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Is there a term that could describe this sort of person? Like, an eye for detail in arts, an eye for detail as to what is the cause of a conflict (something which other people hadn't seen yet), an eye for detail, which is why a photo was taken from the right angle or perspective.

  • A person with a microscopic eye; artistic eye, punctilious person – Maulik V May 26 '14 at 11:46
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    A keen eye comes to mind. "He has a keen eye for art". – SomeShinyMonica May 26 '14 at 13:55
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You mention two different use cases.

an eye for detail in arts ... an eye for detail, which is why a photo was taken from the right angle or perspective

Like jimsug and ChristopherW, my immediate inclinations are meticulous and keen- or sharp-eyed. I don't know of a single adjective (or even a concise phrase) which has this meaning and also carries a specifically artistic connotation. I can only recommend general terms and suggest that you add modifiers to specify the artistic bent. Other potential choices:

an eye for detail as to what is the cause of a conflict (something which other people hadn't seen yet)

For this case, I'd use astute. 1, 2. It applies specifically to situational assessment, and I would not use it to describe an artist's attention to detail, e.g. when painting or composing a photograph.

2

You could call them:

  • meticulous, though this might have a negative connotation, depending on the context - as has been pointed out, not always:

    very precise about details, even trivial ones; painstaking

  • vigilant, though this has a bit of a supervisory/oversight connotation to it:

    keenly alert to or heedful of trouble or danger, as while others are sleeping or unsuspicious

And.. both of those entries have synonyms and links to thesaurus entries:

thorough, detailed, particular, strict, exact, precise, microscopic, fussy, painstaking, perfectionist, scrupulous, fastidious, punctilious, nit-picky

watchful, alert, on the lookout, careful, cautious, attentive, circumspect, wide awake, on the alert, on your toes, wakeful, on your guard, on the watch, on the qui vive, Argus-eyed, keeping your eyes peeled or skinned

I'm intuiting that what you want is closer to meticulous than painstaking, though.

  • I was looking for a positive term, mainly. Like, some people's brains might just enable them to have more eye for detail. Some of the terms you mentioned are a bit negative, perhaps? Like, fussy, painstaking and nit-picky e.g. – user76935 May 26 '14 at 10:51
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    I'm not sure I'd describe "meticulous" as having a negative connotation. To describe someone as being negatively detail-orientated, I'd probably use words like pedantic, nit-picker or fussy – Matt May 26 '14 at 11:53
  • @Matt true, this would depend on the co-text/context. – jimsug May 26 '14 at 12:26
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I usually refer to people like this as observant.

Ted noticed that Kathy and Carol are no longer friend despite always being cordial.

Yea, he's a pretty observant person.

Observant is not typically used with tangible objects though. While it can be, I believe jimsug's first word is a better fit.

Another word that comes to mind is thorough. Thorough simply means that all the details have been examined. You would want a thorough airplane mechanic running quality control to ensure planes are ready for takeoff. You would want an observant manager to realize that a mechanic is thorough enough for the job of quality control.

0

The another lesser known term for it is "anal". This wikipeida link must be able to help you

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I’d go with perceiver or percipient that are defined as:

A person who becomes aware (of things or events) through the senses.

One that perceives.

  • -1 because those sound extremely unidiomatic to me. An English speaker would be much more likely to use the adjective perceptive than percipient. – Matt May 26 '14 at 11:54
  • @ Matt, thank you, I fairly appreciate that you explained your reasons. If anyone did like you we, learners, would really be helped and the site would function better. – Lucian Sava May 26 '14 at 12:10
  • @LucianSava But if you changed your answer to say perceptive, I could upvote it :-) – snailcar May 26 '14 at 13:20
  • @Snailplane, sorry but I'm afraid I can’t do that. Perceptive was my first reaction but I couldn’t find to be defined as a noun, all dictionaries define it only as adjective, and I think OP asks for a noun. – Lucian Sava May 26 '14 at 13:37
  • @LucianSava Oh! I'm sorry, I thought percipient was (only) an adjective, so I didn't realize you were trying for nouns specifically. I see now that dictionaries say it's a noun, too! (I don't see any indication that the question is asking for a noun, but I s'pose someone could ask the OP and find out!) – snailcar May 26 '14 at 13:40

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