Archive for the ‘faces’ Category

Queries and Answers: Look Alikes

Andrea wrote:
Between my second cousin and I, we have about a dozen photos of two sisters that are two years apart in age, b. Dec 1865 and Feb 1868. We have a few that we are certain are a one or the other but all of these are after the women are 40 years old. It is the ones in their twenties and younger that we are having trouble with.

Any suggestions in how to distinguish two women that look very much alike?

Absolutely! Facial features to compare are eyes, noses, mouths and especially ears. A person’s ears are unique. Look for all the minor details in a physical characteristic such as size and shape. It’s usually the simplest things that differentiate between people that look alike such as the tilt of a nose or and fullness of a person’s lips.

The new iPhoto software and Picasa (a free download from offer facial recognition software.

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Before jumping to conclusions make sure that all the other evidence in an image adds up to the same identification.

Digital Face-Lift Anyone?

Two months ago, I posted a video on my Vimeo channel that showed a nineteenth century altered photo. Look closely. The woman in the background was added in. That’s a simple change when you think about what can be done to photos today. Digital editing makes it possible to more than add someone in. You can look years younger or thinner with just a few mouse-clicks.

Don’t believe me? I’m amazed at the extent of digitally altered photos used in magazines. Looking at the World with a Merciless Eye: Saying No to the Digitally Altered Photo gives us a peek into the process. British and French lawmakers are trying to stop it saying photo editing gives readers an altered reality. You think?

Here are two of the examples mentioned in the article:

A British tabloid gave the 59 year old Twiggy youthful skin for an Olay cosmetics ad

A 2003 issue of the British GQ magazine made actress Kate Winslet look much thinner.

These lawmakers want magazines to fess up. Tell the truth when it comes to altering images by posting a disclaimer. Others want photos rated 1-4 on a photo editing scale. 4 means that the person had “digital cosmetic surgery.”

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