Thursday, April 9, 2020

Houdini enhanced by Matt Loughrey

The UKs Daily Mail has a report on Matt Loughrey who has spent the last four-and-a-half years working on a technology to redefine and color portraits of well-known historical figures. The story shares several of Loughrey's creations, starting with Houdini! It's a truly remarkable image.



(The caption dates this image as 1912, but it is actually a 1914 shot.)

You can see more of Loughrey's work on his Instagram. Below are a few more glimpses of Houdini in color.

Related:

11 comments:

  1. Comment on FB about the eye color. Seems to me they were a lighter shade of blue.

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  2. Such a great picture! His work is really stunning. I also agree John on the eye color being a bit off. I always thought them to a blue/grey.

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  3. Matt made a few noticeable changes. He thickened the eyebrows but HH had very thin eyebrows. He also made HH's eyes bigger, but you can see in the photo he's squinting a bit. Probably from the sun.

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    1. Good catch on the eyebrows. I hadn't noticed that.

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  4. Amazing detail. Whether the eye color is off or not, they are piercing. The picture almost has a "tough guy" look to it. I'd love to see other photos enhanced.

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  5. Really shows how far technology and graphic design skills have come in this area - with lesser tools, techniques and artistry, the best the black and white image above could have become would be a somewhat sharper but grainy and clearly re-touched image, and all the other enhancements Mr. Loughrey made wouldn't have been nearly this clean. I can't wait to show these to some of my graphic designer friends and see what they think. Very cool. Thanks for sharing this.

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  6. Just when I thought he couldn't look any more gorgeous.... ;)

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    1. Prolly cuz Matt took a few cosmetic liberties above and beyond just a photo enhancement.

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  7. Yeah, some changes were made for cosmetic's sake. In addition to the ones mentioned, the artist sure softened his wrinkles and eye-bags a bit, and softened the sharp-angles of his temples. He also ever-so-slightly softened and filled-out his cheeks (you can see the difference clearly by looking at the left-side cheek in each photo). On the other hand, the artist makes the lips lop-sided in attempt at realism. But I think the original photo just had a lack of definition on one side from the lighting angle - Houdini's lips in other photos are generally pretty symmetrical. And he definitely didn't fill-out or round-out those top lips enough.

    But a fair bit of this recreation is spot-on. The nose, the eyebrow-furrow, the hair at his temples, the ears, the neck, and the jaw. The spacing is also very well done. Overall, it's fine work!

    I don't have as much of a problem with the eye-colour. In indirect light, blue-grey eyes would have a duller appearance. And black-and-white film renders eye colour quite differently depending on how directly or indirectly the light is being captured by the eyes. See this google image of one photo of Houdini in the 1920's that focuses on his his eyes quite clearly. You can see how the eye in the light looks bright, but the eye away from the light looks quite dark: https://images.app.goo.gl/2H8A1hfWfKeCeBG9A

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    Replies
    1. It's hard to resist playing God when you have this kind of Photoshop technology at your fingertips.

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