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.