On Being a Left-Hemisphere Person

A few years back, I took one of those internet tests that tells you if you’re a right-hemisphere (creative) person, or left-hemisphere (logical) person.  I always fancied myself as a creative person, though deep down inside I knew I was closer to being Mr. Spock than George Gershwin.  Sure enough, when I finished the exam, I discovered I’m most definitely a left-hemisphere person.

 Great, I thought, all I can look forward to now is taking boring pictures.

But the thought occurred to me that maybe being left-hemisphere isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I dabble in portrait and model photography and have discovered that preparation is everything when you’re photographing people.  Somebody has to fret the details like, what camera to use?  Should I shoot film or digital?  If I’m shooting film, do I use 35mm, medium-format or large format?  What color backdrop should I use?  When do we start?  When do we finish?  The list of things to worry about is endless.  And that’s where a left-hemisphere person is probably at their best, planning and dealing with the details.  

As for the creative side, I’ve also discovered that it’s there, locked inside my head, I just have to work harder to access it.  That’s one reason why I shoot Polaroid’s, by their very nature they’re non-conventional, which forces me to think outside the box.  

But in the end, I think both right and left hemisphere work together to create a good image.  You got to have creativity, but you also have to have a certain sense of order.  Understanding lighting, apertures, depth of field, etc., are left-hemisphere stuff, and their proper use can enhance the creative aspects of the final picture.  

But still, if given a choice, I wish I was closer to George Gershwin than Mr. Spock.  But it is, what it is.

Time to Resurrect this Blog

I suppose it’s time I add to my blog.  Don’t expect anything fancy, but once in awhile, I’ll add comments when something that interests me comes to mind.


I’m often asked why I still shoot film.  Nostalgia is part of it.  I grew up with film cameras and using one is as natural as breathing.  Plus I like the feel of using one of these old mechanical devices.  As the late-lamented Modern Photography magazine put it back in the 1970’s when talking about the Canon F-1, “this camera harkens back to an era when cameras were built like fine, scientific instruments.”  I’ll take it a step father and say all quality, classic film cameras harken back to that era.  There’s no comparing the build quality of my film Leica MP to my digital Olympus OM-D.


But there’s something else besides the feel of a camera, I just like the look of film, especially B&W.  While I’ve successfully taken a color digital pic and converted it to B&W (with impressive results too), there’s still something about the look of Kodak Tri-X, or Ilford FP4, or Efke 25 that draws me to film.  Grain, tonal range, and the fact that I process it myself in my darkroom (the laundry room) are all part of it.  Plus having the physical negative means that if my hard drive crashes, I still have an image.  If you haven’t backed up your digital images, if your hard drive crashes, you’ve lost everything.


But I’m not stuck in the past either.  I have three digital cameras and take a hell of a lot more digital pics than film pics.  Digital has it’s place, for me color, and there’s no arguing it’s speed and convenience.  There’s no arguing quality either, a properly “processed” DNG is very impressive.


I’ll continue to use both film and digital.  They both have their place.  I suppose, now, it’s choosing the camera that gives me the result I’m looking for.  It may be my old Polaroid SX-70 and a few packs of Impossible Film, my Olympus OM-D for model photography, or my Leica MP, and a roll of Tri-X, for street photography.  Choice is good, and it’s nice to live in a time where I have two excellent mediums, film and digital, to choose from.  


And that’s today’s thought.

My New Photo Website


Hey Folks,

This is my new photo website.  I'm just getting started, so bear with me as I learn the intricacies of setting up a webpage and making it look good.  

Check back on occasion, I'll have more to say later.