Yesterday, PetaPixel shared photographer Richard Prince’s composite portrat created by blending together 57 faces of girlfriends seen on Seinfeld. I also enjoy playing with the idea of image averaging, and can’t get enough of it. Late last year, I started experimenting with the idea of averaging faces by blending portraits.
I needed a set of faces that were all semi-similar enough to create good averages with. Well, if you haven’t seen the work of photographer Martin Schoeller, you are missing out! He has a series of close-ups that are shot with very similar lighting styles and compositions of famous (and not-so-famous) people. It’s simply mesmerizing to see. I grabbed the shots above to try face averaging out with.
The woman in this portrait doesn’t actually exist. The face is actually the average of 57 different women — 57 girlfriends that appeared in episodes of the popular TV sitcom Seinfeld.
Photography enthusiast Sterling Parker created this abstract image by averaging all the photographs he shot in 2007. He tells us,
I have my photos arranged by month, and starting in January 2007, I imported all those photos into GIMP (the freeware image editor) as layers, adjusted the whole canvas to be as big as the largest dimension, then used a custom script to “average” all the layers so each one is an equal relative percentage of the whole. The white background is empty space around photos obviously, and you can see that I took more pictures in landscape than portrait.
After doing that for each month, I averaged all the months together (about 8 months total because I didn’t take pictures some months of that year) and then averaged all the months together. Overall, I’d say this is an average of about 350 photos.
It’s interesting how the image reveals both his preferences for portrait/landscape orientation and also his different camera resolutions.
Image credit: Photograph by Sterling Parker and used with permission
Inspired by Noah Kalina’s viral everyday video a girl who goes by clickflashwhirr has been doing a similar self-portrait-a-day project. Designer Tiemen Rapati decided to make a composite image showing what the average of the self-portraits looks like. Taking 500 images from clickflashwhirr’s Flickr set, Rapati wrote a script that counts the individual RGB values for each pixel, averaging them across the 500 portraits.
What you see here are portraits created by taking photographs of women in 40 different countries and averaging them with Face Research software. It’s not clear how many faces were used for each country, but if you’re thinking that the faces are more beautiful than average, then it might be because attractive faces are generally average. You can also play around with the software yourself, either with existing faces or by uploading your own.
Make an Average (via Laughing Squid)