Why so many "reversed" pictures?

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samtex
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Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by samtex » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:06 am

This has been bugging me for a long time. It is fairly common to see photographs "reversed" both on Internet news stories as well as in ads. Today I even received a brochure in the mail promoting an upcoming vote on an amendment next month. The picture had a generic looking home with a sign with the logo of the pro faction that was promoting the vote. But when you looked closer, the house number was backwards and the logo on the house, was clearly reversed from the one on the brochure.

I know it's common to see revered imaged when taking selfies in mirrors or using the front or back cameras in cell phones but the pictures I'm talking about were reversed on purpose. Is it just because some editor thought that it would look better if the viewing angle was reversed. thinking people wouldn't notice the backward letters etc? Or is it something subliminal going on? I know that in some movie chase scenes they have thrown in a very quick shot where the cars (and the oncoming cars) are actually driving on the wrong side of the road, then in the longer scenes they are again on the correct side. It was supposedly to add more tension in the audiences.

Samtex

edit: added missing word
Last edited by samtex on Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:16 am

samtex wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:06 am
This has been bugging me for a long time. It is fairly common to see photographs "reversed" both on Internet news stories as well as in ads. Today I even received a brochure in the mail promoting an upcoming vote on an amendment next month. The picture had a generic looking home with a sign with the logo of the pro faction that was promoting the vote. But when you looked closer, the house number was backwards and the logo on the house, was clearly reversed from the one on the brochure.

I know it's common to see revered imaged when taking selfies in mirrors or using the front or back cameras in cell phones but the pictures I'm talking about were reversed on purpose. Is it just because some editor that it would look better if the viewing angle was reversed. thinking people wouldn't notice the backward letters etc? Or is it something subliminal going on? I know that in some movie chase scenes they have thrown in a very quick shot where the cars (and the oncoming cars) are actually driving on the wrong side of the road, then in the longer scenes they are again on the correct side. It was supposedly to add more tension in the audiences.

Samtex
In the world of commercial digital stock photography and photography in general it's cheaper to use software and "fidget" with the picture or slice and dice, than it is to reshoot the picture on location. Standards in general are lower with everyone, from Realtors to salesman to bloggers with a cell phone in their pocket.
However, consider the standards of National Geographic, etc. . . . only the best.

pilot_error
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by pilot_error » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:43 am

I also think it has something to do with the culture of selfies. Some smartphones want to mimic a mirror when used in this manner and as such letters are reversed. My iPhone displays the picture reversed but saves it "normal" when it is taken... not that I take a lot of selfies

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nisiprius
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by nisiprius » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:07 am

It does seem to me that more and more "news" stories, even from legitimate real-news sources, especially on the Internet, are illustrating stories with rather generic stock photos or "file photos." I guess, in the minds of... someone, it is absolutely necessary for every story to have a picture to illustrate what the story is about, and unacceptable to have nothing but text. So I would first point the finger at "inappropriately generic illustrations" (rather than "actual images taken recently of the events or topics described in the story.")

I'm too lazy to find actual examples, but you know the sort of thing I mean: story about an airline accident illustrated by a years-old file photo of a plane of the same model as the one that crashed. Story of lobster fishermen troubled by some change in regulations illustrated by a picture of a lobster.

In any kind of "layout" it is pretty often the case that it would look better if some of the images were reversed, so art directors reverse them.

It is totally stupid and careless if the result is that the reversed image includes reversed text as a result, although the number of people literal-minded enough and attentive enough to details to care about it is probably not that great. (When I was a kid, before "platters" were invented, movie houses had two projectors, and at the end of every reel the picture on the screen had little symbols that would flash in the corner to alert the projectionist to change over to the other projector. For years and years and years I kept asking grownups what they were, and never got an answer because they had never noticed them and didn't know what I was talking about).

Of course, there are situations where reversed text is legitimate, as when the subject is inside a storefront and the camera is viewing the store window from inside.

Anyway, I think the answer to your question is carelessness, and an increasing cheesy, cheapjack use of stock photos.

P.S. I wonder how many members of the general public believe that bitcoins are physical coins, due to the constant use of illustrations like this one?
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dm200
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by dm200 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:20 am

I have noticed that as well.

My guess is that there are several reasons. One might be that the pictures look better reversed (as long as you don't see obvious reversals).

I believe there are even some movie scenes filmed in reverse. I can't recall which one, but there was one of the Babe Ruth movies filmed that way. To show Babe Ruth correctly batting left handed, and the actor batted right handed, they reversed the baseball field and the uniforms and signs and filmed it that way.

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lthenderson
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by lthenderson » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:22 am

My guess is that with the logo added to the picture, they had to reverse the picture of the house to get the balance of the picture right so that the logo stands out. Had someone paid more attention, they might have just photo-shopped out the house number.

wrongfunds
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:07 am

One way to get around automatic copyright infringement checking is to swap the pictures. I think that idea probably worked for a while until the software caught up with that trick.

an_asker
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by an_asker » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:09 am

Huh!! I've never seen those reversed photos. Never claimed to have good observation powers :oops:

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dm200
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by dm200 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:17 am

an_asker wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:09 am
Huh!! I've never seen those reversed photos. Never claimed to have good observation powers :oops:
Some (perhaps most) people do not have symmetric faces, so if you look at a face photo (perhaps yourself) reversed - it may not look fully like you.

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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by an_asker » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:19 am

dm200 wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:17 am
an_asker wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:09 am
Huh!! I've never seen those reversed photos. Never claimed to have good observation powers :oops:
Some (perhaps most) people do not have symmetric faces, so if you look at a face photo (perhaps yourself) reversed - it may not look fully like you.
That is difficult for me to observe. I was referring to photos that had text reversed - I don't recall even having come across those.

That said, I did notice that selfies flipped the image before the rest of my family (or at least DW) did. So I do actually observe stuff ... sometimes!

PS: To be honest, that is how I figured out that the selfies flipped - by observing the parting of hair!

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dm200
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by dm200 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:37 am

an_asker wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:19 am
dm200 wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:17 am
an_asker wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:09 am
Huh!! I've never seen those reversed photos. Never claimed to have good observation powers :oops:
Some (perhaps most) people do not have symmetric faces, so if you look at a face photo (perhaps yourself) reversed - it may not look fully like you.
That is difficult for me to observe. I was referring to photos that had text reversed - I don't recall even having come across those.
That said, I did notice that selfies flipped the image before the rest of my family (or at least DW) did. So I do actually observe stuff ... sometimes!
PS: To be honest, that is how I figured out that the selfies flipped - by observing the parting of hair!
I have seen some of these internet "teasers" with articles about significant differences of perceived "attractiveness" of either reversed photos of faces or making left and right identical (both ways).

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:46 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:07 am
One way to get around automatic copyright infringement checking is to swap the pictures. I think that idea probably worked for a while until the software caught up with that trick.
Where's your source for that? It sounds completely bogus.
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by iamlucky13 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:21 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:46 am
wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:07 am
One way to get around automatic copyright infringement checking is to swap the pictures. I think that idea probably worked for a while until the software caught up with that trick.
Where's your source for that? It sounds completely bogus.
Why does it sound bogus? I would not be the least bit surprised if people are doing this either to avoid infringing use being discovered by automated tools, or on the hope that if they're ever challenged, they can argue that they created a lawful derivative work (Although there is already precedence otherwise).

Copyright violations are major issue, and automated image comparison has been around for a while. Google and others let you do reverse image searches manually, which I know for a fact that some independent photographers do this to protect their livelihoods.

wrongfunds
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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:42 pm

You see that on youtube very often. Many of the Top Gear episodes or extracts get reposed with mirror image or gets constantly changing and distracting border added to the original video. Automated tools must have difficulty in flagging them

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Re: Why so many "reversed" pictures?

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:37 pm

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