yahoo Lifestyle he was not the first to document the similarities, but that people had messaged him to share the observation.

“I never lied or underestimated my audience,” Saravia tells Yahoo Lifestyle, adding that in her Instagram Stories last month, she demonstrated how to enhance the sky by adding clouds. “Maybe I [should have] changed the sky [filter], but I kinda like the one I use. I don’t see anything wrong about it.”

Saravia says she tweaks the clarity and contrast of her photos to “fit my artistic vision.” She also insists that a few extra clouds don’t change the essence of a photo. “It doesn’t mean I wasn’t where the photo was taken.”

She says that other influencers commonly use tricks to make their shots pop. “Adding a few clouds is the most innocuous compositing one can do,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I didn’t harm anyone.”

Earlier in the week, Saravia wrote a frustrated caption on a photo taken in Ibiza: “It’s an app called QUICKSHOT that I’ve always been [open] about with my followers, actually there is a highlighted story on my feed where you can see how I edit my followers’ pics changing the sky. No big deal, I use it for better composition in my pictures when the actual pic has a [bur] or overexposed sky. Can’t believe how far my clouds went, if you need some I can do a giveaway.”

And in a recent Instagram Stories called “EDITS,” the influencer shared before-and-after photos of women whose photos she had brightened up.

But Saravia’s photo editing appeared too excessive to some.

Someone even pinpointed the possible filter used by Saravia.

People then turned against those exposing the influencer.

Lightricks, the Israel-based company responsible for FaceTune and Enlight Quickshot, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “...All of our apps, from Facetune to Quickshot, prove that today anyone can create great photos and videos, even without ideal lighting conditions, pro expertise or complicated software. What was once reserved only for professionals with Photoshop, is now within the reach of anyone with a smartphone and our apps.”

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