Pick Your Shot With One Eye

Your camera is basically a single eye — no depth perception other than depth of field. Your images are 2-dimensional. When you look through your own eyes, you see the world in 3-dimensions.

This can cause you to see things slightly different than you would through the camera. Have you ever picked out your subject, taken a shot, then realized that it didn’t look quite the same as you remembered it? Your 3-dimensional vision can cause you to see and focus (mentally) on different things than your camera is capable of picking up.

So to help bring yourself a little closer to your camera’s point of view, close one eye when you think you have a good shot scoped out. Evaluate the colors, tones, shapes, contrasts, etc. THEN evaluate through the camera’s viewfinder for framing and composition. I find myself doing this little exercise even when I don’t have a camera on me.

This entry was posted in Composition, Quick-Tip on by .

About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

One thought on “Pick Your Shot With One Eye

  1. Niels Henriksen

    Very correct Brian:

    We all from time to time have taken a shot and when looking at the image it doesn’t quite reflect what our mind remembers as our stereo view creates other perceptions that the camera can not capture.

    I would to suggest a variant is to first close both eyes for a few seconds to erase, at least a little of what we remember, and then only open one eye to get a fresh sheet of film.

    One of my own theories, which I discussed in a recent article on my Blog is that I also believe that as we are scanning the landscape, we are mentally collecting bits of exciting contrast, colour and light intensity over time and re-creating a composite image in our memory of all the best parts we saw.

    A technique I use when I have a complex panoramic view in front of me is to use a card that has several format size cut-outs. I hold this in front of me and move back and forth as I would with a zoom lens to find the best image composition. It has the benefit of blocking the image around the card and therefore not influencing my selection too much.

    One of the reasons I like using my 4×5 camera is that when the cloth is over my head I am only looking at what is on the glass and all the other parts of the world around appears not to exist and therefore does not influence my judgement.

    I just wish there was more time to do it all. The DLSR is quick and fast but the view camera because of size and cost per negative makes you spend a long time planning your shots and waiting for all the right conditions.

    I wonder how many of us will got to a location and wait an hour or more to get just that perfect picture. The DSLR allows to snap a shot and if not right well I can always do it another day.

    Niels Henriksen

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