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Thread: Can you compose better with your left eye?

  1. #1

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    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.

  2. #2

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Stateside it's so early I have trouble getting either eye open. I am right handed and left eyed (I believe the official title for this is cross dominant vision). The only problem with this inherited feature is with an SLR or rangefinder camera. Before auto winders I had to be careful not to put my right thumb in my eye to advance the film. Maybe that was the reason I went to large format 8)

    So, virtually every photograph I have made has been with my left eye. And as with all photographers, 99% of them are forgettable.

    Have a pleasant holiday.

  3. #3

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    I certainly don't fit into the "creative genius" category, but I am left-eyed (and right-handed). There have been a few similar discussions in the general forums, see "Hand vs. Eye Dominance among photographers". It seems that a majority of photographers are left-eyed, though a discussion forum doesn't exactly meet the rigor of a scientific study. :-)

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    I'm left eye dominant, right handed. I used to use my left eye for viewing with small amd medium format cameras, then I had a left eye injury so I switched to using my right eye. I seem capable of making just as many mediocre photographs using my right eye as I did when I used my left eye.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    As a professional of forty years and having a fine formal education in photography, I thought I would pass along a few comments on this very refreshing question...from my own experiene and from many famous professionals I know and have worked with over the years. Fine pictures are not created with the eyes. They are created in the mind, before the shutter trips. Amateurs 'take' pictures....professionals 'make' pictures. Eyes just send data to the brain where the creative decision is made to create, or not. What you decide to shoot is just as important as how you might shoot it. Deciding to not photograph something, is also a creative process decision. If you don't have 'something to say' will be hard to create something meaningful. Getting past the technology aspect of photography is one of the most difficult aspects to consider on the road to making fine photographs. It is only when our equipment and technique is mastered and then put aside....can we proceed thinking about what makes a fine photograph...and begin that final part of the creative process. Great photographers are often offended when an admirer ask them what kind of equipment they used to make the shot. They are interested in the final, end image,...not the road may or equipment they used to get to their final destination..the photograph.

  6. #6

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Never really thought about this as an "eye" thing - I usually leave the actual camera setup until after I have the composition already in my mind. it's about 80% working without the camera finding the right composition, with both eyes open, then the remaining 20% with the camera working out focus, movements, metering, etc. I've always assumed this was the way most photographers did it - but I'll check out the "eye" theory later today - enjoy your vacation.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2001

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Foiled by physiology! In just about every aspect of our physiology, one side of the body is controlled by the other side of the brain. In a cruel twist that severely hampers this particular crack-pot theory, the eye is controlled by the side of the brain that it is found on. I too thought that this might be the source of my brilliant compositional abilities, until a physiologist pointed this out to me. He also let me know that I have delusions of granduer. Yes, I am right handed and left eyed, and no I am not brilliant (I've got to say this - my wife is watching me type)


  8. #8

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Hi Pete, I had noticed that when composing with my non-dominant left eye, I tend to compose with lots of interest in the foreground. With my right eye, I concentrate on things in the distance. Don't know what this may or may not mean, but as I am also going on holiday next week, if you see a short, cross-eyed photographer on the Norfolk coastline struggling with tilts and shifts, I'll buy you that pint I keep promising. Dave.

  9. #9

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    Pete; I'm surprised some anatomicaly aware guys have not chimed in with the fact that the left eye is not totally connected with the right side of the cortex. 1/2 of the left optic nerve, as it enters the Optic Chiasma, goes to the left side as does 1/2 of the right nerve. Sorry to shot down the theory. This is from Dental School Anatomy/Physiology 1952, but I think it's correct.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2001

    Can you compose better with your left eye?

    i've always noticed, when looking through a 35mm camera, that my eyes have quite different senses of balance. if i compose with my right eye, the image frequently looks out of balance when wviewed with the left eye, and vice versa. when shooting with 35mm i always make sure to look with both eyes until i get an image that satisfies both eyes.

    but, of course, a view camera lets us compose with both eyes at once, which to me is one of its great attributes.


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