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

Well I never!

Could it be then that unconscious bias towards out own photos to share has roots in just this? Every single day is a school day! Goodness me.
 
Thinking about it, I'd say it is more comfortable, and so easier, having a bird moving to the left (assuming you're right-handed), as opposed to going away from you. Without looking at my pictures I would have guessed I had more looking to the left, but, as I say, it turns out I have an even split (of those I've kept).
 

Why in the majority of photos the birds look at left?​


So, I'm looking at the 735 pg. Smithsonian's Birds of North America, Western Region. There are nine birds shown on the cover, five of which are facing right. On the back there's a Steller's Jay facing left, and on the spine a hawk facing right. That's enough statistics for me.

True story. I had a friend who really felt that he could flip a coin so that it turned up heads more often than not. In fact, it even seemed that way to me. So I asked him to flip a coin 100 times and call the outcome while the coin was still in the air. If he was right I marked down a check, if not a cross.

How many checks did he get at the end of 100 tosses? Exactly 50.* :giggle:

Ed
* The probability of that event happening with a fair coin is 0.0795.

https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=\frac{1}{2}^{100} \times \binom{100}{50}
 
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Why in the majority of photos the birds look at left?​


So, I'm looking at the 735 pg. Smithsonian's Birds of North America, Western Region. There are nine birds shown on the cover, five of which are facing right. On the back there's a Steller's Jay facing left, and on the spine a hawk facing right. That's enough statistics for me.

True story. I had a friend who really felt that he could flip a coin so that it turned up heads more often than not. In fact, it even seemed that way to me. So I asked him to flip a coin 100 times and call the outcome while the coin was still in the air. If he was right I marked down a check, if not a cross.

How many checks did he get at the end of 100 tosses? Exactly 50.* :giggle:

Ed
* The probability of that event happening with a fair coin is 0.0795.

https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=\frac{1}{2}^{100} \times \binom{100}{50}
Brings back memories of playing 'odds and evens' with my dinner money at school. I quickly realised to only play on a Thursday as that was the only day that I used to win on...
 
Ultimately, birds face left on photos because it is the basic rule of composing images.

People in the West read left to right and subconsciously sweep the picture with their eyes from left to right. So, the composition with a bird looking left appears more visually pleasing, more 'closed'. The composition with the bird facing right looks more dynamic, good for flight shots and action shots. Sometimes, photographers simply flip photos horizontally.

Multiple pictures in a book are often arranged so that birds face towards the middle of the cover or of the two-page spread.

The second thing is that most photographers don't put the bird exactly in the middle of the photo, but leave more space before the bird, 'to give a breathing space'.
 
I take a picture or two occasionally. If the bird is facing left I take a picture, if it's facing right I'll take picture, if it's facing towards me I'll take a picture. I will take Nuthatch pictures with the beak facing downwards or a Treecreeper with the bill pointing more or less upwards. I do admit to not taking a picture if it's facing away from me.
🤪
 
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