Here’s an idea that I’ve been thinking about for a long time: a camera app for your phone that helps you reenact old photos, like those seen in Ze Frank’s “Young Me Now Me” project. For example, this picture that my wife took with her brother, sister, and childhood friend:
Reenacting photographs from your youth, taking pregnancy belly progression pictures, saving a daily selfie to show off your beard growth: all of these are situations where you want to match angles and positions with an old photo. A specialized camera app could be of considerable assistance, so I’ve developed one for Firefox OS. It’s called Reenact.
The app’s opening screen is simply a launchpad for choosing your original photo.
The photo picker in this case is handled by any apps that have registered themselves as able to provide a photo, so these screens come from whichever app the user chooses to use for browsing their photos.
The camera screen of the app begins by showing the original photo at full opacity.
The photo then will continually fade out and back in, allowing you to match up your current pose to the old photo.
Take your shot and then compare the two photos before saving. The thumbs-up icon saves the shot, or you can go back and try again.
Reenact can either save your new photo as its own file or create a side-by-side composite of the original and new photos.
And finally, you get a choice to either share this photo or reenact another shot.
If you’re running Firefox OS 2.5 or later, you can install Reenact from the Firefox OS Marketplace, and the source is available on GitHub. I used Firefox OS as a proving ground for the concept, but now that I’ve seen that the idea works, I’ll be investigating writing Android and iOS versions as well.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.