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Are You Using Your Correct Eye When Photographing?

Ohhhhhh… you all are in for a treat today. I’ve surrendered my blog to the very awesomely talented Kent Weakley. I really hope you all come back after reading this because you’re about to realize that Kent is the real deal when it comes to photo tutorials. He has a bunch of them on his site. I went there once to check it out, and emerged about an hour and 1/2 later. It’s a vortex of info – grab a cuppa. Sit back. Friends, may I introduce you to Kent?
(Um, please still come back once in awhile?)

Determine which is your dominant photography eye

Okay many of us take this one for granted. However, in a recent photography class, a student asked me “which eye am I supposed to look through the camera’s viewfinder with?” The answer is – your dominant eye. We all have one eye that’s stronger than the other, or that we prefer more than the other.

Not to worry, your eyes aren’t going to have to battle it out for superiority or anything like that. Believe it or not, there’s a very easy way to determine which of your eyes is your dominant photo eye. This one was learned at a Boy Scout camp. They taught my boys which eye was their dominant while learning archery. I’m not sure if they wanted to improve the boys accuracy or prevent any boy-scout-kabobs. Probably both.
Here’s how you do it:
• Extend your arms out in front of you with your palms faced out
• Bring your hands together to form a small triangular hole
• Look through this hole at a fixed object across the room
• Keep looking at the object with both eyes, through the triangle hole
• Slowly pull your hands to your face, still looking at the object
• Bring your hands all the way back to your face
• You just discovered your dominant eye

If you’re left eye dominant and use a DSLR camera you have an added secret weapon, as I have never seen (although I’m sure they must have them) a ‘left-handed’ camera. If you’re shooting with a standard DSLR, the secret left weapon is this – you can twist your body slightly to the right, look through the viewfinder with your left eye and rest the left side of the camera body against your left shoulder. This will give you added stability and allow you to shoot at slower shutter speeds hand-held. Sorry righties, this is hard to do on the right side of your body with the shutter release also on the right side.

Use your newly discovered dominant eye for viewing through the camera’s viewfinder. It’s most likely the eye you use naturally, but now you know for sure. It will also work anytime you need to use just one eye, like with a telescope, being a pirate on halloween, or lining up pictures on a wall.

I need to say a big thank you to Darcy for allowing me to grace this space on her beautiful blog. As an advertising and graphic designer, as well as photographer, I can tell you Darcy has many amazing skills on display here. Not the least which is making this site look so clean and simple – that takes talent and hard work!


Awww, thank you, Kent! You rock.

ps – I learned I’m right eye-dominant. When I closed my right eye, the item in focus totally jumped out of my little triangle. When I close my left eye, it looks no different. How about you guys? I want to know how many of you use which eye.

pss – Go follow Kent on twitter. Good stuff.

Comments

  1. Turns out I’m left-eye dominant! How cool, I never put much thought to it before. All I know is that it’s weird looking through my camera with my right-eye, like I have to strain to keep it open lol!
    Thanks for the cool tip, and the secret weapon idea!
    .-= Lauren P.´s last blog ..The Perfect Day. =-.

  2. That is so cool. I never thought about what eye was dominate, I just used the one that felt comfortable. Guess what, it is my dominate eye. I am right eye dominate.
    .-= Mommy Reg´s last blog ..Paperclips and Pencils =-.

  3. Dude. never thought about it…but it turns out (thanks to Kent’s guidance here) that I’m left eye-dominant. Inter-es-ting….
    .-= mamabeck´s last blog ..In which I make a lame attempt to catch up. =-.

  4. I’m left-eye dominant. I’ve been made fun of, told it looks funny and it’s weird that I use my left eye. I have tried right eye and I can barely hold the camera up to it.
    .-= Emily@remodelingthislife´s last blog ..The Pleated Poppy Giveaway =-.

  5. Emily,
    That’s what happened in my photo class. A lady had been told to use her right eye and she was left eye dominant. So putting the camera to her eye was very frustrating. Also, she and several others around the room let out a big “ooooohhh” when I informed them of the meter readings and other graphics visible inside the viewfinder. They had no idea that info was in the viewfinder as well. I’m glad you know your dominant eye!
    .-= Kent Weakley´s last blog ..Travel Photography – Remembering D.C. Spring Break =-.

  6. Wow. That was pretty cool. I am right-eye dominant as well. I seem to remember (20 years ago) trying to shoot some sports events with my left eye open, still using my right eye for the viewfinder, to help “see” the action to anticipate where to aim next. I get the whirlies now if I try to shoot without closing the left eye.

  7. Very cool. I’m dominate in my right eye. This is great cannot wait to look through the tutorials. Thank you for sharing.
    .-= Rana´s last blog ..Seeing Red =-.

  8. Based on this test [which I repeated several times to double & triple check] – I’m “right eye dominant” …which doesn’t surprise me, I’m very strongly right-everything [handed, footed, etc] …and it is, indeed, the eye that I automatically use for any view-finder moments [I usually just use my screen]…

    However.. I do find it a bit funny that my ‘dominant’ eye is my BAD one.

    My left = 20/60 … My right [dominant] = 20/200

    😛
    .-= Molytail´s last blog ..Jingle bells, jingle bells.. =-.

  9. I am right eye dominant. I can hardly even look through the view finder with my left eye.
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Little House-River Crossing =-.

  10. I’m left eye dominant. I’ve always been using my left eye as my right eye never felt “right” looking through the viewfinder! I always thought it was strange because I’m right handed.

    I wonder how many people’s dominant eye match up with their dominant hand? That would be interesting to find out too!

    Michelle

    • That would be interesting to know. I swing a golf club, bat, bowl, all lefty. I was a left gymnast. I pour milk with my left, and am left handed at a lot of things.

      I write right-handed. I am right-eye dominant.

      It would be interesting to know the correlation.

  11. That was really cool. I expected my right eye to be dominant and I even expect to subconsciously skew the test because of that preconceived notion. I was wrong on both counts. I’m left-eye dominant. Who knew?
    .-= Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers´s last blog ..Review: Super Star Speech =-.

  12. I recently became Twitter Friends with Kent and I’m glad I found him. I am definitely Left Eye dominant. I already knew that, but this exercise helped confirm it. It’s funny too when I was buying my first DSLR, the Canon was more comfortable to use being left-eye dominant than a Nikon. So that’s one reason I went with Canon. I pickup my sis-in-laws Nikon and I cannot get it comfortable on my face. :o) Not knocking Nikon, just saying that Canon fits my face better. Does that make sense?
    .-= 50centlove´s last blog ..Remember =-.

    • Hey, I’m in “Camp Whatever Works” – although if someone went after my Nikon there would be a fight. 😉

  13. I’ve always looked with my left eye, and so assumed I was left-eye dominant. Doing the test confirmed it. Thanks! (And thanks for the shoulder tip – I’ll give it a try .)
    .-= Aimee @ In THIS Life´s last blog ..FO: Purple Shawl =-.

  14. SO funny! I’m apparently right eye dominant but I always naturally use my left eye when using the viewfinder ~ or anything for that matter. When I had eye surgery 10 years ago, they actually decided that my left eye was dominant because of my tendencies when using a camera, etc…

    Go figure!
    .-= Jolanthe´s last blog ..Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze {Book Giveaway} =-.

  15. I am left eye dominant (but right handed!) However I always use my right eye to look through the viewfinder. I’m going to start using my left – should be interesting (and thanks for the shoulder trick!)

  16. I just did this test at the eye doctors. I wear only one contact for reading, so the reading one had to go in my non-dominant eye. I should have known…my right eye is my camera eye.
    .-= Vonda´s last blog ..That’s It! =-.

  17. 90% of the time I have used my right eye… holding the camera just felt right that way but I am actually left eye dominant and right handed. =) One time I was using my left eye, which just feels right, I was told by a stranger I was holding my camera wrong! Now, I can just tell ’em to shut it… I know what I’m doing! lol =)

    Great Post… Thanks!

  18. I am amazed at these stories of all you lefties who were using your right eye!

    Just for kicks I tried putting it to my left eye and I couldn’t read my meter. Now you all can tell any nay-sayers, “Kent Weakley told me so!”

  19. definitely right eye dominant!
    .-= Marsha´s last blog ..Sweet Shot: birthday boy =-.

  20. I learned that I was left eyed at boy scout camp a three years ago. i’ve tried working with increasing my right eyedness to avail. it’s still weaker. i guess the dancer -rain in me wants my body to be symmetric.
    .-= Julia in WDM´s last blog ..Egg crafting =-.

  21. I couldn’t tell until you added your thought at the end, when I close my left eye, poof. So I guess I am a lefty. Mom will be proud! (She never got a left-handed kid, this might make up for it.) I have never used my left eye! Thanks!
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..I Love Organization!! =-.

  22. Very cool. I had always suspected that my left eye was stronger as that is the one I seem to always use – but this exercise confirmed it.
    .-= Cate´s last blog ..Sunday’s Share #10 wk 16/3 =-.

  23. I’m left dominant (discussions with eye doctor years ago) but it was fun doing the text anyway. 😉 I’ve heard that most (not all) eyes and hands match, meaning if you’re right handed, more than likely you’re right eye dominated. But, I think there are lots of exceptions to that, including me.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..365-108 =-.

  24. Oh wow, this was really interesting! My right eye is 20/20 and my left eye is near-sighted. I typically shoot with my left eye and when I did the test I was drawn to my left eye although the thing I was seeing was out of focus… but maybe it’s in my head that I’m used to shooting with left eye so I was drawn to that one?? It seems like it would make sense for me to be more right eye dominated. I’ve adjusted the diopter to match my near-sighted left eye so my photos are in focus for me. Hahaha, I think I got myself confused now, but this is really a cool post and great for photographers to think about!!

    • Isn’t Kent great like that? I love that he does “think outside the box” tutorials. I’ve learned a lot of interesting tid bits from his site.

  25. Very neat trick! I am left eye dominant although I am right handed. Thankfully I’ve been using my left eye the whole time! 😉
    .-= Michelle Pixie´s last blog ..Spotto The Lady Bug =-.

  26. Oh yay! I knew I was a lefty, but I have been wondering how I can figure out which eye my kids use (for telescope use, etc.)

    Also, thanks for the cool shoulder hint for the lefties!
    .-= jen´s last blog ..Not The Las Vegas You’ve Heard About – Part II, Valley Of Fire =-.

  27. So. Cool! I had no idea about this and really didn’t think it would work, but lo and behold (did I really just say that?) when my hands got to my face, it was on the right side, as if they had a complete and total will of their own! Thanks for sharing this! (I’m glad to know I’m already using my dominant eye.)

  28. Oh, this is good stuff. Right eye, here. What great affirmation on a question I didn’t know to ask! Thanks, Kent and Darcy.

  29. Seriously never thought about this! I am left-eye dominant. If I pull my camera to my right eye it just feels strange!!! Thanks for the handy tip!

  30. I’ve known for many yeras that I’m left eye dominant but was always told to use my right eye (there’s a good chance I was a lefty too, but that’s a story for another day). I’ve never been comfortable shooting with my right eye and it has been a real struggle. So nice to hear I should shoot with my dominant eye. Thanks Kent for opening up my eyes to this – no pun intended!!!
    .-= Bonnie´s last blog ..Naples Italy Aglianico in Campania =-.

Trackbacks

  1. […] – Today I’m doing a “guest post” photography tip on the very cool blog life with my 3 boybarians. Sounds kinda like a sit-com – I think it is at times. Darcy is running a very sweet, […]

  2. […] need to do: • Simply take off your glasses • Hold the camera up to your dominant eye. Not sure? Find your dominant eye. • Press half way down on the shutter release to auto focus the camera • Adjust the dioptric […]