The Surreal World of Broken Face Swaps

In 2011 Sabato Visconti removed the memory card from his digital camera to inspect his photographs and discovered an unusual glitch among the files. Random zeroes had been added to Jpeg files. What should have been simple reproductions of any one given scene turned out to be visualisations of his technology dreaming. It was accidental, but profound and this simple glitch lead Visconti on a path he now embraces; breaking software to push the boundaries of photographic imagery.

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Visconti’s latest project concerns the popular social networking app SnapChat, most famous for its ephemeral approach to photographs that ‘self destruct’ Continue reading

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What would Blonde Hair on Donald Trump look like?…

The photographic ‘faceswap’ is by far the most surreal byproduct of evolving digital photographic technology and its usefulness has yet to be proven. Once the go to tool for the likes of National Enquirer and Daily Sport to reproduce fake celebrity nudes its prominence on apps like SnapChat and MSQRD has pushed the weird AI tech mainstream. Now Dreambit hopes to achieve a useful tool rather than photographs that’ll confuse historians decades from now.

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Imagine sitting in a hairdressers and being asked by your stylist your preferred cut, but instead of having to think on your seat, you’re presented with different options on the mirror in front of you. Curly hair, Continue reading

Tips on Avoiding Problem Portraits

If you’ve ever struggled with shooting group portraits where your clients have different head sizes then this helpful video is for you! Taken from ‘Problem Portraits’ by Joy Henry F.N.Z.P.P.A. this short snippet from a pre-photoshop era shows you exactly how to create that perfect posed portrait with a only little repositioning and we think it is fun Friday fantastic:

And as you’re looking at this video you’re probably thinking, “Wow, Judy’s head did look big before they moved her!” and Continue reading

Amy Schumer Posts Preview of Leibovitz Pirelli Shoot

Remember in September we shared that Annie Leibovitz was dropping models in favour of strong independent women for the 2016 Pirelli calendar? Well one of the headline acts, Amy Schumer just posted a risqué candid from the shoot on Facebook.

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Amy describes herself in the image as a “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman.”  What we see at Phogotraphy is, as Leibovitz intended a strong, independent woman.  Continue reading

Evolution of the Smile Mapped through 100 years of Yearbooks

The year book, staple souvenir of any American school kid born in the last century is the subject of a study undertaken by university researchers into the way our smile has changed over time.

The study analysed almost 38,000 unique frontal-facing portraits taken from American high school year books to compile an impressive snapshot of each decade since the year 1900.

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Because of the photographic typology of the portraits contained within they are perfect for computational data Continue reading

Victorian Photographers “Photoshopped” too!

Image manipulation has always been rife in photography. The airbrush tool is more than a whimsical reference to the past, an actual airbrush was commonly used on prints long before digital photography was even a glint in our eye. Welsh photographer Tony Richards recently shared with us some close up scans of old plates from his collector’s archive that reveal just that – the retouching of skin on portrait photographs.

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However, as Tony points out on his blog the manipulation has taken place using a pencil rather than an airbrush. On first glance it is difficult to discern any type of editing from the negative or resulting CDV cards but when scanned in high resolution it reveals a whole swathe of strokes. Continue reading

Prince Harry Takes Three Photos of People in Lesotho; World Goes Nuts.

First, let me invite you to look at Prince Harry’s Getty Images portfolio, freely available for anybody to peruse, however not linked in any one of the articles I will post below.

There are, in total, three images:

HRH Prince of Wales Getty Images Portfolio consists of just three B&W images
HRH Prince of Wales Getty Images Portfolio consists of just three B&W images

I’m glad the Prince of Wales had the artistic vision to turn these portraits monochrome. Why would one make use of the colour sensor in your digital camera when you can just flick a switch and avoid a distraction such as colour? – If Harry had used a film camera and a roll of HP5 then I may have been a little more forgiving.

Now let’s look at a few of the headlines:

The Daily Mail – Portrait of a Very Modern Prince

National Post – Prince Harry Shows off his Photography Skills

9News – Prince Harry Reveals Flair for Photography

IBT – Prince Harry Tries his Hand at Photography

AOL – Prince Charming Shares his Sweet Photo Diary

And the best one of all…

The Times – Prince Harry: Portrait Photography at its Finest.

Yes, you read that right. Photography masters, professionals, all of you who’ve spent many years perfecting your craft, step aside. Prince charming is here with three photos that are ‘Portrait Photography at its Finest.’

It’s unfair to judge so quickly, as one of the images isn’t actually all that bad. This striking portrait of an apparently young orphaned herder is well composed and he’s even managed to keep it in focus. After all, he’s shooting on a Fuji X100S in full auto, I should hope so.

Prince Harry Visits Lesotho With His Charity Sentebale
HRH Prince of Wales / Getty Images

That’s one third of his entire portfolio that can be considered excellent work.

Although, after seeing the gorgeous red walls in Chris Jackson‘s meta portrait, I’m once again saddened by the decision to flick the B&W switch on.

Chris Jackson / Getty
Chris Jackson / Getty

The other two images by Harry aren’t so good. They are, and a more seasoned photography critic will point this out in due course, tourist tat. If you wish to look at them in a larger size rather than the thumbnails above: Image 1, Image 2.

Even the Prince’s description of his images makes absolutely no sense at all:

‘I have always enjoyed photography and the challenges that come with trying to capture the perfect shot, although privately I don’t take many photos. The best photos I have are in my head’

It’s safe to assume Getty Images were ever so slightly starstruck after his visit to their Children of Lesotho exhibition last year. Perhaps that’s how his portfolio was approved so fast?


This post is satire. If you’d like to donate to Prince Harry’s charity so he can buy another £800 point and shoot camera and a return flight to Lesotho, you can do so here.