Kyle McDonald wrote a stealthy app that captures a single photo every minute and sends it to his server if it contains a face. He then went around to different Apple stores around New York City and installed it on the computers, collecting more than a thousand photos.
Before sharing the photos online, I decided to exhibit them in the same places they were originally captured. So I wrote another app that could be remotely triggered after being installed on all the computers in one location. When the app starts up, it takes a picture and slowly fades in that photo. A moment later, it starts cycling through older photos.
Most people instinctively quit the app less than 10 seconds after recognizing their own face, so the exhibition was relegated to the unused machines. [#]
Photos from the project are also automatically published to this Tumblr site. Something tells me Apple won’t be too happy about this when they find out.
Apparently, these are the representative faces of the Sydney, Australia population as a whole. The Face of Sydney project shot portraits of thousands of Sydney residents, and the “averaged” the resulting photographs to produce the compacted photos seen above. The oldest participant was 93, and the youngest was only two weeks old.
Jock McDonald is a San Francisco-based photographer that has travelled the world, photographing people of different ages and cultures. He recently teamed up with animator Paul Blain to transform his black-and-white portraits spanning decades into a single 17-minute long video. The twist is that the transitions between faces are seamless using morphing, resulting in what feels like a single, dynamic portrait of the world.
If you’d like to try and create a similar video with portraits you’ve taken, there are free programs that can help you do so.
Facity is an online photo project in which photographers from cities around the world submit portraits documenting faces found within their respective cities. The project, which started at the end of 2008 in Berlin, has grown to 88 photographers in 58 different cities, and currently publishes 10-15 new portraits per day.
Facity attempts to ensure a similar look across each submitted portrait by publishing aesthetic guidelines they call the FACITY manifest. These rules govern everything from lighting (indoor natural light) to equipment (50mm lens at f/2.8), and seem to be quite effective at standardizing the style of submitted portraits.
One thing we noticed was that Facity photographers have quite a knack for capturing brilliant expressions on the faces of babies:
If you’d like to participate, you can volunteer to be either a model or a photographer. The only requirement for being a model is that you need to live in a city that has a photographer, while volunteering as a photographer requires that you create at least one portrait per week for six months.