A Quick Trick for Figuring Out Which of Your Eyes is Dominant

One tip that instructors often pass onto the beginning photographers is to use their dominant eye (i.e. the eye they prefer seeing with) to look through the viewfinder. If you want to find out which of your eyes is the dominant one, here’s a quick test you can do: extend your arms straight out and form a small triangle with your hands. Looking through the triangle with both eyes open, frame something nearby (e.g. a doorknob) and place it in the center of the triangle. Then close your eyes one at a time without moving the triangle — your dominant eye is the one that placed the object in the center.

Interestingly enough, many people (myself included) choose to use their right eye for their viewfinder even though the left one is dominant — likely because it’s the way they started shooting from the beginning.

(via Reddit)

  • Jeanine Starkenberg

    This is crap… object centered in triangle with both eyes open and 1/4 to the right with right eye open, 1/4 to the left with left eye open. I’m right handed and shoot with left eye to viewfinder and both eyes open! Works for me. 

  • Mzoolz

    left eye dominant and shoot right or left handed also pretty good both eyes open which takes some getting used to

  • Lee

    It doesn’t work for me as I had eye surgery for exotropia (opposite of eyes crossed in, they were crossed outward. Nobody spotted it for years as the muscles kept them focused until late at night my face would get tired. Wife had had same thing but was spotted early as here eyes would cross outward. When daughter at 23 had same problem, doctor asked about my eye history. Explained I couldn’t pass depth perception test looking through binocular device but could with colored glasses test. She said get up in the chair. End result, when I felt tired but no sleepy at night, my muscles in my face were fatigued. I never saw double like wife and daughter as my brain simply shut down images from the right eye. They did surgery to weaken the outside of the left eye and put a knot in the muscle of the inside side of the left eye. Eyes still are not spot on so I can’t pass this test. 

  • Tomek Fryszkiewicz

    For years I’ve been shooting with my left eye just because I found it more comfortable but recently my eye doctor enlightened me that my right eye is much stronger :/

  • David Head

    how exactly does this pertain to photography? Pardon me if I think it’s a bunch of crap. I don’t think that eye dominance changes my ability to compose a photograph. If you think otherwise please let me know. According to this test I am left eye dominant, but I shoot with either eye and I can’t “see” a difference in the way my photography comes out!!!

  • irene haralabatos

    My right eye is dominant for near… my left eye for far… Which makes sense, since I am  more nearsighted in my right eye and I usually don’t wear my glasses…. 

  • Natalie Schrik

    This info has got to make me a better bowler. 

  • Marja

    That cross-dominance stuff ruined my life, man. Well not exactly, but I remember hearing about that when I was a kid, and I misunderstood it. I thought it meant one eye is naturally sharp, the other less so — I didn’t think you were supposed to see clearly out of both eyes.

    When I finally found out both eyes are supposed to see, it was too late. I ended up legally blind in my right eye (vision is very blurry) and it’ll never work properly.

    In other news, I am a photographer! :D

  • Marja

    Replying to myself here…

    My amblyopia is not actually that big a deal. The blurry eye comes in handy, like when there’s something gory on TV and I don’t wanna see it, but want to see if it’s gone.

  • Janice Cleaton Cromar

    This worked perfectly for me. A small triangle and small object is the right way to do it. Neat post. Thanks.

  • Pieter Oosthuysen

    My left eye is the dominant eye, but when using the left eye for the viewfinder my entry lines in all my photographes seems to be from right to left and not from left to right, is this possible, or am I imagening?

  • Ray Harrison

    I am left eye dominant, I can’t read a thing with my right eye I don’t care how close or far or big or small the letters are.