Sometimes we can be too concerned with immediate gratification and not be in the present, which is how we make memories. And I think we would all like to sometimes play with strangers, with whatever toys we might have with us; that's how we get to know people.
Like memories, with our photography we of course wish to have captured a special moment and to create a memorable photograph. And like play, we wish to experiment with our various cameras to figure out what different, curious and cool images we can produce with them. What can interrupt our play or our flow is being too concerned with detailed settings and verifying the image on the camera screen. Putting that aside, being attentive to our surroundings and our body movement can surely be enjoyable and produce wonderful candid images.
Shooting from the hip is a way to give you a different perspective and a different outlet for photographic expression, and is a way to be creative by freeing yourself from the viewfinder. You are making frames with your mind's eye. It truly is free-style photography and we at Van City Free Capture Photography genuinely like that.
Above: from the hip by Sharon Wish
To do it we let the camera hang at waist level or hold it at your hip nonchalantly, and with one hand on the shutter release and the other on your lens to direct the camera, you point slightly upward and shoot, inconspicuously like. People typically don't notice and you get cool candid shots. As you wander, be attentive to your surroundings and happenings, be mellow and interact, look ahead, try to interpret the scenes and take the time to let the shot set itself up.
We'll explore Gastown because it offers lots of opportunities to capture candids of people interacting, cobblestones, interesting backgrounds and textures, the alleyways and more. So let's experiment and play - together with your co-hosts Dionysios and Sharon - to get to know how to move with our camera by our side, take it easy, be sly and also learn how to interact with our surroundings.
There are different ways to set the camera exposure to make picture taking effortless, either keeping the lens in auto focus or to use zone focusing. In any case, first evaluate the light condition and make an exposure selection, and then let the camera down. You can even practice to and from work. Here are a few links to inform and inspire you: Ken Heyman's Hipshot, How to Shoot from the Hip by Eric Kim, How to Shoot From The Hip by Expert Photography and The Ultimate Guide to Zone Focusing for Candid Street Photography.
NB: This is a covered-screen event. If you don't tape up your camera screen we WILL do it!
We'll explore Gastown (between the tracks, Columbia St, Cordova St and Granville St). We'll meet at Waterfront Station (601 W Cordova St) by the west wing next to the A&W terrace at 13:00. We'll make introductions, discuss the subject a little, ask questions, then set ourselves loose to have fun and photograph. At half-time, 14:00, we'll regroup at the Steam Clock (at Cambie St and Water St) and share thoughts. We'll end the Meetup at 15:00 at the statue of "Gassy" Jack (at Carall St and Water St). After that we will head to The Lamplighter Public House (92 Water Street, corner Abbott St) where we can share photos and conversations.
The function of the group is to learn and practice the techniques of photography. This involves learning photography not only from your guides but also by sharing knowledge with your group-mates. The intention is also to organize and get to know new people. The attendant size of the meets will be small so participants can have the opportunity to get to know all their group-mates and spend time with a guide. If you select to attend a meet and then cannot make it, please be courteous to others in the group and change your RSVP status as soon as possible to allow others who might be on the waiting list the chance to participate.
Please feel comfortable in posting your photographs and advising others; critical appraisal is helpful. What will also be appreciated are ratings and, especially, comments to individual meets and the group dynamic as a whole. This is important because it will ultimately add value to our meetings and improve our experience.
Here's a few photos to make you more enthusiastic that Sharon and I took from the hip over the week-end. So yes, it was sooo much fun!
From the Hip by Sharon Wish
From the Hip by Dionysios Psychas