What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

Sean Hall’s This Means This, This Means That: A User’s Guide to Semiotics,  made me think of a lot of “tricks” of perspective I’ve seen over the years. When I read the section “Foreground and Background” of Hall’s chapter “Visual Structures,” I immediately thought of the young woman/old lady image below:

What you see relies on the way you focus your eyes and how perceive the picture. You can see either a dark-haired, elegant young woman with a dark choker necklace or an old woman with a large nose, pointed chin, and wearing a scarf around her head. I see the young woman first. What do you see?

Another example is this image:

Do you see a vase, or two faces staring at each other?

This one is one of my favorites:

I like this one because, try as I might, I can only see a young woman for a moment.  My eyes always refocus back to the Shakespeare-like man I can’t help but see.

I also wonder what it says about me that I always see the devil first when I see this one:

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This entry was written by Emily and published on February 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm. It’s filed under Semiotics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

  1. fivereflections on said:

    very interesting!

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