With camera-equipped phones eating up more and more of the compact camera market, manufacturers are turning to gimmicky features in order to lure consumers. Canon’s new line of ELPH cameras have a Sleeping Face Recognition mode that’ll make your camera
creepy stealthy (i.e. turn off flash, assist beam, and sounds) when it detects someone sleeping in the frame. Olympus’ new VR-340 has a Beauty Make-Up Mode that offers 18 in-camera enhancements (e.g. whiten teeth, lift cheek bones) — something that Panasonic is also dabbling in. Too bad these features can easily be offered as an app on smartphones. Someone should tell camera makers to focus on ease of use and image quality — areas they might still be competitive in.
Image credit: Illustration by Disney
Here’s a quick and simple tip for better portraits by Reddit user rmx_:
Everyone has a lazy eye. By that, I mean one eye is always smaller and/or more closed than the other eye. In some people, it is very easy to spot; in others, nearly impossible. The “beautiful people” have more symmetrical faces, but still, one eye will open more than the other. (Denzel Washington has one of the most I have seen [...])
[...] here is the tip: get the smaller/lazier eye slightly closer to the camera. Oh, and don’t tell the person what you’re looking at their eyes for! You’ll make them self conscious. Simply ask them to look at your finger and move their head to follow it, and then guide them left or right as necessary. Chances are, the movement needed will not be so much that you have to adjust your lights.
You can read more about how facial symmetry relates to beauty in this Wikipedia article.
Image credit: Man portrait by Yuri Samoilov
“The Beauty of a Second” is a short film competition asking people to capture “beauty”, but with a twist: each submitted video can only be one second long. Above is a compilation of entries submitted during the contest’s first round.
So how much beauty can be captured in just one second of footage? A whole lot — photography proves that.
The Beauty of a Second (via Boing Boing)
The “midnight sun” is a natural phenomenon that occurs in summer months near the Earth’s poles where the sun doesn’t set and is visible 24 hours a day. During these times, the sun travels horizontally across the horizon throughout the night, causing the landscape to be bathed in an extended “golden hour” light.
Back in June, photographer Joe Capra traveled across Iceland for 17 days, covering some 2,900 miles and capturing 38,000 photographs using two Canon 5D Mark IIs and a Canon 7D. He then combined the stills into this time-lapse video showing the beauty of that country during the midnight sun.
Panasonic wants to move portrait retouching off of computers and directly into cameras. Their Lumix FX77 compact camera released last week has a “Beauty Retouch Mode” that allows users to make all kinds of edits to faces immediately after capturing the photo:
The Beauty Retouch Mode makes it possible to virtually makeup the faces. In Esthetic Mode, various effects can be applied to the face including clearing the skin texture, whitening of teeth and so on. In the Make-up Mode, you can choose the color of foundation, lips, cheeks or eye-shadow. [#]
The photoshopping capabilities aren’t limited to what can be done naturally — users can also do chin lifts and eye enlargements!
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)