FYC Visual Rhetoric Paper

Scientific American has some interesting information for visual rhetoric.

[R]esearchers found that an attractive image is not more likely to be recognized. Rather “mem­orability seems more related to strangeness, funniness or interestingness,” says Phillip Isola, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a lead researcher on the study.

Having people in the picture—even if they are strangers—also help make a photo more memorable, as does the impli­cation of movement, such as a person running or waves crashing. Human-scale objects—chairs and cars rather than valleys and planets—similarly plant themselves in our mind.

Still, scenes that lack these attributes are not doomed to be forgotten. Simple changes can increase their mem­orability, such as the presence of a tiny hiker in the back­ground of a mountainous panorama. So the next time you’re out to take a memorable shot, make it interesting—not just pretty.

Very useful information for my students, I think. I will have to look up the study, if the conference proceedings are available. It was “presented at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in June.”

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