Hip Shots

On the Bus

By Whyndham Standing

(Click images for larger views.)

The “Hip Shots” series of Doodlemeister.com photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise being to create dynamic pictures, not perfect ones. With this ” shoot-from-the-hip” method, the more frames  exposed, the better the chances are that you’ll come up with something interesting—a related series that can be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own pictures, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below. Meanwhile, click on these images for a larger view, and click the “Hip Shots” tag above for more examples. For another post in the series, tune in next Friday.

Copyright © 2011 Whyndham Standing.
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4 Responses to Hip Shots

  1. hello! i just wanna ask how you take these “hip shots”… someone told me about “stomach photography”, where you just let your DSLR hang onto your neck (hence, it’s on your stomach, depending on how long your neck strap is) but you press the shutter button without bringing the viewfinder to your eye. is it the same method?? 🙂

  2. Jim says:

    Thanks for your comment, shutterslacker, and for the question. (Really enjoyed your blog, BTW.) “Stomach photography” is more or less the same the same technique. “Hip Shots” is a catch-all term I came up with that refers to any image taken without looking through what used to be called the camera “viewfinder.” The one problem I see with “stomach photography,” wherein the camera hangs from the neck strap, is that it can limit the surprising and dynamic range of diagonals that often result when the hand holding the camera is free to move up or down, left or right, or in any other direction, at will. In other words, there is a lot more opportunity for variety in the POV. What I love about this method is the lack of control — I never know what I have, or if I have anything worthwhile for a post — until after I’ve loaded the images onto my computer. Hope this helps and that perhaps you’ll submit some of your own hip-or stomach-shots for consideration for posting on DoodleMeister. Of course I’ll understand if you’d rather post them on your own blog, but I hope you’ll let me know if you do so I can see them . . . also, I’ve linked to your blog under the “Photography” tab in the sidebar . . .

  3. i’ll do this hip shooting the next time i get to bring my camera out of the house, thanks! hopefully i’ll get some cool images…

    anyway, how do i do it exactly? just press the shutter while holding the camera and pointing it randomly to whatever? but not looking through the viewfinder?

    btw, thanks for linking my blog to your sidebar! it’s an honor^_^

  4. Jim says:

    Right, don’t look through the view finder and don’t worry too much about framing and focus. The idea is to surprise yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you have no control at all. For instance, you can choose an interesting background in a public place and point the camera in the general direction of people strolling through. You can hold the camera at different levels — hip, waist and chest high. You can tip the camera this way and that to get those dynamic diagonals with people and objects “bleeding off the edges of the frame. One good general rule of thumb is to get as close as possible to the people, or parts of people, you want to include in the frame — and turn your head away from them when you shoot. This will distract them (and you) from your action. Another important thing is to turn off the “click” sound on your DSLR, so you won’t draw attention to yourself. Be sneaky but in a good way. Finally, study the “Hip Shots” I have archived under the tab at the top of the DoodleMeister home page for some specific ideas. Feel free to use whatever appeals and then come up with your own. I’ll be looking forward to some of your results and I’m also look forward to learning from your work.

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