MIT Project Mimics Iconic Portrait Photogs, Takes Your Selfies to the Next Level

Are you not impressed with your average Instagram selfie? Is the lighting too bland and out of place for your liking? If so, a team made up of a researcher from MIT and a few individuals from Adobe and the University of Virginia might just have a solution to your problem.

They’ve created an algorithm capable of accurately stylizing an average, otherwise insignificant selfie to look like the works of some of the best-known and well-respected portrait photographers of all time.


As explained by MIT grad YiChang Shih, the program uses the works of Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus and Martin Schoeller (just to name a few) to inspire alterations that are then applied to the image being analyzed.

Once the standard snapshot is put through the software, the algorithm goes to work making sure eyes, skin, beards and lighting are as perfectly matched to an image in the archive as possible, stylizing the image accordingly. And although we don’t know exactly how the algorithm calculates and replicates the look of the images in their archive, it’s safe to say that it does an impressive (albeit a bit strange in some cases) job.

As to what these algorithms might turn into, Adobe’s Robert Bailey told TechCrunch that they’re, “looking at creating a consumer application utilizing the technology.” So watch out for this sort of capability in future iPhone and Android apps.

(via Engadget)

  • Mik Rose

    Looks likes it’s just a software that brings down the red tones in b/w.


    Uncanny Valley

  • Stephan Zielinski
  • Stephan Zielinski

    It’s far more complicated, and will attempt to replicate the lighting and spot-specific response curves of a reference image that’s either monochrome or color. PDF here.

  • jasonhobbs828

    upto I saw the check
    which said $7361 , I didn’t believe that my sister woz like actually bringing
    home money part time from their computer. . there mums best friend has been
    doing this less than twenty two months and at present cleard the mortgage on
    there condo and bourt themselves a Smart ForTwo . why not try here


  • Will Chao

    maybe 5-6 years into the future, no more photoshop skills required, just get a sample photoshopped image from a photographer and put it in, sync across image library and done!

  • Will Chao

    and you can take a shot anywhere and it can look like a studio lit image, with masking and all

  • lenlesmac

    Dear genius photographer,

    Don’t worry, the bar is only being raised, that’s all. By the time your previously-exclusive art is saturated into the hands of children you will have developed a new one that will be unmatched(able)… for a while. You’ll always be 2 steps ahead of the curve because you’re the one who sets the standard. Unless you’ve been highly paid (doubt it) definitely try to sue someone for stealing your IP. Otherwise, don’t sweat it and enjoy the compliment. Just think, the greatest minds in the world are mimicking your work – not bad! Thank you for your contribution!



  • Tobiasz Karoń

    Wait… What?
    That Guy With The Glasses?

  • Tobiasz Karoń

    The unsharp mask blur leaves it’s mark on the output. However that could be retouched manually.

  • Mike S Reger

    my mum recently
    bought Buick Regal Hybrid by working parttime off of a pc online. check here
    ➤➤➤➤➤➤ http://www.works77.ℂℴm

  • Chang He

    Slowly automating everything, until all creativity and human input is unnecessary, and then Skynet will take over.

  • n1ck0las

    A look may be replicated (to whatever degree) in software but composition and emotive qualities still require someone with skill.