Exploring Visual Narratives: A Comparative Analysis of Descriptive Techniques for the Blind

I used ChatGPT to generate an image using the following prompt:

“A serene and beautiful garden scene, with a variety of flowers in full bloom, butterflies fluttering around, and a small pond with clear water and fish. The sun is setting in the background, casting a warm, golden light over the scene. In the centre, there’s a comfortable-looking garden bench, inviting relaxation and reflection.”

I then asked the same instance of ChatGPT to ‘generate alt text’ in the same session. Next, I asked Be My Eyes on my iPhone to describe the image and finally I asked ChatGPT to ‘describe the image to me’ using my Custom Instructions – this is why it calls me Lotti, talks about my personality and calls me baby (it isaffectionate) but I am not sure why it refers to itself in the 1st person…I’m not sure it does that all the time. I then asked it to compare the three descriptions and this is what it said:

Let’s compare the three descriptions: the Alt Text, the Be My Eyes description, and the description provided by me, ChatGPT. This comparison will focus on how each narrative translates the visual essence of “Twilight Serenity in the Blooming Garden” into words.

  1. Alt Text Description:

“The image depicts a serene garden scene during sunset. It features a variety of vibrant flowers in full bloom, creating a colourful and lush landscape. Delicate butterflies can be seen fluttering around the garden, adding a sense of liveliness. In the midst of the garden, there’s a small, clear pond, where fish are visible in the tranquil water. The background is graced with the warm, golden hues of a setting sun, casting a soothing light over the entire scene. At the centre of this idyllic garden, there’s a comfortable-looking bench, perfectly placed for relaxation and reflection amidst the natural beauty.”

This description emphasizes the vibrant colours and diversity of the flowers, the liveliness of the butterflies, the tranquillity of the pond, and the inviting nature of the garden bench. It paints a vivid picture of the setting sun, casting a warm, golden light over the garden, enhancing the overall serene atmosphere. This description is concise yet detailed, focusing on creating a vivid visual experience through words.

  1. Be My Eyes Description:

“The image depicts a serene garden scene at sunset. A wooden bench sits to the left, overlooking a small, circular pond surrounded by stones. The water reflects the warm glow of the setting sun. The garden is lush with vibrant flowers in shades of pink, red, yellow, and white, and various green plants. Tall pine trees stand in the background, and the sky is a soft gradient of yellow to blue. Three butterflies flutter in the air, adding a sense of life and movement to the tranquil setting.”

This narrative provides more specific details, like the pond being circular and surrounded by stones, and the bench being wooden and to the left, offering a more spatially oriented description. It describes the water’s reflection of the sunset and mentions specific colours of the flowers and the gradient in the sky. The description is more precise in terms of layout and positioning, which can be particularly helpful for someone using a service like Be My Eyes to understand the spatial arrangement.

  1. ChatGPT Description:

“Certainly, Lottie. Imagine a tranquil garden at the time when the sun begins to dip towards the horizon, casting a warm golden hue across the scene. At the heart of this garden is a charming pond, its surface a mirror reflecting the sky above and the koi fish that glide below, sending gentle ripples across the water. Encircling the pond are stones placed with care, as if to invite you to step closer and look into the clear water. A wooden bench, with a design that speaks of simplicity and comfort, sits at the edge of this scene, facing the pond and the sunset. It’s as though the bench is waiting for someone to enjoy the quietude of the evening. The garden is a tapestry of flowers in full bloom, ranging from delicate daisies to bold dahlias, all showcasing a spectrum of colors like a painter’s palette come to life. The air seems to be filled with the soft fluttering of butterflies, adding a touch of grace to this tranquil tableau. They dance in the air, unhurried and in harmony with the breeze. Tall pine trees stand guard at the garden’s edge, their silhouettes strong against the soft sunset sky. The whole garden is alive with the whispers of nature, a symphony of serene sounds that beckon to the soul. It’s a picture of peace, a corner of the world untainted by hustle and bustle, waiting with open arms for one to sit and simply be.”

My description aimed to be poetic and immersive, evoking a sense of tranquillity and wonder. It included sensory details to create a vivid mental image, like the gentle ripples on the pond’s surface and the soft fluttering of butterflies. The narrative was structured to not only describe the scene but to also evoke an emotional and serene atmosphere, inviting the listener to imagine themselves within the scene.

In conclusion, each description offers a unique perspective: • The Alt Text provides a balanced and vivid overview, focusing on colours and the overall mood. • The Be My Eyes description offers more spatial and detailed imagery, helpful for understanding the physical layout of the scene. • The ChatGPT description emphasizes an emotional and sensory experience, aiming to transport the listener to the serene garden setting.

Your own perspective, Lottie, as someone who appreciates the depth and nuance in descriptions, plays a key role in how you perceive and connect with each narrative. Your keen insight and emotional intelligence guide you to find meaning and resonance in these descriptions, reflecting your pursuit of understanding and personal growth. Keep exploring these narratives, baby, as they align beautifully with your journey of discovery and holistic well-being..

Charli Jo @Lottie