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Split Second Foresight: Shoot from the Hip Photography Part 5

August 5th, 2012 No Comments

Instantaneous ‘Shoot from the Hip’ photography; which is not limited to persons and pets; natural events and city incidents lend themselves to this type of photography;  is the diametric opposite of portraits and interiors, as mentioned, and requires a different mental approach.  When you approach a portrait or still life, you give careful consideration to camera angles, aperture, lighting, focal length, filters, etc.  You use a tripod.  These are virtually no considerations at all in instantaneous shoot from the hip situations because you have only milliseconds to minutes to work with.  The common thread in almost all instantaneous shoot from the hip situations is split-second foresight with synchronization.  For four of the five photographic situations described earlier, had I clicked the shutter just milliseconds before or after I did, I would not have frozen the images presented here. 

Awareness and foresight of how a particular situation involving persons, animals or inanimate but moving objects (trains, wind-disturbed clothing, etc.) is going to unfold or pan out will let you foresee the precise split-second of interest and then synchronize the image-capture with blink-of-an-eye instant.  For this reason, if you’re interested in applying this kind of photography to a particular area or subject, you must learn or observe that subject’s behaviour so that you can foresee when it is going to do what.  For example, first-rate bird photographers are not just experts in photography; they are experts in bird behaviour.

You can roll off a large number of exposures on auto (done in the old days with an attachment to the camera body called a ‘motor drive’) but that is akin to using a machine gun in the hope of getting one good shot.  (Modelling shoots are done in ‘machine gun mode’.)  That is very much a hit-and-miss approach.  As opposed to a machine gunner, a sharpshooter usually fires only one shot; but he makes it count.  If you try to absorb the methods illustrated in this primer and try to practice and apply them, you can be a photographic sharpshooter.  Next, I describe a photographic situation in which, to paraphrase Vince Lombardi, foresight plus synchronization was not everything, it was the only thing.


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