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Photos and AI


By Raffy Paredes

Researchers from the University of Nottingham and Kingston University have come up with an Artificial Intelligence tool that will turn a 2D portrait into a 3D version, using just a single portrait photo you upload to it. Normally, when creating a 3D image, you would need multiple shots so that depth can be calculated and used to produce the final result. However, the team has worked out how it can be done with just one frame. To achieve this, their system has been fed a data set of 2D images and corresponding 3D facial models. Learning from this training, the computer then is able to generate the 3D model itself from just a single new frame by extrapolating the data. The findings have a variety of wider applications, such as in producing 3D avatars for video games, virtual reality, and curing mid-week boredom. You can try the tool yourself and have fun with your own selfie at by uploading your photo and turning it into 3D (PetaPixel via The Verge).

  • Children of Marawi (Erwin James Agumbay)

  • History vis-a-vis Fallacy (Mae Cindy Diaz)

  • Mayon Flowers (Kim Naynard Go)

  • Gapnod (Erald Jeo Jupista)

  • Ammungan Bliss (Jobert Zyrus Cadiente)

  • A Child’s Wish in Meiji Shrine (Ruby Marjorie Sumaya)

  • Welcome Home (Andrea Nicole Tancio)

  • Untitled (Ryoss Morillo)

  • Untitled (Mhelz Catamin)

  • Midnight Snack (Bien Bacarra Jr.)

    If you’ve ever been served a delicious dish but were too shy to ask for the recipe, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) may have the answer. Working with the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), a CSAIL team has been developing an artificial intelligence system called Pic2Recipe that can predict the ingredients in a dish from an image, and even suggest recipes for similar dishes. Working on previous work by Swiss and Hong Kong researchers, the CSAIL team is developing a database of over one million food images called “Recipe1M” and the algorithms needed to recognize them and extract useful information from them. They did this by feeding the data into an artificial neural network called Pic2Recipe that is trained to look at the images and find patterns that allowed it to draw connections between the food and recipes. So far, Pic2Recipe works best with desserts, like cookies or muffins, while more ambiguous foods, like sushi, smoothies, and cocktails, are as difficult for the software to guess what’s inside as it is for human diners. The team says it also has trouble with very similar dishes, like variations on lasagna, and the system had to be adjusted to focus on general ingredients that the dishes have in common before comparing recipes. According to MIT, the next step is to tweak the system to go beyond ingredients to inferring how the dish was prepared—if the tomatoes were diced or stewed, for example—and telling apart different varieties of the same ingredient, like different mushrooms, onions, or potatoes. The public can try a simple online version of Pic2Recipe at (

    And now to our featured readers with three new contributors to the column.

    Andrea Nicole Tancio, UST-SHS student from Bataan sent in the water reflection photo titled “Welcome Home.”  “I used the rainwater on the ground to capture the reflection of a student facing the historic and majestic main building of UST,” writes Andrea. “The rainwater depicts the everyday challenges and floods (figuratively) faced by every student entering the gates of the university. And no matter how high these floods are, UST will always be there to welcome us home.” Andrea shares that this photo is her first output after almost two years of not practicing her craft, photojournalism. “Yesterday’s the day when I started taking pictures again. Our school just opened its school publication and since campus journalism is my passion, I joined the application. It’s quite a challenge for me to hone again my skills pero buti na lang po first love ko and photojournalism, it still runs in my system.”

    From Mae Cindy Diaz is “History vis-a-vis Fallacy,” a photo taken in Intramuros. She shares: “I am a public high school teacher. Didn’t have any formal education about photog but I enjoy it as much as those who have high-end cameras. I took this a year ago. During my birthday on Nov. 1, I decided to go to Intramuros. Luckily, almost no one was there except me and the pedicab driver who toured me around the Walled City. I happened to browse the Photog News section in MB and got interested in sending my photo.”

    OFW Ruby Marjorie Sumaya shares her photo, “A Child’s Wish in Meiji Shrine,” taken during the Obon Holiday (Aug. 2017) in Tokyo Japan. “I am an aspiring photographer and an OFW currently based in Gunma Japan,” writes Ruby. “I am an engineer by profession, photographer and traveler by heart. I started to love photography since I was in college having only a point-and-shoot camera, it was only last December 2013 that I got my first DSLR. Until then, my DSLR became my full-time travel buddy, companion, and stress reliever.”

    She also shares her sentiments as an OFW: “Being away from your homeland, it was really tough to spend the days feeling alone. Unfamiliar faces, places, and words. It was really tough but then my love for photography always gives me a spark of motivation every time I feel like giving up (return home). Japan has been a playing ground for me for the past six months. It became the best place for me to learn more about photography and learn about myself. Being an aspiring photographer and an OFW is a good combination. It’s an effective remedy for homesickness and a perfect weapon for a battleground. I have proven that being an OFW is being fragile. It’s because of the feeling of loneliness and alienation. You have to look for ways to keep yourself going despite the odds. Of all of these sentiments, I can say that my love for photography keeps me going. You can easily divert vices into a good photograph. I want to inspire my co-OFWs who also have the love for photography to just keep on shooting and maximize your opportunity to take good photos. Say to yourself that you are alone but never lonely. You have the love for photography as an inspiration to just keep on going. Someday the pictures we all took will become our return ticket. These pictures I sent to you will say it all, ‘In the Eyes of an OFW.’”

    Other photos on today’s page come from previously featured readers, some of whom regularly send photos for this column.

    Erwin James Agumbay sent in the photo that won him one gold award for portrait and four silver awards on different categories in the International Photography Awards Philippines (ipa Philippines). His entry description reads: “This is my visual interpretation of the children of Marawi, on how children are coping through war and darkness of their land. This portrait serves as visual inspiration for our soldiers on why they are fighting for our country and our land.”

    The photo “Midnight Snack” comes from Bien Bacarra Jr. He writes: “The light and colors of the scene captured my attention. I waited a few minutes for someone to approach and order for a snack. Then I took the shot.”

    Jobert Zyrus Cadiente submitted “Ammungan Bliss.” “This photo was captured using a mobile phone during the Grand Ammungan Festival which happens every third week of May,” writes Jobert. “This group of ladies gracefully dances with the drum beats during the Street Dance Competition.”

    Mhelz Catamin’s untitled photo is an experiment in lighting. “In any genres of photography, every day I learn a new style and technic,” she shares. “Just recently I learned how to play with the lights.”

    Ruby Ross Morillo (Ryoss Morillo in social media) contributed the untitled black-and-white photo taken on the pathway connecting the Doroteo Jose and Recto LRT stations.

    From Erald Jeo Jupista is the photo titled “Gapnod.” And from Kim Maynard Go is “Mayon Flowers.”

    Readers may now view issues of Picture Perfect including this column at For comments, suggestions or just to share an image or idea, email or

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