Shooting from the hip

Updated on June 6, 2017 in Photography
18 on May 29, 2017

Hello everyone ! 

That’s my first post here, and I wanna start with a topic that question me : shooting from the hip.

I mean, I think it’s a great way to shoot street photography, it’s really unobstructive, discret, and I like the idea of don’t interfere at all with the scene I’m shooting. It’s also a (maybe bad) way to deal with the fear of shooting in the street. 

It’s a bit hard, because you missed a lot of image due to lack of control on your framing, but if the result’s there, it’s the most important no ?

Plus, what do you guys think of the ethic of that method ? Do you think it can be consider as unfair, that people don’t see you ? 

Feel free to share experiences. 

BR,

Thomas. 

 

 
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Nice topic, Thomas 🙂

In my opinion it’s useful in situations in which you need to be discret. I generally do not use this method but sometimes I’m afraid of the situation (as you said) and so I shoot from the hip. The problem is that I’m not Always so lucky to make a nice photo in this way (generally I’m not), cause shooting without the single eye in the camera it’s not so easy for me.

About the ethic, in most of the circumstances, people inside my photos do not realize that they are inside my photo, even if I’m shooting with the eye in my camera, or my cell phone and I’m totally visible, so I don’t consider it unfair.

Have a nice day,

Francesca

 

on May 29, 2017
In my opinion it’s useful in situations in which you need to be discret. I generally do not use this method but sometimes I’m afraid of the situation (as you said) and so I shoot from the hip. The problem is that I’m not Always so lucky to make a nice photo in this way (generally I’m not), cause shooting without the single eye in the camera it’s not so easy for me.From effettiva

I’m mostly shooting in the subway these days. So I’m really close to the people I’m shooting, with no escape (the streets are a nice place to shoot bc of that). That’s why i’m using that. If I can give you an advice : use always the same lens, the camera always at the same height. With the time, it’s easier to visualise the shot. LCD screen is usefull too sometimes, to the same purpose. 

About the ethic, in most of the circumstances, people inside my photos do not realize that they are inside my photo, even if I’m shooting with the eye in my camera, or my cell phone and I’m totally visible, so I don’t consider it unfair.From effettiva

Haha, that’s true ! Most of the time, people don’t notice anything, that makes our fears of shooting them quite irrational. 

 

 

 

 

on May 29, 2017
I’m mostly shooting in the subway these days. So I’m really close to the people I’m shooting, with no escape (the streets are a nice place to shoot bc of that). That’s why i’m using that.From ThomasHMD

You’re so brave!!!

Everyday I’m in subway and I’m always shooting but I use my cell phone, first of all cause I cannot take the camera with me and secondly cause I’m afraid of people reaction 😀 (or maybe the opposite!)

If I can give you an advice : use always the same lens, the camera always at the same height. With the time, it’s easier to visualise the shot. LCD screen is usefull too sometimes, to the same purpose. From ThomasHMD

Thanks a lot for the advice, I’ll let you know! 🙂

 

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2 on May 29, 2017

Haha, the opposite ? Like : you cannot take people with you, and you’re afraid of the camera ? Looks like a problem 😀

You always can take your camera with you. Eugene Atget worked all his life with a big wooden box, which was uneasy to use, heavy, slow… and he make history. It’s just excuses we give ourselves, bc we’re lazy. I had the same problem : just bought a bigger bad, and that’s it. 

on May 29, 2017

Ahahahahahahahah 😀 exactly you got the point of the opposite!!

You are right Thomas. We give ourselves a lot of excuses, you are right. My compromise is that I use cell phone when I don’t have my camera: quality is not so high even if I have an iPhone 6, but it’s fast, comfortable and people do not complain cause they do not realize I’m shooting.

It’s the first step. About one year ago I didn’t even think about shooting street, not even with a cell phone. Maybe in one year time I’ll go aroung with a big wooden box 😀

I’m a patient person 😉

on May 30, 2017

That’s all I wish to you !

(But a nice camera will be enough, wodden boxes are a pain in the ass to use IMO)

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3 on May 30, 2017

In my opinion being an artist it’s all about choice. In photography especially, we need to make a lot of pictures in order to pick the right one. So, I wanna have full control of my camera. I can’t just randomly shoot and wish that the shot is harmonious. It just doesn’t seem to me the best option to play.
I usually suggest to people who shoots from the hips to go out and try to do that with analog photography. You’ll see that you can’t waste shots with film, because of the cost of it, and, much more important, because of the time that will pass between the moment of the shot and the moment when you will actually see the picture in your hands.
If after perhaps one month of waiting you’ll need to sacrifice thirty six shots, you’ll definitely change your mind about shooting from the hips.
My two cents.

on June 4, 2017

I shoot from the hip with film all the time. I get a pretty good hit ration and much better and more shots than if I made the subjects aware of what I was doing. 

on June 4, 2017

The challenge is to make photos with your gear right at your eyes level and make people unaware of what you are doing and let them be natural.
Ever heard about Winogrand?
Anyway, I’m curious, give me a link where I can have a look at your work! 😉

on June 6, 2017

The analogy with film is relevant indeed. I’ll think about it. Thanks man. 

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1 on May 30, 2017

I’m not a fan of shooting from the hip. I like to kn ow what I’m framing. In photography it’s all about what you put, and put not in the frame. (quote from Joel Meyerowitz). How can you know what you frame when shooting from the hip? It then just gets random, basically a monkey can shoot from the hip. Where is my vision and creativity in that?

Apart from that I think it is sneaky. It looks like you have to hide something if people do catch you shooting from the hip. If you want to make a photo, just make it. Frame it accurately, your subject deserves that. With some practice your subject will not notice you anyway.

on June 6, 2017
Frame it accurately, your subject deserves thatFrom Michiel

 Like that. 

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0 on June 3, 2017

If you like to keep the mystery and you shoot in a tough crowd (in Montreal!) it’s a very effective way. The Marc Cohen way is an amazing way to shoot and once you know how to do it, pre focusing is kind of easy and for to talk to people who take it the wrong way. Anybody who wants to try it in Quebec… you’re welcome. Tough crowd in Montreal. Forget your flash ;).

 

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2 on June 3, 2017

I shoot from wherever i can, hip, stomach, feet, up above my head, i try not to shoot from eye level, i don’t like that angle, and i don’t shoot from the hip because i am hiding, its because of the angle i want to give my photo, you know a bit of creativity, about the ethics, i do have some rules, i never take photos of gang members, or police, because you could end up dead in both cases, when i go to the pier or beach i never take photos of women in bikinis because you could end up in jail accused of being a pervert, i’ve seen photographers that were taken by the police for that reason. So i believe you can take your picture from wherever you want it’s not about how you took the picture it’s about the final image, nobody really cares how you made it, and nobody knows if it’s creative or not, it’s about the photo and that’s it. 

on June 4, 2017

Well it’s a matter of good hit percentage. We are already forced to discard a lot of material for whatever reason, so having control of the frame reduces a bit this disadvantage. That’s all.

on June 6, 2017
Well it’s a matter of good hit percentage.From iopierpo

Yes and no. I mean, Robert Frank kept 83 photos on the 27k he made for the Americans. And it’s an amazing book. In street photography, discarding is always really high. 

It’s more about your personnal relationship with the street. 

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1 on June 4, 2017

Shooting from the hip was a revelation for me. I’ve been shooting for 24 years and I only started doing it a few years back. 

Certain styles of archery do not use sights, some you don’t even look at the tip of the arrow, it’s all instinct. And it is very accurate. It’s no different for photography, in fact it’s easier, a lot easier than archery to visualise your frame and not hold the camera to your eye. It just needs practice.

When I started out I was obsessed with framing, I think it’s a control thing and a guy thing, we all like 100% control, every aspect, every millimetre, a 95% coverage viewfinder was unacceptable. It is still important in some types of photography but there is another world out there which I love to be apart of and that’s the world of instinct and intuition.

To me art, and especially street photography is all about instinct, and the moment, which are felt and are fleeting, and while framing through an eye piece is obviously perfectly fine, shooting from the hip actually allows you to capture those moments just as well. In some cases better, in others not.

Now that I’ve seen a few magnum photogs talk, I know for a fact a lot of what they do is luck and being out there and shooting a hell of a lot. They’re not obsessing over the frame even though they may still shoot with an eye to the eye piece, others definitely shoot from the hip.

If you’re results are great, the method doesn’t matter.

In my view there’s no ethical argument to be had. Public is a called public because there is no privacy, most western countries respect that though law. It’s imperative for social analysis and an open society. Usually subjects have rights too, their image can be removed at request in Germany for example, and in most places not sold for commercial use. Absolutely agree with that. 

on June 6, 2017
If you’re results are great, the method doesn’t matter.From rossawilson1

 +1 (that’s what I’m thinking by the way. Sacrificing a bit of framing control, for more discretation, but maybe I’ll try the other way one day)

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