flipped image

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1. (reverted image, flopped image) An image that has been laterally reversed, so that the right-hand side is now on the left. Photographers sometimes flip images, subjectively judging the flipped version to be more effective. This seems to be based partly on the assumption of left to right reading: either because (as, for instance, in athletics photographs) speed is thought to be phenomenally greater when the direction of action matches this reading direction, or because of the notion that we are more like to identify with the near-side, which in this reading direction would be the left (many us/them images follow this pattern). Certainly, a vertically split before-and-after image (as in an advertisement) would only make sense in left-right reading cultures if the ‘before’ state appeared on the left. Where images appear in sequence, the issues of match cuts in film editing come into play. However, as Yarbus demonstrated, where viewing is driven by particular purposes, the actual scanning pattern for single images is more likely to be subservient to these than to reading direction: see eye movements. See also glance curve.

2. In television post-production, an image rotated around the horizontal axis as opposed to a flopped image which is rotated around the vertical axis.

3. In computer graphics, an image mirrored vertically.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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