Left eye perspective

There’s a funny thing I noticed when holding a camera. It’s something I had trouble with when learning to shoot in the army, as well:

I am right handed and right footed, but primarily use my left eye.

It’s called a “master eye” (in Dutch anyway) and you can check it like this: Hold your hands out in front of you with a hole between them, and focus your eyes on something through that hole. Now close one eye. If she subject shifts out of sight, the eye you had been closing is your primary eye, and the other is mostly used for estimation of distance and as a back-up.

I had never noticed before that when I hold up a BB gun of the 9mm-type, I actually use my left eye to aim. Imagine my confusion when handed a rifle and literally not being able to look down the sights, holding it against my right shoulder but closing my right eye when aiming.

This results in an unusual style when shooting pictures, as well. While most people look through the viewfinder with their right eye, I use my left and as a result, have a harder time checking my surroundings without moving the camera away, not something you want to do when shooting the action.

It’s most obvious when I’m working in portrait frame. Everyone turns their camera to the left and sort of leaves it hanging between their fingers, carrying most of the weight with their left hand on the lens. I turn to the right and let it rest in my palm.

Not a big deal you might say, if it weren’t for the fact that so-called battery grips are designed for tilting your camera to the left. Since I don’t know of any cameras with left-handed design, this means that those grips are useless to me, other than the fact that they carry extra batteries. Kind of makes me wonder if this will pose any more problems using tripods, flashes and so on.

When using a rifle, I just had to forcibly learn to use my right eye. But it’s not as good as my left, so I rather not change that habit unless really necessary…

An acquaintance who owns a saltwater aquarium once mentioned something that goes around amongst enthusiasts: Gallon fever. It’s the urge to always go a step further and buy a larger aquarium as soon as it becomes available. He described it as the feeling that your aquarium becomes visibly smaller as soon as you notice a bigger one.

Photography equipment: the exact same thing. Canon recently released the 60D, which distances itself a little more from the semi-pro and plants itself smack in the “advanced users” category. It’s sleek, it’s handy, and I fucking want one.

Pretty much everything about this camera is better than mine, and some features are ones that I really missed, like an articulating LCD screen and user-adjustable kelvin values for accurate white balance. It’s buffer size is immense (58 jpegs/16 RAWs at 5.3 frames per second wtf) and it looks like it’s aerodynamic enough to fly. It’s sex in an aluminium and polycarbonate resin with glass fibre body.

I got my camera back in february, which means it’s getting close to one year now. And it looks exactly how I wanted it to look when I got it: There’s war paint on it, the textile strap is showing signs of wear and the viewfinder rubber is torn and glued back on. It looks used, and like it has proved its worth in everything I put it through.
While a year is not much even in terms of electronics, this particular model (500D) is now 2 generations behind on the 60D. This is the point where professional photographers buy a new body to stay ahead of the game. Yes, I am not a pro photographer, but this isn’t a pro model, either.

I can’t justify this new body at the moment, but damnit, it’s painful to let it just sit there in the shop while at the moment, I could technically afford one. But, I have investments to make in a tripod and flash first, not to mention the audio equipment I am currently working with and the trip up north we’ll be making in a few months.

Sponsorship is, at the moment, more than welcome. Did I mention it’s my birthday tomorrow?

I’ve been joining a friend who takes photography class, hoping to get some feedback on my photos. People there seem quite welcoming even though I haven’t paid a cent for what seems to be a pretty legit class. I haven’t had the chance to discuss possible improvements yet, but I don’t want to skip in line.

The flipside of the coin? I have to be a model. I’d put up examples here but they’re not mine, and although I have them, I’m not going to distribute someone else’s work before they even had a chance to edit it or even give me permission to do so. So far I’ve been using them to experiment post-processing portraits on, flattering myself with dramatic lighting and smooth skin. Dark eyes make me look manly.

It’s strange how you get to know people in a very different way when editing their photos. I don’t like editing portraits with the model sitting next to me, because it often leads to awkward silences when I zoom in to darken certain bodyparts. I sometimes deliberately bring out imperfections on the skin (I actually love doing that with shots of myself), which always provokes reactions from the model.

I too disagree on what the photographer thinks are the best shots, because I think I look like a cocksucker on them. But if that’s the look she was going for, I just get to “stand there and look pretty” and otherwise shut my hole- my opinion is irrelevant. For an aspiring photographer like myself, I must say it’s a unique experience, and part of the learning process to experience the whole process from the other side of the lens.

PS I look dashing when underexposed. hint


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