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Shutter release delay: Shoot from the Hip Photography Part 4

August 5th, 2012 1 Comment

Here is one practical application of my exhortation to make your camera an extension of your body.  Every camera’s shutter button (by way of the shutter release mechanism) activates the shutter curtain after some or another slight ‘shutter release delay’ that is measured in milliseconds.  (The finer and more expensive the camera, the briefer the shutter delay, and vice versa.) 

By practice and more practice, you will intuit your camera’s shutter-release delay and you will gradually learn to shoot some milliseconds in advance of the moment-to-be-frozen; if you deliberately set out to do so.  (All digital cameras use AutoFocus (AF) unless you go with manual focussing in the high-end DSLR models.  AF delay in high-end non-DSLRs can be as long as half a second and that is enough to eliminate an instantaneous opportunity.)  H

ad I not known how fast (slow) my Canon A-1 released the shutter, I would not have been able to take the photo of Rusty at the moment she was on her back, legs up.  As for the photo of the reared-up cat, my old snapshot digital camera has a looong shutter curtain delay.  I consciously ‘pulled the trigger’ a split-second earlier than I thought the subject cat would be in optimum position.  With trial and error and experience with one and the same camera, you will learn this skill.

That said, this difficult skill is, paradoxically, quite easy to acquire with a simple method, specially since the advent of digital cameras as you can monitor your synchronization (or lack thereof) immediately on a per-attempt basis.  Make sure that you use the same camera with which you’ll be doing your shooting from the hip.  Affix or hang a target on a wall and set your camera’s coverage with the target in the centre and about five feet of space on each side.  Have a friend gently toss tennis balls across the target.  You must not pan the camera to track the arcing ball; you are to snap a picture of it in flight as close to the target and as much in the centre of your frame as you can (assuming your friend’s toss is accurate).  You will almost surely find that your first few or several attempts are shot much too late.  After a little practice, you will consistently be able to shoot the balls when they’re near the middle of your frame.  Voila! you now know your camera’s shutter’s behaviour and are on the way to making it an extension of yourself.

Read all the Parts – Shoot From the Hip Photography Master Class 


One Response

  1. […] is a huge leap for (D)SLRs because it reduces shutter release delay to near-nothing.  With this innovation, synchronization to freeze an instant is a […]

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