The purpose of the diploma thesis was to state and analyse the perception of emotions in portrait photography. We had to take into account all the possible variables that could affect our test subjects and get rid of them. By considering all of the variables, we were able to get accurate results that contributed to the relevance of the thesis.
In the theoretical part of our diploma thesis, we first made a brief overview of the history of portrait photography after which we delved a little deeper into the beginnings and development of post-production. We had much greater emphasis on emotions and showing them with the help of facial expressions. We examined theories proving the universality of seven facial expressions, on which we later on focused in the experimental part of our thesis. We also reviewed the theory of colour, contrast and other parameters, which we considered in our post-production.
All photos were taken in a photo studio. We used four models, two female and two male. The light in the photo studio was constant, as we wanted to get rid of the unwanted variables. Each of the models expressed seven emotions (joy, anger, sadness, disgust, surprise, fear, contempt). All models were positioned the same and they were also illuminated the same way. This is how we provided the same raw photos. Later, we edited all of the photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. The changes were performed on four main properties of the photo: brightness, contrast, white balance and saturation. For each of the properties we did two edits, one with increased value and one with decreased value. Each photo had eight edits, so we had a total of 252 photos in the set. We created surveys to check the perception of emotions. Each of the surveys was solved by 15 different people, total of 135. The results were later on processed appropriately with the help of Excel and sorted into tables. We performed another test, where test subjects didn’t need to identify emotions. Among the pairs of photos, they had to choose which type of edit they found to be more meaningful for a particular emotion. Based on all the data, we then performed an analysis and came to final conclusions.