Shooting From the Hip… 5 Candid Photography Tips
Have you ever wondered how some street photographers “get that shot?” Have you heat the phrase “Shooting From the Hip” and wondered what that meant? Shooting From the Hip is a term used for a camera method where you, as the term implies, shoot from the hip. While most people think you randomly point and shoot your camera many street photographers use this principle and understand their cameras focal distance, the focal point of their lens, and have learned how to compose the shot without looking through the viewfinder.
At first, this technique can be a bit of a hit and miss (out of focus photos or subject’s not in the frame). However, with some practice, you’d get pretty good at it and produce some great looking shots.
1. Use a fast lens. I know I must sound like a broken record but a prime lens is ideal as it’s less noticeable and more lightweight to carry. Think 24mm, 35mm or 50mm.
2. Get close to your subject. The more expression or detail you see, the more your subject will be able to tell a story.
3. Set to an AutoFocus. AF can track your moving subject and focus accordingly. Your camera will lock onto the subject and adjust the focus accordingly, helping to produce a clearer image.
4. Set smaller aperture. A smaller aperture means more chance that your subject will be focused. When I shoot from the hip I normally have mine set between f/4.0 – 6.0. Again, the smaller the aperture, the more your subject will be in focus. Remember, smaller aperture = larger f-stop number.
5. Start walking and shooting. If you feel up to this challenge, hit the streets and take photos! At first you might take 50 shots and only end up with 1-2 photo that shows up in focus and in frame, but trust me, that photo will be brilliant. Pay attention to how far away and your orientation to the subjects that you were shooting. As I’ve stated before… this is the key to mastering Shooting From the Hip.