Shooting from the hip?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by ToddB, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Hey guys,

    I wondered if iny one had any luck shooting from the hip? Meaning sunny 16 rule and focusung on infinity. Think your shots would be in focus?
     
  2. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Focus, yes. Exposure, near enough (depending on the camera). But whenever I've tried (generally Bessa L with 21/4 or R3A with 40/1.4, sometimes Petri 7s with 40/2.8), the main thing that I've learnt is: I cannot hold a camera level if my life depended on it.
     
  3. Lowly

    Lowly Member

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    I've been trying this for the last month. Focus and exposure are usually OK, and it's good for taking candids. But composition is hopeless and I'm not ending up with many pictures worth keeping. But there are some that could not be done by raising the camera to your eye, and some that are happy accidents, so it makes me want to keep trialing it for a bit longer.
     
  4. artonpaper

    artonpaper Subscriber

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    Back in the 70s I took a course with Lou Lanzano called Street Shooting, and we were encouraged to do blind shooting or shooting from the hip. I used f 16, an appropriate shutter speed, and zone focused using the depth of field scale on my old, old Leica 35 mm lens, Tri-X Rodinaol, 1:31. Lots of good snaps and hardly ever level, but that's part of the charm. I still shoot like that occasionally.

    Best,
    Doug
     
  5. jk0592

    jk0592 Member

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    Sunny 16 works OK in BW. But better to focus on hyperfocal instead of infinity.
     
  6. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Of course there's the other way to shoot from the hip I've also tried: Hasselbladski with WLF, or the Rolleicord I got at a garage-sale last weekend (light readings via Digisix), they work out really good...
     
  7. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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  8. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    I've done it with an AF camera in the dark a couple times- I used the focus illuminator of my speedlight to aim, and actually got some okay results.
     
  9. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Both of the following photographs were made from the hip using a Yashica Mat-124G TLR.

    The camera was suspended around my neck on a comfortable wide cloth strap. I wore a worn jacket that had holes in the pockets. The shutter release was connected to an air bulb inside the right pocket, with the air hose passing through the jacket lining. This way I was able to walk around with both hands in my pockets and still release the shutter.

    I had a handheld incident meter that I used to establish both sunny and shady exposures. I then alternated the shutter speed based on my intended subjects. The viewfinder hood remained closed.

    Framing was worked out in advance at home with the camera on a tripod at the simulated height, and pieces of masking tape stuck to a garage door showing the angles subtended based on the distance. A comfortable depth of field was worked out and then those exact same settings were used exclusively in the field. I knew my subjects all had to be positioned inside that predefined three-dimensional "box".

    Medium format was chosen specifically to allow the flexibility of cropping deep into the negative. This allowed for correction of both compositional errors and inadvertent frame tilt while in the darkroom.

    One nice side effect of this setup is that the camera was enough of a visual novelty that in many cases it assured the subject's eyes were looking directly into the lens as they checked it out, and thus also directly into the eyes of the eventual viewer. The subject just saw a cool looking old camera hanging around some guy's neck, and never realized it was also actively looking back at them. The first photo below is a good example of that effect.

    Photo #1: Blind Date

    Photo #2: Looking

    Ken
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2013
  10. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I tried this with a Sigma 18-35 lens on a Nikon F80. I set the lens to manual focus, and the camera to shutter priority. I used film rated at 1600 to maintain smaller apertures and large depth of field. It worked, to an extent, but I never found a satisfactory method of discretely tripping the shutter. In busy urban areas, the big shutter sound of an SLR goes unnoticed. I intend trying again, perhaps with a camera that uses an electronic cable release. My horizons were all sloping to some degree. Alex


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
     
  11. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    Ken, it worked well. The first one's good, but the second one, "Looking", is excellent.
     
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Use the hyperfocal distance for whatever f:stop you select, not infinity.
     
  13. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Thanks, I really appreciate that.

    I don't have a problem approaching someone and directly asking. But although asking is polite, sometimes when you ask you lose the entire reason to make the photograph in the first place. Asking the group of individuals in #2 to artificially pose as you see them would have been a disaster.

    Ken
     
  14. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Great images DB. Love the last one where the young man is stretched out in his stride. Awesome!! I love to candid images, espially street photos
     
  15. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    This one from the hip, using a Contax T2:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Wow. So much tension. Well done, Rich.

    Ken
     
  17. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Thanks Ken.
     
  18. David T T

    David T T Member

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    red shirt.jpg

    Olympus XA held down at arm's length in my right hand. Been working on this this Fall, with mostly fails but I'm getting better.
     
  19. pentaxpete

    pentaxpete Subscriber

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    I try 'shooting from the Hip' when out and have some success -- I used my 1966 Carl Zeiss Werramatic loaded with outdated Agfa 200 film rated at 100 ASA for this and did a 16x12" Competition print for my Club but the judge said it was 'not straight' -- but I LIKE it still!
    [​IMG]
    Yawn by pentaxpete, on Flickr