Photographers are different, but I bet you didn’t know just HOW different…


posted Sunday, November 1, 2015 at 9:17 AM EDT

It's no surprise that we photographers see the world a little differently than our friends in the non-photo world, but it might be a surprise to see just how differently we see things. We're waaaay more tuned into visual detail than the average Joe/Jane.

Canon USA has uploaded an amazing video to their YouTube channel that uses real-time eye-tracking technology to show how three different people view the same print of a bearded man. The first person is a non-photographer, the second is a photography student, and the third is Joel Grimes, the professional photographer who captured the image. All three of them find different aspects of the image most interesting. The non-photographer is drawn to the story behind the image. The photography student likes the light and how it moves his attention to the man's eyes. The professional photographer sees so much more; all of the little details throughout the image that make it a special image. The very cool video below shows the eye-tracking results in real-time.

All the viewers love the photograph, but for different reasons. The movement of their eyes across the print is clearly informed by their own individual personalities and experiences with art. The level of obsession that Joel Grimes has with every tiny aspect of the print goes to show the sort of attention to detail that separates the pros from the rest of us. It would be interesting to see how a professional photographer who didn't take the photograph would view the print, though; would he/she be as engaged with it as Grimes himself? How do you think your eye movements would compare to the three people shown in the video? Next time you're viewing one of your prints, consider where your eyes are going and what draws you into the image. (While he hasn't had time to write up any critiques of our Photo of the Day monthly winners for quite a while now, it's interesting to note that IR Publisher Dave Etchells very often commented on how the really great shots engaged his eyes, and kept them moving around the frame.)

Screen capture of the eye tracking results

Canon is using this video to promote their brand-new 17" imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer. This brand-new printer is the first of a new series from Canon. They're really pulling out all the stops and making a big push in the professional printer market, although the new PRO-1000 will be selling in a price range that many serious amateurs will be able to afford . For much more information on the printer and its features, see our excellent preview from William Brawley


I will be reviewing this exciting new printer in the coming weeks, so will be able to see for myself if the PRO-1000 is equally "obsessed" or not. Are you excited by the new PRO-1000 printer from Canon? Leave a comment below and let us know! I'll try to address any questions posted here as I review the PRO-1000 over the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, though, share your thoughts with us in the comments section below on the fascinating eye-tracking results shown in the video above!