This MIT Portrait Software Could Smarten Up Your Selfies

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Software from MIT, which uses professional portraiture photography as inspiration to create dramatic images from humble snaps, could change how much selfies suck.

Researchers from MIT, along with a little help from some folks at Adobe and the University of Virginia, have developed an algorithm that uses the works of some of the best-known portrait photographers of all time (Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus and Martin Schoeller to name a few) to transform fairly crappy shots into something special. The team hasn't explained exactly what tweaks are performed but, as the video above shows, the results are impressive. A bit weird, occasionally, but generally impressive.

Some might argue that the results look more like over-tweaked shadows and light instead of actual portrait lighting, but for non-professionals, the results are still pretty amazing. The lighting effects might not be perfect, but they're way better than most of us can manage when wielding a DSLR, let alone an iPhone.

And the fact that Adobe's Robert Bailey told TechCrunch that the team is "looking at creating a consumer application utilising the technology" is very exciting. [MIT via Engadget via Peta Pixel]