"Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn."

~ benjamin Franklin


He is one of the best educators I have ever worked with, regardless of discipline…I will come back in a heartbeat, to take other workshops at the gallery that Mr Banks is conducting.”

~ Mr R Fosler, Massachusetts, USA


"I just wanted to thank you once again for the Robin Hood’s Bay course last week. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but more than that I left with a far greater confidence in my compositional abilities, and a decent basic knowledge of Lightroom. The location, accommodation and organisation were first rate, and your maxim of always considering the composition and only later considering whether you could pull it off resounded."

~ Mr N Farrimond, UK

Right v Left!

Welcome to the 3rd part of my Practical Photography tutorials - Right v Left.

Landscape Photography Tutorials by Mark Banks - Right v Left!

Experiments have shown that the two different sides of your brain are responsible for the different ways you think. Most people tend to have a distinct preference of one over the other. Some, however, are equally adept at both. Therefore, for the majority of you reading this it’s likely you favour the right or left part of your brain but not both equally. I believe it is important to understand which camp you are in as I have witnessed first hand workshop participants who find themselves frustrated by not seeing a composition as easy as a fellow photographer in the same location (a ‘left brained’ thinker ) or a photographer who forgot a crucial technical step whilst setting up their camera (a ‘right brained’ thinker). 


Therefore it’s important to understand which side of the brain you favour so that you can spend more time training the opposite side.

  • A ‘left brained’ thinker is; logical, sequential, rational, analytical, objective, looks at parts.
  • A ‘right brained’ thinker is; random, intuitive, holistic, synthesizing (combines a number of things into a whole), subjective, looks at wholes.

Poached not scrambled!

This leads me to a discipline I taught myself a number of years ago, which I believe helped improve my compositional skills for the better.

Once I found out that the two parts of the brain worked differently I figured that if I concentrate on only one or the other part of my brain at any one time this might help my photography overall.

Therefore, when I arrive at my destination I purely focus on composition only (the ‘art’ or ‘right’ side of the brain). At this point I am not at all considering the technical side or how I’m going to achieve making the image, I’m purely looking for a pleasing composition (using the techniques outlined in the ‘Composition’ section above). Now for the most important part! If I’m planning on taking more than one image in that same location I will carry on looking for other compositions so that I carry on using the right side of my brain, and whilst doing so, commiting to memory the rough location for each composition I find. 

Once I’m happy that I’ve exhausted all ideas and compositions I then return to each location in turn (as and when the light is right of course) and begin setting up the camera equipment - but now totally focusing on the technical or left side of the brain to ensure that each image is technically as good as you can achieve. 

As a reminder to work in this way think of your brain as being two poached eggs, one for each side of your brain, and try not to scramble the two. This way you may just find your compositional skills improve, too.

All the above points require a little more planning and a little extra time to reach your destination so that you can put this into practice, which leads us on to my next topic - time!

Learn more

If you've enjoyed reading Mark's tutorials and would like to learn more why not consider a one day practical or post-production workshop on a one-to-one basis with Mark. Alternatively, Mark runs several group workshops every year in some of the most beautiful places in the UK. Take a look on the 'Tuition' page for a full list of workshops currently available or contact Mark by e-mail - for available dates.