a blog by knut skjærven

Brains: Are You A Larry Or A Harry?

Winston's Vocation.© Knut Skjærven.

Picture text: Winston’s Vocation: The two brain halves caught in one shot. There you see Larry, the book worm. There you see Harry, dreaming the day away.

You have probable discovered that being a good photographer there are some parts of the job you like better than others. And sure, there are probably also things that you do better at than others. That’s very natural and goes for all areas of life.

The brain works differently too. Or should I say that the brains work differently. We have more than one and you use them in different ways. More or less successfully.

There are left brainers and there are right brainers. Properly speaking we talk about the two brain halves and how they function.

Then there are the women. Maybe there are the women. I have to be a bit careful here since research is not that clear on this. The area is somewhat blurred.

The reason I state it like that is that the left brain/right brain distinction seems mainly to apply to men. Women seemed to have a more even spread of brain capacities. Like it or not. They might, in fact, be good at a variety of things. Men seem to be mentally more slim.

The left brain is good for details, verbal activities, numbering, accounting, linear structures and the like. It sees, and handles details.

The right brain is good for visuals, phantasy, great ideas, dreaming, things like that. Is sees, and handle wholes. This is the creative side.

As a photographer you would probably like to know if you are a typical left brainer or a typical right brainer. There are tests you can take. You will be introduced to one in a minute, but you need to do your homework first.

Now is the time to do a bit of self reflection. Stand up and go in front of a mirror. Ask this question: Am I a typical right brainer, or am I a typical left brainer?

If you are a woman you don’t have to do this. You probably know the answer already.

I am sure that you will come up with an answer that is pretty close to the proper one. People tend to know themselves rather well in this respect.

Read about it on the internet. Just search right brain/left brain. Lots of stuff comes up.

Now take the simple test. You’ll find it at about.com. There are plenty more tests out there. Not all as simple as this.

Why is this interesting? What does it have to do with street photography?

Here are some answers.

The first reason is that it might help explaining your preferred approach to street photography. We normally like best what we are good at. Are you a Larry or are you a Harry?

Are you good at seeing things, good to detect a balanced composition, a dealer of right proportions, then you may very well be a right brainer. You will be a Harry.

Are you good at seeking out details, do proper planning, having an inclination to speak more about your camera than your photographs, then you may very well be a left brainer. You will be a Larry.

Normally one of your brain halves will have the upper hand.

The very good thing is this: If you know what you are (right of left) you will be able to trains your way to fill in the bleak spots. Even as a street photographer. You will, however, probably always have the preferred way: what you like doing the most.

Good luck with it.


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