Right Handed Photographers Using Their Left Eye

Right Handed Photographers Using Their Left Eye

Recently a member of the Fstoppers Facebook group posted a confession with a simple question: Who else uses their left eye to look through the camera's viewfinder? I was shocked by the results.

Eye dominance is a thing we don't often think about. The dominant eye leads and creates the majority of visual input that is sent to the brain for processing. Many people associate their dominant eye with associated handedness, but the two do not go hand in hand.

In fact, while right-handed people outnumber left-handed humans by about ten to one, right-eyed people only account for roughly 70% of the population.

Thinking about which eye is dominant doesn't come up very often until you are using something with a single optic to look through. This narrows real-world situations down to peepholes, gun sights, telescopes, and of course cameras using viewfinders. I cannot fathom actually using my left eye as the go to. That being said, I'm also terrible at attempting to throw a ball left handed so I must be wired somewhat one-sided.

Well, much to my surprise, many of the users commenting shared that they also used their left eye to look through the viewfinder. Could it be that like many artistic type people being more commonly left-handed, many photographers are actually left-eyed? I'm not convinced but Fstoppers Facebook group member Joshua Pulido Enriquez certainly found out he was not alone.

So what eye do you use? Could you switch between them with ease? Let us know in the comments.

Camera one, camera two, camera one, camera two - Wayne's World

To find which eye is your dominant, check out this video from allaboutvision.com:

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76 Comments

So glad to see this. I thought I was one of the few oddballs out there. I'm right handed but left eye dominant. I never even realized it until I was in the Army having trouble qualifying on the rifle range and one of the instructors did a quick test and had me switch eyes while shooting. It's very awkward. I had been an amateur photographer for years before that and never even noticed beyond the constant nose grease on the back of my camera, lol

Interesting... and I don't have to take the test. An old school chalkboard eraser with a heavy wooden handle (back in the day) was thrown at me by a "pal" in class. When he realized he was going to hit me in the head, he shouted my name. I turned to see why he was calling and then, just perfectly, the erasure, thrown like about like a tennis ball, struck me solid and hard on my right eye. I fell instantly with a piercing pain as everyone stood in fear trying to figure out how to help me. Long story short - I was hospitalized for seven days, wore an eye patch for four months, was almost operated on but a "miracle seems to have happened" (according to the specialist) and somehow (through the prayers of many?) my site was largely restored. But I have a nasty internal scar and an inability to singularly focus the eye for more than five minutes without pain. So, my left eye and right hand dominate my world.

Morale of the story: One's simple eyesight is so overlooked. Photographers, videographers and people at large... protect your eyes, appreciate your eyes and use your eyes to make the world even brighter and more incredible.

Jen Photographs's picture

Left-handed, left-eyed dominant.

I'm not sure it's an art/brain thing, or because my left eye is stronger/sharper. When I'm reading a book while being really tired, sometimes I'll do the "shut one eye to rest it and read with the other" and my right eye tends to be the one that needs more rest.

Or maybe I'm just weird.

I alternate. One eye is 20/15 and the other 20/20. Not sure if that's why I alternate.

Left eye, right hand

Right handed, left eyes.

Both? :)

Han Seoul-Oh's picture

rt/rt, but I've been using my left eye more for photography as I get older and slowly the sight in my rt eye has been degrading. I still shoot (guns) rt eye dominant, however.

Right handed but have always used my left eye.

Matt Kosterman's picture

Right handed, left eye. For the first ten years or so of photographing as a hobby I used my right eye. Read an article about eye dominance, realized my left was better, switched and my work improved immediately! I can hardly use my right eye any more for shooting.

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Now that is interesting! I never thought of one being actually better at seeing so preferable.

Curiously, I am right hand dominant, right eye dominant, but since I've started taking photos I've held my eye to my left eye. Now I suppose it's a force of habit.

Same here: right-handed and left-eyed. Not a surprise for me, though. Therefore, I cannot use a Leica or other range finder camera.

Piotr Maksymowicz's picture

right eye and ... left handed :)

Alex Cooke's picture

Ambidextrous, but I shoot with my right hand because of how cameras are designed, and I'm left-eye dominant. In other words, there's a permanent nose smudge on my LCD.

Michael Purcell's picture

Anecdotal observation.. While working in camera stores for way too many years, I noticed that about 10 percent of men were left eye dominant, not necessarily left handed. I also notice that about 20-25 percent of the women who came to the counter were left eye dominant, more equated to left handedness. I thought about doing real research on this, but I'd had enough of that in school .

left eye, right hand ( for writing, eating and scratching the scratchables), dominant left hand (for everything else)

I'm another right hand dominant, left eye to the camera person. I sight a handgun with my left eye, but can comfortably sight a rifle with my right eye.

Stephanie Sabourin's picture

That is interesting. I am left eye dominant when sighting a gun as well.

RH/LE. Permanent noseprint on rear screen. What's crazier is that my right eye perceives slightly warmer whites than my left one.

Allen Morris's picture

What is this madness?!

Michael Yearout's picture

I mostly use my right eye and am right handed. However, I shoot in situations that sometimes prevent the use of my right eye and I switch to my left eye. Doesn't seem to affect me whichever eye I use. Hadn't really thought about it.

I use left eye but right hand. I do think I am borne left-handed and trained to use right hand. I expected it related, left handed and left eye.

Julie Blichmann's picture

Well...technically I am right-handed/right-eye dominant, but after having PRK surgery to correct my vision, I HAVE to use my left eye! Why? Because I was given mono-vision, so my left eye is for distance and right eye for reading. I'm not terribly comfortable holding my camera to my left eye. It doesn't feel natural! Probably why I tend to use my LCD screen!

Another right-handed, left-eye dominant shooter here!

Looking through the viewfinder with my right eye feels incredibly uncomfortable and awkward for me.

Simon Patterson's picture

This can be an issue in basketball, too, where say a right hander is so left-eye dominant that they end up with a weird basketball shooting style as they align their hands that hold the ball with their dominant eye. Lonzo Ball of the LA Lakers is an extreme case. So it can affect any kind of shooting.

Michael B. Stuart's picture

As a fan of the game that is an interesting point I've never thought of. Thanks for the comment.

Stephanie Sabourin's picture

I am glad to see I have so much company! I have always been left eye dominant and i suspect I al a little more ambidexterous than the average person. It stay make shooting a bit awlward at time as the nose is in the way.

Dan Howell's picture

right handed and right eye dominant but as the years have gone by i feel like I have weaken my right eye from over exertion and now am perfectly comfortable shooting with either left or right eye. Or to say it differently, in the morning of a shoot day I will take the camera automatically to the right eye, but as the day goes on I switch between them depending on position or fatigue.

Mostly right hand, strong left eye. Consequently I much prefer SLR-style cameras with a centered viewfinder where I can generally keep my nose off the screen. I have been peering through a viewfinder for so many years that it has made my left eye shortsighted while my right eye remains normal. As I have aged and my eyes take longer to recover from close focusing I have come to use the rear screen whenever possible.

I don't understand the dominant eye tests. The distance object always jumps left or right depending on which eye is closed. It never stays in the center.

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