Do YOU Look Through the Viewfinder with Your Dominant Eye?

Just as people are right- or left-handed, everyone generally prefers the input of one particular eye, something called “ocular dominance” or “eyedness.” Most people rely on their dominant eye for things like aiming, and a person’s dominant eye actually has more neural connections to the brain than the other eye.

So here’s a question: do you look through your camera’s viewfinder using your dominant eye? You may assume that you do, but that might not be the case.

If you’re not sure which of your eyes is dominant, there’s a simple way to find out that’s called the “Miles test”:

The observer extends both arms, brings both hands together to create a small opening, then with both eyes open views a distant object through the opening. The observer then alternates closing the eyes or slowly draws opening back to the head to determine which eye is viewing the object (i.e. the dominant eye). [#]

Here’s a 30-second video animation that shows how this test is done:

Do you use your dominant eye when looking through the viewfinder?

Fstoppers also highlighted the fact that there’s no direct analogy between handedness and eyedness. It’s estimated that 70-95% of people are right-handed and about 66% of people are right-eye dominant, but it’s not uncommon to be right-handed but left-eye dominant.

Which are you?

And regarding eyedness and photography: perhaps you first learned to do photography using your non-dominant eye and have stuck with that decision ever since. If that’s the case, you may want to try switching and see if that does anything to change how you see the world you’re shooting.

Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Laitr Keiows and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0