"During the Second World War,

May 13, 2019,14:28 PM

Goebbles [Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945] gave an order to all cameramen at the front: 'The German soldier always attacks from left to right.' That was it, no further explanation. Sure enough, if you look at old newsreels, the Germans always advance from the left to the right of the screen. (on both the Eastern and Western Front) ... The question we need to ask ourselves is: why does the direction of their movement make soldiers look so victorious and optimistic? There must be something within us, some hidden law." — Werner Herzog (A Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations with Paul Cronin)

When I have discussed this with other photographers the 'quick and dirty' reply is because we read from left to right.  Well then it must be cultural because some languages are read from right to left.  The other day I noticed a person get off their bicycle on the right side and felt it was the strangest thing ; )

Which version seem more natural to you?

The spiral stairs in castle towers were designed to ascend clockwise, to make the attackers expose more of their body in order to use their swords in their right hands. Do contemporary stair users (architects) have a preference?

One of the things about Herzog that I enjoy is his ability to see through a lot of these patterns and use/abuse them in his movies.


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 By: Cpt Scarlet : May 13th, 2019-14:33
left to right works for me.

Good points!

 By: patrick_y : May 13th, 2019-15:01
Hmm... I know that the reason why the British drive on the left is so that way they could face their enemies with their right hands. Their right hands had their swords.

When Japan was building it's railroad...

 By: cshimokita : May 13th, 2019-17:10
Support from America, France, and Britain was short listed. Britain won out and in 1872 the first Japanese railway was up and running... a massive network followed, all of which were left-side running, cars followed the established pattern. I understand t... 

I didn't know that about that Okinawa switch! Thanks for letting me know!

 By: patrick_y : May 13th, 2019-23:02
Thank you for sharing this very interesting information!

This is fascinating and something I will think about and share

 By: doubleup : May 13th, 2019-15:11
Very interesting and exactly the type of thing to make me stop what I am doing and devote some thought to. I think left to right does not make me think of advancing, but right to left looks like a retreat. Interesting on the stair case, have never heard o... 

How interesting.

 By: Bounce781 : May 13th, 2019-16:13
Left to right seems more “natural” to my eyes. I’ve never Noted that. Thanks for posting the 2 photos

Excellent point,

 By: Adamska : May 13th, 2019-16:43
of course that in our Western culture the left-to-right image holds a more positive connotation - in other words, it represents progress versus the inverse which represents regress . But, as you already pointed out, different cultures see the same thing d... 

Great post. That’ll get me thinking, but intrinsically...

 By: nomadgiles : May 14th, 2019-02:57
...from your pictures it feels: LtoR - heading out for the day; RtoL - heading home. And no wars in between 😊

Thank you nomadgiles...

 By: cshimokita : May 14th, 2019-04:58
The photo is from early April when I was cherry blossoms viewing at 新宿御苑 (Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden). Wonderful location... I can also recommend the book where I found the quote: " Werner Herzog - A Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations with Paul Cr... 

left vs right handed...

 By: gmark2800 : May 14th, 2019-09:59
I wonder if a person being right handed vs left handed makes any difference.

What causes some people to be left-handed,

 By: cshimokita : May 14th, 2019-14:36
and why are fewer people left-handed than right-handed? It seems that the "Scientific American" has some thoughts on the matter. I don't necessarily agree with the article below and it was never the intention to discuss genetic theories ; ) ... in part my... 

Fantastic post

 By: ChristianDK : May 14th, 2019-12:25
”obviously”! - the first feels more natural- very interesting. When I’m searching through my book shelves I feel nauseous if I go from right to left!