Why Should You Keep Both Eyes Open?

Digital SLR Photography Tips - Use Both Eyes When Shooting

Keeping Both Eyes Open When Taking a Photo

Keep both eyes open? This may sound a little strange, as we are taught to automatically close one eye when looking through the viewfinder. This generally helps to get a perspective of what you are looking at and keeps you focussed on the subject. However, try keeping both eyes open as an experiment. Let me tell you why it could come in handy.

Let’s say for example you are photographing a moving object. Or something that is a bit unpredictable like animals or a sports event. If you are looking with just one eye through the viewfinder, you are limiting your field of vision and therefore more likely to miss any action.

Looking through the viewfinder whilst keeping both eyes open however, and with practice, you can learn to watch and see more action. You see something out of the corner of your left eye (or the one not looking through the viewfinder) that you would normally have missed. You quickly turn the camera and SNAP, you got it! Do you see what I mean?

This technique in particularly useful when using telephoto lenses. It's because your field of vision is severely shortened leaving you more open to miss the action. You will have to learn to use both eyes when looking through the viewfinder as when you hold the camera vertically, your "free" eye would normally be looking at the back of the camera.

Easy Tiger

Strangely enough, it can also put your subject at ease. If you are looking at them through the viewfinder and they cannot see either of your eyes, it can be quite unnerving for them. If they can see one of your eyes, it gives them a "connection" to you as you work.

Most of the time you will be a stranger to your subject and doing this will put them at ease. One to remember when you are a famous wedding or portrait photographer!

One final benefit of using both eyes is that you are not "scrunching" one eye up all the time making the wrinkles more prominent on that eye ; )

Toddler Playing with Canon EOS 20D DSLR

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