ISSN: 20456271
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
Volume 5 Issue 1
Cover Date: June 2016
Unpredictability in everyday photography: A case study
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Authors:  Ricardo Melo And  André Lamelas And  Miguel Carvalhais 
DOI: 10.1386/ubiq.5.1.243_1

Keywords
interaction design,user experience,photography,defamiliarization,randomness,serendipity

Abstract
Modern technology is pervading all aspects of our everyday lives. With its focus on optimization, and through the growing adoption of content personalization, these technologies – in their attempts for relevancy and efficiency – are decreasing the role of chance and luck in our interactions with the Digital Medium, leading to a reduced potential for serendipitous experiences. This is exemplified in the post-smartphone photography. With the growing popularity of camera-enabled devices, photography has become commonplace: a trivial, routinely and mindlessly engaged practice. The photography act, due to the ever-increasing capacity of these devices to accurately record an image of the real, has become a series of brief, predictable actions, without much thought or consideration on the whole interaction. Through the exploration of the concept of defamiliarization, we intend to restore a sense on uncertainty and randomness to the quotidian photographic moment. To this end, we created an experimental smartphone application that randomly, and without the interactor’s control, transforms and manipulates a given photograph – thus making it unfamiliar – and allowing for surprise to be once more part of the process while increasing the engagement between photographer, subject and created image. We have also begun preliminary evaluations which have showed a positive impact of the concepts of this experimental application in the creative process.
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