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Brains: Are you a Harry? Or are you a Larry?

Published March 9th, 2012

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 use them in different ways. More or less successfully. That we know from politics.

There are left brainers and there are there 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.

The reason I state it like that is that the left brain/right brain distinction seems mainly to apply to men. Women 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. (Some research indicate this.)

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. Creativity resides here.

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 more about it on the internet. Just search right brain/left brain.

Now take the simple test. You'll find it at There are plenty more tests out there. Not all as simple as this. Go look them up.

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 train your way to fill in the white spots. Even as a street photographer. You will, however, probably always have the preferred way: what you like the most.

Good luck with it.


Winston's Vocation.

Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011.

  • Leica X1

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