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Shooting from the Hip E-mail
(8 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   
Thursday, 29 October 2009 07:19
Assignment Number One
Your first assignment is quite simple. Sometimes it's fun to do candid photography, that is walking around and photographing people without them knowing it. The camera changes the way people behave. If they are unaware of the camera you can capture their natural expressions.

Shooting from the Hip
The way to do that is have the camera hanging around your neck but don't put it up to your eye. Instead just point the camera in the direction of the subject as you walk on by, hold the shutter release button halfway down for a second to allow the camera time to focus and get an exposure reading, then snap the picture.

Candid Camera
It's a good technique for taking pictures in dangerous places like for example Vancouver's Downtown Eastside or in Third World countries; anywhere where people might get angry if you are taking pictures of their poverty, depravity and so on. In addition to the natural expressions, the low angle and quirky framing will give freshness to the photos.

To do so, use your widest wide-angle and set your camera exposure mode to shutter priority. You'll have to read the camera manual to figure out what that means. Also set photo quality to the highest setting possible. I usually shoot RAW but it requires some additional processing so stay with JPG for now. Oh boy, it's getting technical already! Then just walk around your neighborhood and if you see interesting people try to take their picture without them knowing it. It works with animals or objects as well. Take lots of photos. It's digital and free! That's your first assignment.

Click Image to Zoom

Shooting From the Hip: Allows you to get in close without the subject being aware. This shot, of a site security guard in Osaka, was taken at a slow shutter speed as well to emphasize the bustle of a "ga-doman" going nowhere fast. I exaggerated the motion blur by whipping the camera around to the right as I walked by, dragging the camera viewpoint across the front of the subject while snapping the picture.

Click Image to Zoom

Candid Camera: This joker wanted to be paid to for taking a picture of his burro painted up to look like a zebra. Guess who didn't get paid for animal abuse. You can see he's clearly choked by my refusal to pay. The stripes seem to be catching.... That was pure serendipity. This was taken in Tijuana, Mexico with good old fashioned Plus X Pan.
Zebra Hee-Haw

All photographs were taken by Brian Grover. To browse more images visit my photo gallery here: Brian Grover Photography.


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In addition to viewing these assignments online, you can subscribe, having them delivered to your e-mail account on a biweekly basis over the course of an entire year. Subscribing helps to give you regular reminders and motivation to get out and shoot. To subscribe read the Introduction.


Copyright © 2007 Brian Grover. Content Distribution is Prohibited
The graphical images and content hosted at are viewable for private use only. All other rights - including, but not limited to, distribution, duplication, and publication by any means - are the exclusive property of Brian Grover and Whisky-Jack Communications. International law provides criminal and civil penalties for those found to be in violation.

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