Depending upon the context, "shooting from the hip" can take on one of several meanings. In my case, it refers to the practice of taking photographs while your camera dangles from your hip. Or in front of you. The main point is that you don't hold your camera up to your eye, carefully compose your shot, or check the results. You just randomly click the shutter button and take what you get.
Shooting from the hip is pretty spontaneous, which is not my style - I usually like to everything organized and planned out ahead of time. Normally I shoot in manual mode, which involves checking exposure and adjusting as needed. Street photography (not my style either) is particularly suited to shooting from the hip because of the variety of scenes that present themselves and the constant change in what comes into view. There is a surprise factor in letting the camera capture the randomness of people, scenes, shadows, and random objects that one would not normally notice.
So, last October, when I was in downtown Chicago for the Filter Photo Festival, I decided to try my hand at shooting from the hip. It was fairly early on a Sunday morning, and at first there wasn't a lot of activity, not even from the picketers in front of the Sheraton Hotel on Michigan Avenue. But then, there appeared a trickle of people in all manner of costumes, moving towards Grant Park for the Chicago Monster Dash. The idea is to run either a 5K or half-marathon in your favorite costume. If you don't do well on the racing part, there are prizes for best costume based on originality, execution, wearability and overall effect.
Perfect! Early morning sunny day, fresh and crisp, a fun atmosphere, and unusual subjects. Set the camera to aperture priority, let the camera hang at an angle at the hip, and click away.
Photo courtesy of Paul Shukin and Tom Phelan
In this month of giving thanks, I would like to thank friends and family for their support in my photographic endeavors. A special thanks goes out to all those who braved the elements to attend my Artist’s Reception on Sunday, as well as to those who could not attend but sent warm wishes, thoughts and praise for “Flowers with Attitude.” This solo exhibit continues its run at the Calmer House Gallery in Joliet through the end of November.
Thank you to the Roach Family for opening their historic home, for promoting the arts in general and this exhibit in particular. The post-reception house tour was a surprise and delight - a fascinating glimpse into what it is like to live in a circa 1880’s house and the challenges presented by a never-ending series of fix-up projects.
Finally, I would like to thank my wonderful husband, John, for his continued support and understanding of all my projects, photographic and otherwise. It is truly above and beyond the normal realm of expectations. By the way, once again he outdid himself with an incredible spread of culinary delights, proving his motto that “nothing succeeds like excess.” I am very fortunate and thankful to have him as my friend and partner, and assistant extraordinaire.
Dried Flowers at Cantigny, Wheaton Illinois
Over the weekend, most of us in North America, Europe, and a few other areas of the world received a gift of an extra hour of time as a result of falling back from Daily Savings Time to Standard Time. So, did we really get an extra hour of time? And just exactly where did we get it - e.g. staying up an extra hour on Saturday night, getting an extra hour of sleep, or having an extra hour to do things on Sunday? Come Monday morning, did we still benefit from that extra hour, or are we just as confused as my dogs are about what time it really is?
My personal opinion is that the hour is more psychological than real, in that I know I have an extra hour so I will use it well. I did stay up Saturday night longer than I normally would have, and I did get up on Sunday morning earlier than normal; but most importantly I was determined to make the best use of that extra hour. So the time switch was a mental booster to get organized and get things done. Ripping through my To Do List, here are some of the things I accomplished:
While it is possible that the extra hour was taken up by changing all the clocks back, I prefer to think I used it to get organized, be more productive, and renew my energy to focus on my photography. Now if only I can figure out what happened to October...
What about the rest of you - how did you spend your extra hour?