Monday, January 2, 2012

Do you like A or B?

Just a quick little poll here. In each of the pairs of images below, let me know if you like A or B. No need to say why. Don't over analyze, I just want to hear your gut reaction of liking one versus the other in each pair.

Please answer in the comments section below.


Example 1

Example 2

Example 3


  1. 1-a
    I know you don't want over analysis but the very first thing I look at are eyes.That's why I choose each one that I did.

  2. my preference goes to the A versions John, have you been playing with catchlights and iris dimensions? ;)

  3. 1-b, 2-b 3-a. I feel like the eyes connect more in each

  4. 1-a

    Apparently I'm not the only one.

    Smaller pupils seem to win.

  5. ABA

    The enlarge pupils in 1 and 3 are just a bit too wide - they kind of make me uncomfortable.

  6. My gut says 1b, 2a, 3a. After a little analysis, I think it's because the pupils feel like they're the "real" size for the light in each of those.

  7. Open irises on one and two. Smaller on three.

  8. A-B-A for me. like others have mentioned, they seem more natural

  9. A-B-A for me as well. The dilated pupils were off-putting to my eye

  10. I like A - B - A.
    Eyes are awesome on A, great colors.
    Skin is softer on B, eyes are great.
    Color is better overall on A, not so washed out/pale as B.
    Although I should say if I didn't have a choice, I'd like them all, all are absolutely beautiful!

  11. 1 could go either way, but if pushed, I'd choose a. 2 and 3 - DEFINITELY go with the smaller pupils. Also, just as a matter of curiosity, I'm assuming these were out of the camera rather than created in post... were the smaller pupil shots just taken immediately following the larger pupil shots? Were you essentially creating a red-eye reduction effect with your flash?

  12. B-A-B

    I like the larger pupils which are more welcoming than small pupils.

    -- Sam

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. 1-b/2-a/3-a

    I voted for the ones that I think that look more realistic to me. IMHO a beautiful eye should look like the real one, therefore the post production must be as minimal as possible. Just my opinion.


  15. 1 - I can't see a difference, sorry!
    2 - A
    3 - A

  16. 1 A
    2 B
    3 A

    I too usually look at the eyes and then the whole feel of the picture. I found these images to be most calming and soothing.

  17. Thanks, everyone!

    Bugs, I did adjust the pupil size to make them larger in the alternate versions.

    The originals (as shot) are 1-A, 2-B, and 3-A (all constricted pupils).

    Annemie, the dilated pupils were all done in post.

    My preference is A-B-A (the originals). But that is a personal opinion. I don't think there is a right or wrong. There is some research showing that we (humans) are attracted to dilated (large) pupils as our pupils tend to dilate when we look at someone we are attracted to. And we often view our significant others in darkened situations where our pupils are wide. So maybe preference does have to do with the overall ambient light in the photo.

    One thing I'm curious about is using camera flashes that don't have modeling lamps. In a relatively dark space the subjects pupils will be open, but the flash will fill the room and make it look like a bright location. The pupils won't close down fast enough when the flash fires, so you end up with a bright scene and dilated pupils.

    Sounds like I need to follow up on this with images created that way without post processing changes. Might take a few days/weeks to get to that. But I'll work on that.


  18. I got a total of 54 responses via Facebook, Twitter, and on the blog. Here are the results:

    1A - 33*
    1B - 20
    2A - 24
    2B - 30*
    3A - 45*
    3B - 9

    There was no right or wrong answer. The asterisk marks the original, as shot version (with constricted pupils).

    For reference, the pupils of the eyes are the only thing that changed between version a and b of each image. No other editing was done (brightness, softness, color balance, etc.).

  19. Very interesting, so glad you did this.
    I read years ago about a study like this done on men with images of women.
    The dilated pupils won hands down.

    The theory being that when we see something we like, our pupils dilate (with in reason)...
    So the men in the study perceived being "liked" by the images of women with larger pupils.

    but your experiment seems to prove the opposite

  20. This experiment wasn't very scientific. Many of the respondees are photographers, so may look at things differently than others. So many other contributing factors, too.

  21. Example 1 and 2 -A
    Example 3- B
    with my first gut reaction looking into their eyes

  22. looking quick, the smaller iris, took me a minute to figure out which picture i liked better. The larger pupils or whatever its called larger black spots, look reminds me of someone being high lol.

  23. That is a very valid answer. I still remember anti-drug campaigns that talked about identifying users by their dilated pupils.



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