[Misadventures in Taiwan]

8/27/2005

 

people raised in asia perceive more detail?

could this be true?
click to continue reading
a couple of researchers compared what a group of 25 European Americans and a group of 27 native Chinese see in a photograph.
apparently the westerners would focus mostly on foreground objects, and the asians would focus not only on the foreground objects but also on the surrounding objects (and the relationship of the stuff in the background and foreground).
the reason they posited for this was: "The researchers claim that this is the result of a more cooperative culture in Asia that is driven by higher population density and historical communal modes of production (shared irrigation systems for rice paddies), while western culture is more individualized."

okay i so don't know how true this is. i was raised in asia, but when i look in photos i also tend to notice the biggest and brightest things in the foreground and tend to ignore the background/ midground/ surrounding objects.

i mean my parents were Chinese! so you can't say, okay maybe you were raised in asia, but maybe by asia you mean Russia which is like almost europe. hell no.

anyway what does this mean? i'm more individualistic? not as cooperative as other asians?

or maybe it could just mean i'm an unobservant loser with lousy eyesight.

no, seriously. i never paid attention to the background and things surrounding the foreground subject of a photo before i started studying animation a year ago.

we had this one italian teacher, Paola Piozzi, who would train us to notice every bloody thing in pictures. every bloody thing. i mean, when we watch movies we just pay attention to the actors right? we don't really notice what's happening at the side.

our teacher said that if we were going to make good films we had to notice how every shot was framed, so you have to pay close attention to the background, blah blah..

so she'd freeze frame certain scenes in Hitchcock's Psycho (apparently this movie is like a masterpiece of perfect framing and shot composition) and make us sketch how each shot was composed. and you have to get the relative position of each bloody thing right too. if, say, the door was just in 1/3 of the picture but you drew it really large, the proportion is all wrong and that's wrong. anyway most of the time i couldn't get any of the bloody proportions right because you know, i suck.

you'd also have to notice the blurry background things. you know, because the cameraman usually makes things blurry for kicks. no i'm kidding. haha. there's usually a "film language" reason (that i often fail to grasp) for this.

i also took a photography class. it was also only there where my eye really got trained to notice other things in photographs. rule of thirds and all that.

but my point is, if i didn't take these classes that trained me how to look at photos "scientifically" and "technically", i'd still just look at whatever was the subject of the photo and ignore the background. i would just focus on that and ignore the other things.

so this post doesn't really have any point to it. i guess i just want to say this whole eye movement thing also depends on how much background/ training in film and photography you've had (not only on how and where you were brought up).

but it could also mean i'm just an exception because i'm just really unobservant. hehe.

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got this from this boingboing article (which referenced the original Wired Magazine article)

 
Comments (留言€):
When I compare my asian friends to my european ones, the scientists are right, asian people do perceive more details, at least my asian friends (mostly chinese and indonesian) compared to my european friends.

They talk about the subconcious looking at the picture, and not, I'm sure, about analysing a picture with a scientists/artists eye. Ha, I remember, way back, my sisters husband analyzed a painting for me and I could only think something like "blood! I'd never thought of this, and this, and this, and...." I couldn't paint worth shit back then and it sure hasn't improved in the meantime...
 
i know they're not talking about analyzing photos. =)

i was just saying before i was even formally taught to look at the whole frame of a picture, i only look at whatever was in focus in the photo (usually the subject). i ignore everything in the background. i don't even subconsciously register those things.

this study failed to take in account inattentive asians/ asians with poor eyesight-- i fall into both categories. (actually my eyesight's not that bad. 250 on the left eye 150 on the right.. haha. just an excuse to not notice things.).
 
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