Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Photo505 is an easy and fun web application that allows you to superimpose your face onto a variety of backgrounds, including magazine covers, art, and even superheroes! Not only that, Photo505 also offers a number of other filters that are more artsy.
But first let’s take a look at superimposing a face, since it’s usually a very complex process that requires an image editor and lots of patience. You’ll be surprised at just how quickly that can be achieved with Photo505.
Superimposing a face
First thing you’ll need to do is scroll through the effects and pick one (if you can settle on one!). Once you’ve decided on an effect, all you need to do is load a photo of yourself. For best results, choose one where you’re facing the camera. If you don’t have a suitable image, Photo505 can also tap into your webcam to grab a shot of you right then and there.
If you happened to pick an unsuitable photo, Photo505 will return an error. Again, best to pick a forward-facing photo with your face clearly visible. Photo505 uses algorithms to detect facial features, so if your face is obstructed, it won’t be able to generate an output.
Since I didn’t have a photo of myself handy, I decided to use the webcam capture feature. After approving the applet, I was allowed to frame the shot. Clicking the capture button starts a 3-second countdown. Finally, after accepting the webcam image, Photo505 began the render.
Okay, that’s not what I expected at all, but it’s something. Not all of the effects are great, and that’s where the user ratings come into play. This particular Green Lantern effect only received 1.5 stars – so I should have known better.
Let’s try another one, shall we? This time, we’ll use an “art style” effect. To To start, I selected this photo to be rendered:
After accepting the image, Photo505 took a few seconds to generate the output. Here’s what we get! As you can see, the effect is pretty neat. Of course, lots of smartphone apps will offer something similar but if you don’t have access to a smartphone, then Photo505 is a good alternative.
Using Photo505 comes with some privacy concerns. Firstly, the images it generates are completely public and are accessible through its Gallery. Obviously this is less than ideal, especially since you can’t opt-out from sharing your images. You can’t even choose to delete your images from the Gallery after the fact, which means your images will remain on their servers (they use ImageShack) until the admins choose to purge their album.
Secondly, the Gallery is automatically updated with user-submitted photos without prior screening. Therefore, it is not a family-friendly site, nor is it safe for work.
While Photos505 is a fun and simple way to superimpose your face onto magazine covers and other backdrops, there are some associated drawbacks with regards to your privacy and family-friendliness.
Therefore, we don’t recommend using this service if those concerns trouble you. In a pinch, Photo505 can be useful. Ann Smarty shared two more alternatives which you might prefer. But if you have time on your hands, we would suggest superimposing photos from scratch using an image editor like GIMP. Danny Stieben wrote a comprehensive guide on the entire process, which I would encourage you to read.