Monday, July 19, 2010

Webcams As Cameras, Webcams As Mirrors

So, do the majority of webcams display an image of you as if you are having your picture taken, or do they show you as if you are looking in the mirror?

I have seen people use webcam pics on their websites, as their avatar, etc. Often times when there's writing in the picture, it's horizontally flipped. This ANNOYS me.

Despite my annoyance, I'm genuinely unqualified to make a judgment regarding what looks "right" and "wrong". What's more natural? To see one's self as a camera does, or as in a mirror?

Let's throw out the obvious flipped nature of mirrored text. What is more natural to you? If you spend a fair amount of time talking to others via your webcam, wouldn't the webcam-as-camera be more natural to them? Do they care either way?

Is a mirrored webcam a tool of the ego? Am I crazy?

This beat-up old Dell laptop I am using has a checkbox by which you can choose to flip the webcam image horizontally. I think it defaults to *not* flipping the image, but I'm not entirely sure. That's what it was when I first went into its settings.

I have no doubt that most webcams give you control over the mirror/camera nature of the picture.

From what I have seen, Mac laptops display a mirror image by default. Are Mac users more narcissitic? OF COURSE. THEY ARE MAC USERS.

Splotchy learns something in the midst of making this post

I was looking at myself in the webcam and moving around a bit. The webcam was set as a camera, not a mirror. When I went left, my image went right. I went right, my image went left. It was disconcerting! Okay, I can see why people might want to have the webcam be a mirror image. When they are obsessively looking into their own eyes, preening, making kissy-faces, it can be helpful to see the image move the same direction.

Now what you've been waiting for, but didn't know it - a terrible camera filter

I have played around with the preset webcam filters on a Mac laptop. It has some nice effects (stretchy stuff, sepia, comic book, etc.).

When I was playing around with the webcam for this post, I noticed this Dell laptop *also* has some "nice" effects. I would be remiss if I didn't at least give you one sample. It's called "ArtyFarty" under the "Fashionista" category. YES, REALLY.

Note, the playing card isn't part of the filter -- that's me. The sneer is all me. But the beret, luxurious hair and sexy glasses? Filter. ALL filter.



Happy birthday, Internet!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That picture is so you!