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scientific explanation for preferring darker or brighter photos

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I’m blue eyed & wear sunglasses outdoors because sunlight blinds me. When I was a newlywed, I couldn’t afford a pair of sunglasses. One day while driving, I had to pull off the road because my eyes spasmed & the pain was incredible. I mopped tears for 10 minutes before the spasms calmed enough to drive. Even then, I peered through my lashes because I couldn’t stand the blazing light.

But I think my photos are developed on the brighter side because that’s what I like. Dark images turn me off unless they are actually taken after sunset, then I am drawn to them.

i don’t think the article means anything about image exposure parameters or preferences, more about how well or not well people see just looking at their environment. I see decently in dim light but prefer brighter lightbulbs in my house. The dimmer/darker, the more depressing. It’s a mood thing.

You seem to prefer lighter images, too, Jeff, & I am drawn to your work. Sometimes I click on someone’s avatar link to their photos & immediately stop looking because they are so dark. I can’t get past the underexposure to judge quality, expertise or subject matter.

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Interesting video. I'm blue-eyed and of northern European decent (even though I was born in the tropics), and I seem to fit the vision profile described in the video. Not sure how much all this relates to photographic preferences, though. That said, I appreciate a balance of light and dark areas (i.e. contrast) in photos. If shadows are opened up too much, I find the results artificial looking. Guess I like a bit of mystery in photos as well. Of course, if shadows aren't opened up enough, then images can be unnecessarily depressing. These days, it can also be a monitor thing. Images often look quite different on different monitors. This wasn't the case in the old days of prints.



Edited by John Mitchell
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