Shooting From The Hip

If you are unfamiliar with the term “shooting from the hip” it’s quite literal.

When a photographer shoots from the hip, he or she is pushing the shutter button while the camera is close to their hip – rather than up to an eye.

In this photograph, you will see that the angle is not quite high enough to be from an eye.

shooting-from-the-hip

That’s because I made this while walking around New York City with some friends. And I did not stop walking when the shutter was clicked. Instead, I gathered my exposure while walking, adjusted my focus to a distance I knew I wanted to photograph from, and lowered the camera to my hip.

The camera was literally in front of my belt.

This technique has been around for a very long time. In fact, some of the most iconic photographers’ used twin reflect cameras and medium format cameras which required a waist level finder. Meaning you have to look down at a sheet of glass to see through the lens.  I have a few twin reflect cameras and even a waist level finder for an old Nikon F (single lens reflex) which once belonged to my grandfather.

Shooting from the hip is also a common introverted street photography technique. Because you’re not drawing attention to yourself by raising a big camera up to your face.

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