A photographer has used artificial intelligence (AI) to show what celebrities like Princess Diana, Kurt Cobain, and John Lennon would look like if they were still alive today.
For the project, Yesiltas used AI photo enhancer software and photo editing programs to visually resurrect stars who died young and bring them back to life.
“With the development of AI technology, I’ve been excited for a while, thinking that anything imaginable can be shown in reality,” Yesiltas writes about the project.
“When I started tinkering with technology, I saw what I could do and thought about what would make me the happiest. I wanted to see some of the people I missed again in front of me and that’s how this project emerged,” he says.
Yesiltas adds “Behind this project lies the question of how would people look photo-realistically if some great events had not happened to them.”
In “As If Nothing Happened,” Yesiltas reimagines celebrities who died at a young age, often in tragic circumstances, and depicts them as if they were still living now. With the help of AI technology, he has created eerily lifelike portraits of cultural icons like Tupac Shakur, Heath Ledger, Janis Joplin, and Michael Jackson.
Yesiltas says that one of the most challenging parts of the creative process was making his images of these stars appear photo-realistic.
“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel “real” to me. The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks very realistic as if it was taken by a photographer,” he explains.
To make the images as real looking as possible, Upworthy reports that Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.
However, the photographer says it can take a long time before he feels the portrait looks authentic.
“I am using various software programs. The time it takes for me to create one fully finished image varies,” he says. “But I would say it takes a while for an image to feel ‘real’ to me.”
Image credits: All photos by Alper Yesiltas.