From the Hip


Tonight, I want to blog about an interesting photographic technique which truly is hit or miss. That is From the Hip Photography. That’s when you quite literally hold the camera at your hip, aim by feel alone and hope like heck that you get something you can use.

Early From the Hip Photo. Focus is off and angle probably a little too extreme. Adjusted in Photshop to focus on the purple blanket.

Taking photos of landscapes, flowers, buildings and other things that aren’t people holds only so much appeal, which is quite a lot to be honest, but eventually, you really want to get in to taking pictures of people, street scenes and everyday activities.There is more the been seen in people: expressions, movement, interactions, attire, the list is large. The human face and body are incredible things to photograph.

When you hold a camera up to your face and aim, well, several things can happen. Firstly, as in my case, you feel a little self conscious as it is a little obvious what you are doing. Many people don’t really appreciate the intrusion, and you know what, I totally understand. You also have the issue that if you plan to do something with this photo, you walk in to arenas of copyright and model releases.

When you actually have a model, either voluntary or paid, then you have an understanding with your subject and they pose and pout for you. Real life is what happens when your presence is mostly undetected. Taking photos blind can help “hide” your photographic attempts. So to account for my insecurities, I tried it. Even though I was a little concerned that someone might hear the click of the mirror flipping up,  it was far less daunting than actually putting the camera to my eye.

Many of the photos I took were total fails, but a few intrigued me, like the photo “Homeless” above. Now I have no idea if they were actually homeless, but the image of the mother and child sitting on a street-side bench wrapped in a blanket on a cold city morning was powerful to me. The focus is blurred just enough to make it hard to make out the actual identities of two, yet their expressions are extremely moving. The mother looks particularly sad and the daughter is staring off into the distance with a blank expression.

The image breaks many of the classic rules of a good photo yet I find it oddly disturbing and moving, which I think I said already.

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