How Good (And Bad) Retouching Impacts Your Objective Age
A few days ago it started – suddenly these portraits sprouted everywhere like mushrooms after the rain, with pictures of people and a postit note on their forehead which states their age.
Behind this fed is a new “service” called how-Old, which claims to give an accurate guesstimate of your age based on a single photo. As a retoucher I often encounter this problem; a model still has a few more years to “steal” or actually to “give” to the industry. I had to test how many years I can take of a model with retouching and while this is a lighthearted post, the results were quite interesting.
1) The Original Photograph
Our 17-year-old model has aged 13 years old – or at least so says the algorithm.
2) After Retouching
This version was retouched the ‘old’ way, using mostly Dodge & Burn. Not bad, we shaved 4 years off.
3) Black & White
The conversion to a black and white image will cost another year. (but is still better than the unretouched photo by 3 years)
4) color look up table
A color look is as even better – a LUT applied gives us another 3 years! bringing us to only +7 years from the real age.
5) micro contrasts
Men Portraits – especially by sailors – are welcome to some micro-contrast (as popularly called “clarity” filter). If you push the slider all the way to the left, you get this’ 70s film look grubby and win 2 years at the same time.
6) The Gaussian Blur
A crud Gaussian Blur filter finally manages to get the model down to her real age – 17 – whether it actually looks good…. you are allowed to decide for yourself.
I am actually going to save you the high-pass filter which added about 10 years to our already too high of an initial estimate.
How does it work for you? How many years are between your real age and that how-old.net guesstimate?