Exercise 1.2 – eye-tracking

An interesting point arising from the eye-tracking exercise is that I believe I view an image slightly differently when I first encounter it, compared with later viewings. On the first encounter, I enter the image (typically near bottom-centre) and search for the key element(s). The search may take a split-second or several seconds, depending on how obvious the key element it. From there, I will explore the image (or not) before returning to the key element. With a previously-viewed image, I will skip the initial exploration and go straight to the key element.

The exercises below are an attempt to reproduce my first viewing of each image.


The red dot is the single point of focus and I go straight there. Periodically, I explore the empty space to the left and above (ignoring the space at bottom-right) and return to the red dot.


The red dot is the stronger point of focus (advancing colour) and I go straight there. There is a strong line leading to the blue dot, but I tend to explore the empty space on the way back.


source: OCA course materials, Photography 1: Expressing your Vision

The paving joint gives a strong lead in to the picture elements in the top half of the frame. I look at the concrete rounded structure but quickly lose interest and return to the chair and the light-coloured can below it, where I fixate. Further eye movements (including subsequent viewings) are trapped in the cage formed by the legs of the chair.


source: Sunday Times Magazine, 28 February 2016

Robin Williams’ eye-line gives a very strong direction to the head and torso of the Oscar. The return route is down the Oscar, through both hands, the white collar, the mouth and back to the eyes.


source: Sunday Times Magazine 28 February 2016

After initial exploration, I found the Jaguar badge and number plate and the orange radiator surround, which is strongly placed just outside the thirds point. I am led up the driver’s body to his face, then down via the orange patch on the helmet and the strong orange line on the car bonnet to the badge and number plate again. Surprisingly, it is this region, rather than the driver’s face, that I always return to.


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