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Thread: Can you compose better with your left eye?

  1. #21

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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Andrews View Post
    This may not be the proper forum for this question, but there isn't a section ca lled "Crackpot theories vaguely connected with photography". ;^)

    OK. Here goes .The theory that the right hemisphere of the brain is devoted to visual proc essing and creativity, while the left deals with language and logic, now seems t o be a pretty well established fact. It's also a physical fact that the left eye is connected directly to the creative right side of the brain, and vice versa.< br>Now, the author of a book I'm currently reading, suggests that, because of th is direct connection from the left-eye to the right-brain; using the left eye sh ould result in more awareness of aesthetics, composition, colour, etc.I'm na turally right-eyed, so I'm going to see if my pictures improve by deliberately v iewing with my non-dominant left eye.

    Anyway, I'd like to know if anyone else has tried this, and whether you know if any study has shown that naturally left- eyed photographers or artists make more creative and stunning pictures?Furth er; if you consider yourself a creative genius, are you left-eyed?[Simple te st for which is your dominant eye: Hold your finger at arms length, and with bot h eyes open, line it up with an object in the distance. Now close one eye. If th e finger and object stay in line, then you've still got your dominant eye open. If the finger seems to jump out of line, then you've just closed your dominant e ye.]

    Before you send round the guys in white coats. Yes, I do need a holiday, and I'll be taking one, as of tomorrow.
    Funny timing, but I was just reading an educational newsletter today that included an article which said that the long-expressed ideas about left/right brain, language/logic/creativity has been determined to be way overblown, if not entirely bogus. As a totally-left-dominated, logical creative person (only written somewhat tongue-in-cheek), I've always been somewhat wary of the whole idea. I'm a firm believer in the idea of brains being extremely plastic, and of individual differences being more important than group similarities when it comes to al sorts of things, from intelligence to gender differences.

    That said, there are clearly physiological pathways that are obviously real and the same in all, or at least the vast majority, of us. Thanks for the reminders about the fascinating connections between the eyes and the brain! I have a brother who suffered brain damage after a car accident. He needed therapy to get his eyes to match his perceptions again, or vice versa, or both, or something. It was hard enough, I'm sure, for him to understand. His explanations were baffling!

  2. #22

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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Captain itchy-eye's story

    Sailor: So, Captain, how is it you have a hook for a hand?
    Captain: Aye, t'was when the Great Whale bit it off!
    Sailor: And the eye patch?
    Captain: Yay, t'was the first day of getting the hook.
    So you think that's bad, a pirate walks in a bar, and the bartender sees a ship's wheel stuck in the old tar's crouch... The keeper yells "what happened to you!?!!! But the pirate says; "It's driving me nuts"...

    But for the eye thing, walk around for a few minutes with one eye covered, then the other, and ask yourself which you could live with if only one... Granted, you would adapt, but...

    Steve K

  3. #23

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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    I do not have a dominant eye at all. Mine are 'equal in rank', and when focusing on a distant object, I always see two defocused close-up fingers at once.

    I am right-handed, and I used to compose my small format shots with my right eye just according to the common tradition (and yes a lot of cameras are awkward to use the other way). When I got aware of the above theory, I tried switching my eyes. I never use my right eye for composing since that very day.

    I don't know if the theory is a wise one or a pure bullsh*t. I just don't have any background in that science. And I actually don't care. Theories come and go but my own practice speaks for itself - for me, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Pratt View Post
    My right eye seems to cast the subject to the left a tad. In the studio this shift amounted to 1/2 inch on 5x7 print. The left seemed to be consistently better although not as sharp.
    Same here.... even to the extent of having technically better eyesight with my right eye.

  4. #24
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Maybe it is true. My eyesight deteriorated in 2003. The right eye is blind and the left eye is just bad. My photography changed too . . .for the better I think; everthing became sinpler, more graphic.. ,. . .so maybe the left eye thing works.
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




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  5. #25
    jeanba3000's Avatar
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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Hi
    I apologize if my thought are not very well expressed, I'm french and my english is far from perfect.

    I just read this thread and wasn't surprised that the "creative left eye" theory would be false.

    Maybe the lateralization in creativity could emerge in other aspects, maybe it's not about which eye is better, but more about the final image formed by our brain and the transcription we express when drawing or shooting…

    I have two anecdotes from my graphic design studies years to tell that I find interesting to think about :

    During nude model sketching class, in order to push our limits, break bad sketching habits and force us to be really attentive to the details of the model and to what we were drawing, our teacher asked us regularly to change tool, paper size… (for example : if you are at ease with pencil then try with a brush and ink, if you are at ease sitting with a tabloid size paper bloc on your lap then work upright with a larger paper on an easel, etc.) and especially to change hand and draw with our other hand, even with two hands at the same time.
    Very interesting experience, but after a while you get new drawing bad habits so you change hand again, and so on…

    The second anecdote was with an illustration teacher who told us when you compose an illustration, observe the drawing reversed in a mirror, you might find that the composition is better in the reflection…

    Nearly 30 years later, I still do nude sketching to exercise my observation skills and hand dexterity, and I still reverse my photos to see if they might be better the other side, and they sometime are, even when shot with my Rolleiflex. :-)

    In that way, the turned view on the ground glass of our LF cameras can be considered as a help to better compose by letting us focus more on the abstraction of the composition and less on the obviousness of our subject. I think it has something to deal with Georg Baselitz's figurative paintings.

  6. #26
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    I am right handed, but for as long as I can remember I have used my left eye to focus and compose, both viewfinder cameras and large format. I shoot a rifle left-handed, but I think that is due to breaking my left arm when very young and having limited movement in it.

    I was first exposed to this right-left brain thing many years ago when reading one of Fred Pickers Zone VI news letters - he was discussing the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and how he believed some of the exercises in the book might be beneficial to, or cross over to large format photography.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  7. #27
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    The left-brain/right-brain has little to do with left-right eye stuff. One eye might have better acuity, but it has nothing to do with brain hemispheres.

    Each eye sends half of its 'view' to one side and half to the other side of the brain. In other words our eyes divide the task of visualizing, each side receiving half the image, then as confusing it might seem the mid-brain center of vision processes and sends signals to the rear optical agent, and simultaneously to the higher centers of both sides, while all the time the mid and posterior brain negotiate. And it goes on.

    Some people are neither left nor right eyed. I am one. Both my eyes are pretty bad.
    Last edited by Jac@stafford.net; 13-Mar-2018 at 06:18.

  8. #28
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    There is a book on drawing titled "Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain".

    Anybody know this book?
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  9. #29

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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    I am right handed, but for as long as I can remember I have used my left eye to focus and compose, both viewfinder cameras and large format. I shoot a rifle left-handed, but I think that is due to breaking my left arm when very young and having limited movement in it.

    I was first exposed to this right-left brain thing many years ago when reading one of Fred Pickers Zone VI news letters - he was discussing the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and how he believed some of the exercises in the book might be beneficial to, or cross over to large format photography.
    Well, actually, it was me discussing it - I wrote that newsletter for Fred. While the science of brain hemispheres continues to evolve, the techniques and exercises found in Betty Edwards' books have been useful to me and to many students. For LF, one of the most useful is to have the image be upside-down. Edwards' premise is that we have to stop labelling things, and instead see them for the shapes, forms, light, and shadow that they are. An upside-down image helps us get past labels, and use our visual skills, rather than verbal. Et cetera. For me, at least, what works, works. The exact science is irrelevant.

    Most of us would be well-served, methinks, by buying her book and doing some of her exercises. It certainly wouldn't hurt anyone. I used to carry it and a small sketch pad in my briefcase when I was travelling and do exercises in airports. I have many sketches of chairs somewhere, as studies of negative space. It certainly helped pass the time, and improved my ability to see past labels. I wish I'd done more to learn to draw - especially faces. I would have been the life of every party.

    Another highly recommended book: Dorothy Sayers' "The Mind of the Maker." A tough read, because she's so incredibly articulate, but the ideas are well worthwhile for any artist.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  10. #30
    Joe O'Hara's Avatar
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    Re: Can you compose better with your left eye?

    I sometimes close my left eye if I'm not sure about a composition or photographic possibility (I'm right-eye dominant).
    The three-dimensional effect goes away then and I can visualize what the image will look like, better than I can with two eyes.
    However, when I take the time to do this, I usually move on without making a picture. Having both eyes open never
    seems to be a problem when something that really speaks to me presents itself.
    Where are we going?
    And why are we in this handbasket?


    www.josephoharaphotography.com

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