Dynamic Guidance for Decluttering Photographic Compositions

UIST 2021

Publication date: October 10, 2021

Jane L. E, Kevin Y. Zhai, Jose Echevarria, Ohad Fried, Pat Hanrahan, James A. Landay

Unwanted clutter in a photo can be incredibly distracting. However in the moment, photographers have so many things to simultaneously consider, it can be hard to catch every detail. Designers have long known the benefits of abstraction for seeing a more holistic view of their design. We wondered if, similarly, some form of image abstraction might be helpful for photographers as an alternative perspective or "lens" with which to see their image. Specifically, we wondered if such abstraction might draw the photographer's attention away from details in the subject to noticing objects in the background, such as unwanted clutter. We present our process for designing such a camera overlay, based on the idea of using abstraction to recognize clutter. Our final design uses object-based saliency and edge detection to highlight contrast along subject and image borders, outlining potential distractors in these regions. We describe the implementation and evaluation of a capture-time tool that interactively displays these overlays and find that the tool is helpful for making users more confident in their ability to take decluttered photos that clearly convey their intended story.

Learn More