On the Making of Faces

On the Making of Faces July 29, 2015

Recently I decided to jump back into photography as an active hobby, and my first step was to get my collection of digital photos in order. I used to be very good about cataloging everything, but in the last few years I’ve been doing the bare minimum as I was engaged in other pursuits and I didn’t much like the tools I was using.

Consequently, my first step was to get a copy of Adobe Lightroom and have it catalog my collection: over 22,000 photos taken since the fall of 1997. As I was playing around with it, I came across its face recognition and tagging feature and was absolutely delighted. It’s a commonplace capability these days—even FaceBook can do it—but I hadn’t run into it before, and in any event the prospect of associating many if not all of the photos in the collection with the people in them en masse rather than individually was irresistible. It took me a couple of days to work through them; it was slow at first, but the same people (mostly my kids) appear over and over again and by the time I got halfway I was spending most of my time getting rid of the false positives and random bystanders.

Some of the false positives were truly comical. Here’s one of the best:


Hint: the one on the right is my son James. Lest you should think that I’m laughing at my son’s suffering, he was making that face on purpose; and what’s funnier is that he was mimicking the face on the left at the time. Here’s the full picture:

Art Bites Back

photo credit: William H. Duquette. All rights reserved.

Browse Our Archives