I know there are many discussions online about this topic, so I humbly apologise if I missed the answers to my following questions.

As I stated in the title I am right handed but left eye dominant, leading to me naturally using the viewfinder with my left eye. Out of convenience reasons I have the trigger (right hand) up when taking verticals. This means the camera covers most of my weaker right eye.

Now I've read about the advantages of having both eyes open to track movement outside the viewfinder. Leaving the eye open isn't a problem but I can't see much past the camera.

My questions are now:

  1. Is taking verticals with left eye and right hand up considered "bad practise" in general?

  2. Would you recommend switching to having the trigger (right hand) down as to to solve the field of view problem (seeing the camera with the right eye rather than the surroundings)? Even though it's less comfortable to me?

  3. Should I even consider switching my viewfinder eye to right to leverage the camera design (Canon 7D) in my case and possibly also have some vision of the surroundings when doing horizontals?

  • Trying to switch eyes is unlikely to yield any benefits. In firearm shooting, right handed left-eye dominant folks are often recommended to shoot lefty, using the off-hand instead of the off-eye. The same reason would be present in photography, with both eyes open you'd likely have trouble seeing anything through the viewfinder. May 26 '17 at 17:59
  • I have the same physical problem, but I have never even though of it as an issue. I have never found it an inconvenience in any way. I would think trying to shoot with both eyes open would be extremely difficult and something that few people would actually be able to do. I also shoot a firearm left handed, but that isn't an option for a camera.
    – Robin
    May 26 '17 at 19:16

Do what is most comfortable to you. I am also right handed and for whatever reason got used to using my left eye to look thru the view finder.

Personally, I find having both eyes open quite distracting. I've tried it because it was recommended, but trying to track the scene with one eye while looking thru the view finder with the other just doesn't work for me. I even tried it with a zoom lens set so that the scene sizes match, and it still confused and distracted me.

Again, do what works for you. The important thing is to recognize when vertical framing is better. Whether you rotate the camera clockwise or counter-clockwise to achieve that is completely up to you.


Like everything in photography, this is a case of tradeoffs. The only important metrics for "the right way" are in the photographs. So basically the options are:

  1. Shoot left eye, right hand up in exchange for more difficulty with stereoscopic tracking.

  2. Shoot right eye, right hand up in exchange for a less natural viewing experience through the viewfinder.

  3. Shoot left eye, right hand down in exchange for less ergonomic access to the camera's controls.

  4. Shoot right eye, right hand down in exchange for possibly getting a particular shot and for completing the through the lens possibilities. There's also live view and shooting from the hip.

Anyway, options 2 and 3 can be improved with practice assuming the less dominant eye is not significantly blinded or otherwise afflicted.

When shooting action, it is probably a good idea to improve weak eye tracking because sometimes subjects move across scenes left to right and sometimes right to left and sometimes what is happening in front supports the subject and sometimes what is happening behind supports the subject.

Practicing shooting with an alternate grip probably takes more practice for proficiency than using the non-dominant eye because our brains are more adaptable and reconfigurable than the control ergonomics of a DSLR.


From a camera stability standpoint, right hand down is preferred to right hand up because you can still tuck your right elbow into your torso. When the right hand is up your right elbow is out in space with nothing to support/stabilize it. It just takes getting used to if you have been shooting right hand up instead fo down. If you are left eye dominant you also gain the advantage of being able to see with the right eye as well.

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