Week #5 Blog Exercise - Visual vs Symbolic Language

Credit of photo: http://www.12news.us/unemployment-extension-june-30-2010.html



The photograph above displays a man holding a sign with his professional accomplishments, but is looking for a way to earn food because he is unemployed. As you can see, he is standing in a certain spot of a city where people are most likely to see his message. This pictures represent how the economy is not providing individuals, especially successful individuals, jobs who are struggling to not only feed themselves but their families as well. The man in the photo looks tired and hopeless from standing all day, trying to look for some kind of labor. He mentions that he is has a PhD and other accomplishments which might give workers a second look at how bad the economy is. A possible replacement for this photo can be the power of the economy. No matter what the academic status of person holds, jobs are harder to get for anyone. By looking at this photo, it is visually telling us that power is in the hold of the government and the economy is plummeting.

Week #4 Blog Exercise - Visual Thinking Research

Photos by: Me (Anthony Buada)

For this week's assignment, our visual thinking is put to the test. Me and my friend Paul chose 2 puzzles that popped out to us the most among the other puzzles. The first puzzle is called The Cat. In this puzzle, you are asked to find as many triangles as you possibly can in the cat design. According to McKim's Images in Action reading, I have used the pattern-seeking method to find certain triangles. In the tail, I saw that little triangles and the semi-big triangles combined formed one triangle. However, I wasn't aware that some of the triangles in the tail wasn't triangles at all which I used pattern-completion to identify this mistake. In addition, I skipped the triangle were full-triangles and counted because of visual memory. In my head, I have kept a photographic memory of what I have went over already and what wasn't familiar the other times I counted. Furthermore, to get my final answer, I categorized the cat in bits and pieces. I knew that the cat's face equaled 10 triangles totaled, the body equaled 3 triangles totaled and the tail equaled 7 triangles totaled. When Paul and I first finished the puzzle, we had different results from each other. We both counted the triangles we found together and understood what we missed. After going through the puzzle a couple of times, we finally had the same results.

In the next puzzle, we were given the task to name the month which the symbols illustrated. For the both of us, we solved the puzzle without various guesses than we did for the cat puzzle. At first I didn't get any sense of what the symbols formed, but I looked at the puzzle from another viewpoint. I had a sense that I was looking at the puzzle too close so I aimed the paper further away from my sight. I then began to see a word from the symbols. In addition, the spatial analogy between the symbols helped me see the words clearer and I figured out the answer. As for Paul, he cut the symbols in half and found the answer (as you can see in the photo). We both used different visual thinking methods to find the solution to the puzzle but ended up with the same answer.

Week #3 Blog Exercise - Feature Hierarchy and Visual Search

Credit for photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_search#Feature_search

By looking at the photos above, were you able to spot the letter "B" without struggle? If so, that's very impressive! This is because we use "feature channels" which determine what we are looking for such as shape, color, depth, motion and spatial layout. Our eye movement is planning what we need to look for and eliminates what we already know about the object. Feature Hierarchy and Visual Search are much similar in many ways. For example, Feature Hierarchy uses "the pop-out effect" which points out certain areas on the object and Visual Search uses levels to depict what you are looking at in different orders. In addition, we are aware of what is familiar and what isn't to us when overlooking something or someone. If I were to view the photos above without knowing what to look for, I would assume nothing is wrong with it. Although, with brief seconds of scanning the pictures up and down, I would spot the letter "B". As my eyes became fixated on the different shape in the first photo, I was preattentive on what to look for in the second photo. An application I would want to design for would be album covers. I was always fascinated by how abstract and creative some albums are which lead me into becoming a Visual Communications major. In addition, album covers show the audience what the record is about through illustrations and photos that grab their attention.

Week #2 Blog Exercise - Top-Down Visual Processing

Credit for photo: http://www.theotherpages.org/spy/spy-cat4.html

Top-Down processing is essential in our daily lives when looking for a certain object or person. For example, the photo I posted is a game called "I Spy" where one person thinks of an object in their head and the other person tries to guess which object it is. The person first starts off by saying "I spy with my little eye, something __(red)___". Then, the seeker uses goal-direct eye movement and distinguishes objects that are red such as the bubble blower, sunglasses, the letter block, etc. Furthermore, the seeker has narrowed their options down and has fewer guesses to make. If I were to be the seeker, I would look at the entire photo and then look straight for the objects in red. If I were to guess a certain shape, I would do the same and look for a specific shape, etc. Our eyes are fixated on an object for a second until we have more details and hints of what we are looking for. Once we know what we are looking for, the surroundings become unimportant and blur.