The effect of observer involvement on subjective judgments of technical, emotional, and overall quality of photographic prints
Brunetti, Tina Marie
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This research examined what first-party observers, the photographers, think and feel about their photographs, what they plan to do with them, and how they rate overall, technical, and emotional quality. This research was undertaken to determine the influence of technical and emotional attributes on overall perceived photographic quality. Thirty-eight novice photographers participated in this study. One half were between the ages of 18 and 35, and the rest were 36 and older. Twenty were female and 18 male. Participants allowed the researcher to process one 24-exposure roll of 35-mm color print film. Participants were first asked a battery of questions concerning their habits of picture taking and collection and storage of photographs. Next they were asked to rate the overall quality of 15 of their photographs. They were then asked a series of questions about their photographs. The questions centered on the occasion, people in the picture, feelings toward the picture, expectations, and anticipated usage of the picture. Participants also rated the overall, technical, and emotional quality of each print. When the images were rated by experts, it was found that females had higher expert ratings than males. Additionally, when the age by gender interaction was examined, differences were found between young males and young females and older females. It was found that participants use the three different measures of quality, Overall, Technical, and Emotional, in different ways. Emotional quality was rated higher than both Overall and Technical quality. It was also found that the importance of the occasion in which the photograph was taken, the happiness and pride it elicits, and the fulfillment of expectations ere all related to the three quality measures. In addition, sociability was related to Overall, tenseness was related to Technical, and joy was related to Emotional quality. It is interesting that, when subjects rated their demandingness for quality of images and a trade off between having a picture and quality, neither of these was related to any measure of quality. Comment data confmned anecdotal thoughts about why people take pictures and how they look at them. Future research recommendations are made.
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