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Comparison of the change in interpretative stances of lifelog photos versus manually captured photos over time

Ahreum Lee (Purdue Polytechnic Institute, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Hokyoung Ryu (School of Intelligence, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 7 August 2019

Issue publication date: 9 June 2020



The purpose of this paper is to explore how people differently create meaning from photos taken by either a lifelogging camera (LC) (i.e. automatic capture) or a mobile phone camera (MC) (i.e. manual capture). Moreover, the paper investigates the different changes in the interpretative stance of lifelog photos and manually captured photos over time to figure out how the LC application could support the users’ iconological interpretation of their past.


A 200-day longitudinal study was conducted with two different user groups that took and reviewed photos taken by either a LC or a MC. The study was structured in two phases: a photo collection phase, which lasted for five days (Day 1‒Day 5), and a three-part semi-structured interview phase, which was conducted on Days 8, 50 and 200.


Results revealed that the interpretative stance of the LC group changed greatly compared to the MC group that kept a relatively consistent interpretative stance over time. A significant difference between the two groups was revealed on Day 200 when the lifelog photos provoked a more iconological and less pre-iconographical interpretative stance. This stance allowed the viewers of lifelog photos to systemically interpret the photos and look back upon their past with different viewpoints that were not recognized before.


This paper contributes to further understand the dynamic change in interpretative stance of lifelog photos compared to manually captured photos through a longitudinal study. The results of this study can support the design guidelines for a LC application that could give opportunities for users to create rich interpretations from lifelog photos.



This work has been supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government (MSIT) (No. NRF-2018X1A3A1070163). Also, the authors would like to appreciate all participants in this study who were willing to join this longitudinal study and share their stories with their personal photos.

This paper forms part of the special section on Lifelogging behaviour and practice.


Lee, A. and Ryu, H. (2020), "Comparison of the change in interpretative stances of lifelog photos versus manually captured photos over time", Online Information Review, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 521-541.



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