Be grateful for being able to chimp…embrace it!


Photo by Mike Gorman (Used under auspices of fair use.)

People like to make fun of chimpers nowadays. I never use a meter for still work. 99.9% I just use the screen aka chimp. (The girl with her toes in is a common mimic of trans people trying to look like little girls. Noticed that tendency from making my film ‘Genderqueer…a social documentary study of Instagram.’)


Selection from The Americans…60 years after Frank artist’s book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

For ‘Pinky at The Grove in L.A. (Candid) I first shot a test exposure, then walked away to evaluate the exposure. After making the adjustment in a few seconds I went back for a second helping and shot this as I walked by, from the hip….about 2.5 feet away from her, zone focused.

Chimping and learning to shoot from the hip are two very important skills to develop if you like to do candid street work. Pinky is a single image HDR as well, with lots of post work. You wont get an image to look like this when you shoot into the sun unless you add some light or do lots of post. For candid street and doc work you have to make do with what you got, in the blink of an eye. That is the defining characteristic of greet doc photogs. They bring home the goods in whatever circumstances they find themselves in.

I almost always shoot on manual as well. You can never shoot a shot like this on auto unless you do lots of adjusting with the exposure compensations.

But why? Why not cut the bullshit and just shoot on manual?

The kids nowadays like to brag that ‘they shoot manual’ like it is a big deal.

Jeeeesus…manual is nothing special. It was how all cameras were before they came out with the program dial. Manual was how we ALL did it back in the 70’s. And we had to pay big bucks to chimp with our polaroid backs back then too.

Be grateful for being able to chimp…embrace it!