BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 

When Shooting, Should Both Eyes Be Open?

When photographing, should you keep both eyes open - or close one?

To love this question, log in above
8/12/2007 12:00:53 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  If you use a point-and-shoot camera, and use the LCD screen to compose your image, then it doesn't really matter if you use one eye or two. If you put your eye up to a viewfinder to compose your shots, you'll find it is much easier to see the viewfinder if you close the other eye.
Chris Vedros

To love this comment, log in above
8/12/2007 8:35:52 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  I find that keeping one eye closed for any length of time gives me a headache. I'll close one eye to critically focus, and make sure the composition is "clean". Then with both eyes open, I'll take a deep breath, hold it, and squeeze off the shot.

To love this comment, log in above
8/12/2007 4:55:08 PM

Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004

Is that photography or hunting? LOL

To love this comment, log in above
8/12/2007 5:29:57 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  ...Is there a difference? ;)

To love this comment, log in above
8/12/2007 6:28:50 PM

Bernard    Thanks all

To love this comment, log in above
8/13/2007 1:27:24 PM

Alan N. Marcus   Hi Bernard,
Actually, this can be a serious issue. Traditionally, film cameras favored by sports photographers are equipped "sports finder". This is a simple wire frame viewfinder with a peep hole sight at one end and a rectangular wire frame at the other. This system provided a view that was more or less a visualization of what the camera will see.
Now the important ingredient is: The image seen via the sports finder is life-size. This is essential to sideline photographers as it thwarts them from getting clobbered. You see, the view through a range-finder camera presents a miniaturized view as does film SLR cameras when mounted with a normal lens. What I am saying is, these views should carry the warning; same as a convex automobile side mirror, objects appear smaller than they actually are. Now Nikon and others came out with a 58mm lens. This was favored by sideline photographers with SLR’s as it presents a life-size image. Now sideline photographers could keep both eyes open and shoot and be safer as they could generally judge that a football or the baseball or a player was coming straight at as the viewfinder image was actual size, giving the eye/brain the data it needs to cause one to duck.
So the answer is: working in the sports environment or when conditions are such that you need good vision and awareness of your surrounds, keep both eyes open if you can.
Alan Marcus (caution dispenses marginal technical advice)

To love this comment, log in above
8/13/2007 2:06:54 PM

Bernard    Alan
that's very interesting and informative, both eyes open (when needed) for safty. Thanks again.

To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2007 12:46:44 AM

dennis w. mcclain   Sometimes its hard to find the object in your veiwfinder. using both eyes has helped me with this. then like stated above, one eye to focus. thats my $0.02 worth

To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2007 5:07:15 AM

Jesse C. Plummer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/2/2007
  Over time, I have learned that closing one eye gives me a headache as well. I have learned to keep both eyes open but concentrate on one eye(my dominant eye). It takes time to learn but keep trying and you will get it.

To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2007 6:09:02 AM

Daniel O   With my left eye at the viewfinder, the camera body blocks my right eye, so there's no need to close it. As Jesse mentioned, you also learn to mentally block out any residual image from the unneeded eye, and focus your attention on the other. For the times you want both eyes, just shift the viewfinder to your right eye.

Bottom line - there's no rule, just what ever is comfortable for you and gives you the best shot!

To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2007 7:28:25 AM

Bernard    reminds me of using a microscope. thanks all.

To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2007 1:26:01 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.