Animating old portraits

Readers’ Photo Corner

By Raffy Paredes

Make still portraits move like a video capture! Genealogy company MyHeritage ( is putting deepfake technology to a creatively unsettling use with a new feature called Deep Nostalgia. The system animates photographs of long-deceased loved ones, turning old still portraits into uncanny blinking and smiling videos. Called Deep Nostalgia, the technology comes from Israel-based company D-ID. Users can upload old photographs of deceased relatives and the system automatically enhances the image before applying a deepfake algorithm to deliver a short animated video of the subject. MyHeritage seems aware of the unsettling nature of the technology and openly admits Deep Nostalgia may not be for everyone. The company also notes it will not add speech features to its system to avoid the technology being abused by those wanting to easily create deepfake videos of living people (

If making the dead move creeps you out, you can still have fun on your other old photos. Just register on the site to be able to animate five photos. A paid subscription will allow you to do more. Results can be downloaded as videos for sharing.

Here are today’s featured readers and their photos.

Cityscape Abu Dhabi (Andrew Semilla)

Andrew Semilla, a resident of Abu Dhabi, Filipino citizen and photography enthusiast shares his photo, “Cityscape Abu Dhabi.” Andrew has been capturing photos with his mobile phone since 2017. He uses the name “Drew Bchlr” in his photography. He writes: “It’s not about what brand of gadget you are using – it’s about how you make your photo to life. It’s how you convey meaning and story. Photography isn’t for fame and awards – it’s how you take shots and make every single photo a memory. Mobile photography is as interesting as DSLR and lastly mobile photographer can also compete – put heart on it – and the rest will be a history - Drew Bchlr.”

Untitled (Benj Manalo)

From Benj Manalo, also a mobile photography enthusiast and the founder of Social Groups Huawei Mobile Photography Philippines and a Huawei ambassador is an untitled local cityscape at sunset.

Kaybiang Tunnel (Chris Bouffard)

Chris Bouffard sent in the motorcycle photo titled “Kaybiang Tunnel.” He shares: “Photo was taken in Kaybiang Tunnel. I like to shoot a classic motorcycle. Not all motorcycle riders ay kamote or pasaway. Madami din silang mabuting ginagawa para sa kapwa natin. Sana hindi lang motorcycle rider ang laging nahaharang sa mga PNP checkpoint. Tao din kami, may pakiramdam, at nasasaktan din.”

Alone (Jin Delacruz)

The photo “Alone,” a silhouette photo taken at sunset is from Jin Delacruz.

Untitled (Justin Reyes)

Justin Reyes submitted the untitled black-and-white photo of trainer planes flying in formation as if to collide with a street lamp. “I took this photo last 2017 when people were freely travelling and circumnavigating the world,” writes Justin. “It was just three or four years ago but it feels like a decade ago.”

Momentous (Leonardo Glori Jr.)

Leonardo Glori Jr. of San Mateo, Rizal pays tribute to his wife with the photo titled “Momentous.” He writes: “A moment to capture, as I witness my wife's untiring dedication of a teacher and unequal sacrifice as a mother in these trying times of pandemic.”

Muning (Marcelo Frias III)

Marcelo Banta Frias III, “a service crew and a mobile shooter” submitted the cat portrait, “Muning.”

Far-off (Markttine Coronado)

From Markttine Coronado is a photo of an empty banca by the lakeside titled “Far-off.”

Saya at Pag-asa sa Gitna ng Pandemya (Robert Bryan De La Rosa

Robert Bryan De La Rosa sent in the photo “Saya at Pag-asa sa Gitna ng Pandemya.”

Celossian Flower Farm (Robert Samonte)

And the photo of a couple amidst colorful flowers titled “Celossian Flower Farm” comes from Robert Samonte. The Celossian Flower Farm is located in the town of Baras. It is popularly known as The Netherlands of Rizal Province.

For comments, suggestions or just to share an image or idea, email or