Tag Archives: brain

Photography on the right side of the brain

If you use the viewfinder (not LCD) in your camera to compose your pictures, which eye do you use and will that affect how creative, logical or abstract your photography is?

I thought of that question while I was listening to Dr Alice Gaby talking about how the left eye connects to the right brain hemisphere and the right eye to the left hemisphere. Given that the left brain is the logical side and the right brain is the spatial, pattern matching side, how would this affect image composition.

On further investigation, I realised that the eye-brain wiring is not quite as straightforward. David Hubel describes how the left half of the retina of each eye is wired to the left brain, and the right to the right brain. As light is reversed by the eye lens, the right side of the field of view ends up in the left brain and the left side of the field of view in the right brain. So the question would then be is there a noticeable effect on image composition in the two halves of the field of view? Would we find that what we consider to be a pleasing photo is no longer so if it were reversed? Maybe this is subjective, depending on which eye is dominant in the photographer and the viewer.

I also came across an interesting article about facial symmetry. It starts with the description of an experiment: –

“About ten years ago, I saw an interesting exercise in which a college psychology professor had taken photographs of her students, made copies that were flipped left to right, and then had them cut in half vertically. She reassembled the images using the two similar sides of the face.”

then goes on to give the “how it works”.

Whilst you read this, consider where this text is in your visual field. According to an article on Science Daily, the speed you are able to read may also be affected by the position of the text in your field of view and whether your have a left or right dominant eye.

The workings of the human body never cease to amaze me. Maybe adding tags on Flickr (right-eye, left-eye) could build some working data for an experiment.


On the inside of a stroke

Wow. I just watched the TED video of Jill Bolte Taylor’s talk. It’s absolutely incredible. After she describes her background in brain research, she describes her experience as she progressed through a stroke. It’s scary and fascinating and may make you do a Scoble.

The way she describes the right brain state of connected energy and the lack of that jabbering logic telling you to make sense of everything sounds like the state Buddhist Monks have been trying to attain for so long. Just this morning coincidentally I was reading a part in Matthew Polly’s American Shaolin where he describes how he felt that kind of experience for just a few moments. He was practising the Kungfu and describes it as a form of moving meditation but wasn’t able to return to that state again.

Jill mentions that we can choose which side of the brain we allow to control us. I’d love to know how. I highly recommend watching the video of Jill (and reading Matt’s book).