Ocular Dominance for Photography

Everybody knows that you're either left or right handed. But do you know if you're left or right eyed?

You have one eye that's better at judging distance, focus and motion. Most people look through the viewfinder of an SLR with their right eye, but maybe it's not the best thing for you...

Here's a great little trick I learned  out in the country last summer, while target-shooting a .22 rifle with a friend.

He told me a story about when his wife was learning to shoot. She was having a hell-of-a-time hitting the targets they had set up. But their neighbour had a suggestion. He told her to look at the target with both eyes open and point directly at the target with her finger. Then he told her to close her left eye, than her right eye.

"Which eye sees the finger pointing straight at the target?"
"The left eye!" She said.

*Crack!, Crack!*
Sighting down the rifle with her left eye instead of her right, she was hitting the targets like a sniper! Her dominant eye was the left one.

In photography, determining which eye is dominant will help you to track moving objects, judge focus and better see the information displayed in the viewfinder. And it's just more comfortable. Try it out!

Which eye do you shoot your SLR camera with?


Speaking of which eye you might use with your camera, I've found an amusing article on the Luminous Landscape website entitled: Photographers Have Noses

Also, check the comments below for an alternate test if the pointing finger test isn't working for you.

2 Response to "Ocular Dominance for Photography"

  1. LizK Says:

    I don't want to disagree with the advice given, but I have to say I was interested to try this technique to discover ocular dominance. I pointed with my left hand at an object and found I was left eye dominant. What a surprise! Then I thought about it and tried with my right hand, seems I'm right eye dominant. I think it has more to do with which eye is closer to the hand that is pointing, unless I am doing something wrong.

  2. Anthony - Motojournalism Says:

    I've heard that happens with some people! There's another test you can do if that one doesn't work for you:

    Fully extend both arms in front of you, palms facing outward, thumbs extended.

    Put your hands together to make a little triangle shaped hole to look through

    Frame a distant object through the little hole, then draw your hands toward your face

    You will draw the hole toward your dominant eye.

    Let me know if that works for you!

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