By Catherine Bruce
The “Hip Shots” series of photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly,” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise is 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 may be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own images, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below.
Copyright © 2016 Catherine Bruce.
“Elaine May has a wonderful motto: ‘The only safe thing is to take a chance.’ “I think she means that if you stay safe, and don’t take a chance — don’t do something that’s different from the last thing, something that makes you nervous and holds dangers — if you keep trying to do the thing that worked last time, the encrustations of mannerisms begin to take you over. And pretty soon you’re no good at all — and therefore not safe at all. The longer you play it safe, the less interesting is what you do.”
Mike Nichols, the Director’s Art, by Barbara Gelb
NYT Magazine, May 27, 1984
The FedEx logo is famous among graphic designers. It has won buckets of design awards and has been ranked by some experts as one of the best logo designs in the last 35 years—or as some claim—ever. Nearly every design school professor and graphic designer will praise it as such, and some will then try to draw you into a discussion about its clever use of negative space. Many, though—like me at one time—want to display their design knowledge. But I’ve reformed. Now I only brag about my honesty; about how, until someone pointed it out, I had failed to notice the directional arrow created naturally by the relationship of two of the letters. How about you, do you see it?
By Catherine Bruce
Sometimes I grab a shot of something just because I like the color or there’s something vaguely appealing about it. I’m hoping that the thing together with it’s context will make an interesting photo. Often it doesn’t, and I find I have a picture I can’t do anything with. But I still like the part of the picture that attracted me in the first place. I came up with these pictures because I wanted to have some fun and salvage the interesting parts of uninteresting pictures. I called them “Modern Art” because eliminating the context of a photo often makes it “non-representational”— or even incomprehensible—which in modern art is sometimes considered a good thing.
Click images for larger views.
Catherine Bruce is a mostly-retired software developer who gave up film photography when she claims she stopped improving. When persuaded her that it’s not necessary to agonize in advance over what the photos will look like, she became more interested in snapping pictures with her digital camera. She still has a weakness for symmetry and order, but is working on developing a “hip-shot” mentality.