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Why in the majority of photos the birds look at left? (1 Viewer)

Ted Y.

Forum member
Canada
In the first page of "New media", examining the photos with one bird:
-12 birds look at left
-4 birds look at right
-5 birds look to the photographer
This situation is not only for today.

Why the majority of photos are realized with the birds look at left?
Statistically speaking, it is an unbalanced situation.
 
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If you mean they are 'facing beak left' . I think subconsciously we read and view left to right, so we photograph things to where we see their face first (left) and body second (right).
 
You might as well ask the birds why they more often face left when getting their photos taken. Whenever I photograph a bird I find that the pose taken is entirely up to the bird and not me. My picture reflects the way the bird is pointing at that moment, and I often wish it wouldn't. By the time I shift position to get the bird facing right, the sun is in the wrong direction and the bird has flown away either from disturbance or boredom.
 
It's because, like most creatures, including humans, birds exhibit subtle asymmetrical bilateralism - in most cases the left hand side of the bird tends to be more aesthetically pleasing and therefore they tend to present this side to observers or in this case, photographers, more often, thus appearing to face left more frequently.
 
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It's because, like most creatures, including humans, birds exhibit subtle asymmetrical bilateralism - in most cases the left hand side of the bird tends to be more aesthetically pleasing and therefore they tend to present this side to observers or in this case, photographers, more often, thus appearing to face left more frequently.
Interesting theory. Shirihai & Svensson in their enormous two volumes book "Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds - Passerines" choose to depict all birds in "beak-to-the-left" photos exclusively (or if with turned head, at least "toes left", N.B. Only some photos on the book covers deviate from that strict rule). One may suspect some (or many?) original ("beak-to-the-right") photos had been mirrored to achieve that uniform appearance.
 
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Perhaps birds also have dominant non-dominant eye.

Just like most people use their right eye to look through a camera, birds use their dominant eye to examine the un-camouflaged photographer?
 
Perhaps we are conditioned to photograph them beak left due to the hand drawn picture book's tradition of beak left. When you turn the page, the bird on the left page first appears to be looking at you. How friendly! Versus if he was beak right, you'd be looking at him A$$, how rude !
 
But are the photos reversed in reality so in fact the birds are looking to the right - like words on a peaked cap for instance reading backwards...
 
In the first page of "New media", examining the photos with one bird:
-12 birds look at left
-4 birds look at right
-5 birds look to the photographer
This situation is not only for today.

Why the majority of photos are realized with the birds look at left?
Statistically speaking, it is an unbalanced situation.

I've just done a quick count of the hundreds of pictures I've kept and believe it or not, it is an exact even split.
 
What would happen were the viewer to move to the other side of the bird, would it turn around?

Regarding illustrations, perhaps it depends on the artists orientation, left or right handed?
 
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