View Full Version : Poll: Do you...?

02-14-2007, 14:25
Do you Shoot from the waist?

after voting, if you do shoot from the waist, tell us what you find the hardest part about it... If you dont, tell us why you dont...


02-14-2007, 14:34
Not necessarilly from the waist but I kinda float the camera around either up or down, sideways, on angle sometimes....the funny thing is that with my M4 and 35 summicron...I can just about see the final image...no matter the camera position....I am still learning to do this with my R-D1s and 35mm.....in time....

I learned this from a guy that I used to be friends with...Paul Cava...back in "72"....he taught me to be free with my vision....I still am....don

02-14-2007, 14:36
No, not from the waist. I generally have the camera on a tripod.

02-14-2007, 21:56
I can just about see the final image...no matter the camera position....

I learned this from a guy that I used to be friends with...Paul Cava...back in "72"....he taught me to be free with my vision....I still am....don

I've got to work more on that... that, and judging exposure value. I think that I can meter off of peoples eyes if I study it hard enough.

02-14-2007, 22:14
The zero % success


02-14-2007, 22:34
I do occassionally use the hipshot, but rarely from waist-level or below chest level. I call any shot that wasn't framed through the veiwfinder a hipshot. Most of my hipshots are just held near my face (off to one side, or just below my chin), or at my chest or arms-length away from my body. I rarely shoot below my belly-button. I don't like the angle. It LOOKS like a "hip"shot.


02-14-2007, 23:16
What's wrong with bending the knees every now and then?

02-15-2007, 05:41
I'm with Peter on the knee bending - I've even bought myself a knee-pad to save my joint.

I've tried, but it nearly always looks crap.

I do hip-shooting with my TLR - but then I have no choice.

02-19-2007, 08:46
Ive tried it now and then, but find I waste a lot of film to get a 1 decent shot.

02-19-2007, 09:44
My good old Nikkormat has a window on the top plate showing the meter reading. Bingo. Wish my R3m had it. That Bessa L is tempting.....

Richard Black
02-19-2007, 09:49
I do with the Exakta VXIIa and a waist level viewfinder. It is my most stealth camera. No one thinks I'm taking a photo, I am just fiddling with the knobs and things!

02-19-2007, 09:52
If I'm not looking through the veiwfinder I rarely snap the shutter.

02-22-2007, 11:41
I have done on a few occasions but I don't like it much. And I stink at aiming. :) Would I do it again? Maybe. It all depends, I guess.

02-22-2007, 11:47
Only with the Rolleicord

robin a
02-24-2007, 01:32
Always at my eye.........Robin

Tom A
03-09-2007, 14:46
I used to be able to bend down or kneel for a low angle view. Severe damage to a couple of vertebras stops me from doing it now. If I try I continue down in a way that looks very undignified in the end! Hence i have started to shoot more from the waist. Also depends on which lens I am using. Ultrawides like the 12 and 15mm works very well this way and gives an interesting perspective. You get the view of a small child or a dog/cat of the world.

03-09-2007, 15:08
I shoot from the hip, at arms length, above my head, whatever I need to do to get a shot I can't get otherwise. Hip shots are hard to frame but with a 35 it's easier because the distance from the subject is basically equal to the width of the shot at subject distance. It's even easier with a 21 of course...

Richard Black
03-10-2007, 05:56
I like the waist-level view, sort of the old TLR viewpoint. I use a waist level v/f on a Exakta VXIIa, Pentacon 6tl, and the MS 330f. I do wish that one was available on a r/f, maybe there is but I don't know about it. I squat a lot for my shots so when my old kness give out, I'll just have to use one of the cameras built with them.

03-10-2007, 06:16
I do it on occasion. Sometimes it's the only way to get a shot.


03-10-2007, 15:51
Like everything else in photography, it depends. Brad puts it best: whetever position it takes to get the image. Winogrand, supposedly, frowned upon this technique, perhaps because he thought it carried a whiff of cowardice toward one's subject, but he probably felt the same for "hail Mary" shots (which, if anything, should be more popular now because of digital cameras with adjustable preview screens). Often, there's more than one way to work toward the picture you want. It's healthy not to get too hung up on some or other "only one proper way" mantra.

- Barrett

Tech notes: Ricoh GR1

03-10-2007, 16:14
Barrett, you are bringing it on! Nice one! More please! :) Is this from brooklyn?


Quito, EC

03-10-2007, 16:40
once in a while i do, but i usually miss the aiming. :(
Except when i use...a waist-level finder,of course:D

03-10-2007, 16:43
Barrett, you are bringing it on! Nice one! More please! :) Is this from brooklyn?


Quito, EC Yes, Planet Brooklyn (well, close enough; Q train, across Manhattan Bridge), 2002. Thanks. :)

- Barrett

05-31-2007, 07:29
I voted yes, but do not shoot that way very often, strangely however, so far they come up framed very well, they almost dont look as if they were taken from the waist..


05-31-2007, 08:06
When I shoot pictures of bands playing a local club, I like to hold the flash in my left hand & camera in my right hand & shoot aiming upward from about waist level. Sometimes I'll hold the camera overhead too. This especially works well with my digicam & the add-on wide-angle, but I've used my GSN w/ auxiliary wide to some decent effect too.

There's plenty of bad shots w/ this method, but I really enjoy the winners I get anyway.

05-31-2007, 08:24
I do occassionally use the hipshot, but rarely from waist-level or below chest level. I call any shot that wasn't framed through the veiwfinder a hipshot. Most of my hipshots are just held near my face (off to one side, or just below my chin), or at my chest or arms-length away from my body. I rarely shoot below my belly-button. I don't like the angle. It LOOKS like a "hip"shot.

You mean like this one, Ray? :D
That's an honest to goodness hipshot!

06-01-2007, 21:34
I tried it a couple of times as an experiment but otherwise never, unless I'm using a TLR or another camera designed for other-than-eye-level shooting.

06-01-2007, 22:45
Why not? :)

06-02-2007, 08:45
No...because I don't do any kind of 'street shooting' other than that associated with my day job...and when I do that then it's pretty obvious what's going on...and shooting from the waist offers no advantage and lots of disadvantages...

06-02-2007, 08:56
>Do You Shoot from the waist???

I routinely shot from my waist level when I used a twin-lens reflex with a waist level view finder.

I normally shoot at the subject’s waist level when shooting full length portraits.

I occasionally shoot from my waist level when shooting clandestine candids.

I rarely shoot from my waist level when using my rangefinder or my SLR.

I occasionally shoot from my waist level when using my digital camera with the adjustable LCD view screen.

I never shoot from waist level when I am up to my neck in swamp water.

06-06-2007, 03:51
When using my Trip 35 I often shoot from the waist, the scale focus accomodating this rather well.

06-06-2007, 19:10
Nope. Never from the waist.
I will, when using lenses 24mm or wider, sometimes hold the camera above my head with arms extended to shoot either over people or down into a group. Otherwise, I always shoot with the camera up to my eye.

06-06-2007, 19:50
Sometimes I shoot frome the waist. If you allow yourself to feel the rhythm as you're walking down the street, I often find some unexpected surprises after developing the film. The hardest part is framing the image for interesting juxtapositions of your main subject and the background the relevant background noise. I would also include exposure and judging distance.

06-06-2007, 20:02
On occasion I do when I'm shooting digital and I don't have to worry about wasting film. Once in a while, I get a gem that way. I just can't bring myself to be quite that free with film.

Film dino
06-06-2007, 20:45
Waisted shots or waisting film?
Sorry, being facetious... :)

06-07-2007, 05:33
Ever see one of the original Exaktas? Those were waist level, or at least belly-button. When they came along with an eye-level finder, the two were interchangeable. And most users promptly fell in love with the eye-level.

With most of today's cameras, waist-level might work with a widish-angle lens, but other than that, it's pretty shot-in-the-dark. It strikes me as mostly a way of taking pictures without raising suspicions of those around, which may at times have its purposes. I've seen news photographers hold them above the head, but that's because they aren't 6'8" tall. And what they get may be pretty random.

06-07-2007, 06:45
I shoot from the waist now and then but then I shoot a Rolleiflex and a Bronica with WL finders.

06-07-2007, 07:32
With my Bessa L and the CV 25, it’s not hard at all. Even the T works well for it, as the meter LEDs are on the outside (no viewfinders on either). Shooting from the hip or way over head is when there is no alternative. From the hip when I should not be shooting or over head when I can not get any place higher to stand. I judge success mostly in both cases with a lot of cropping after the fact. Not my style, but it’s better than nothing.

Both Kodak and Leica made viewfinders that you can use without putting your face up close and shoot from the hip, but I have yet to find one at a reasonable price. There are several that you need to put your eye right up to, but I think this defeat the purpose.

B2 (;->

01-05-2008, 21:12
It's not my regular technique, but I have done it. Most of my Rockette shots could be classified as "hip-shots" as I was trying to be low key about it.

01-05-2008, 23:12
More than just from the waist, sometimes I shoot without looking into the finder for extra speed and/or extra reach:
- this one with the camera above my head
- this one from the hip
- and this one from ground level

There are two problems involved: the precise framing obviously, and also sometimes the reaction of people, if yoy literally stick the camera in their face when using the wide angles.

01-09-2008, 01:07
Only with my Rolleicord.

01-09-2008, 02:15
Once in a blue moon - even when I shoot with my Yashica Mat 124G.


01-09-2008, 11:24
Yeah, I do it every now and then. It's surprising how good the photos can be. Sometimes it's just surprising....

01-16-2008, 14:18
I am just getting familiar with zone focusing techniques, but I shoot from the hip all the time anyway. It makes me feel all loosey goosey. And like others have said, sometimes you get a shot that would have never been composed, or is just so out of focus that it works.

02-15-2008, 20:43
I like to shoot close-up with my c220, given the offset lens and the distance to subject framing is already a gamble.

Any hipshots from the 35 are an attempt to catch my two older kids off-guard ... otherwise I only capture their smirks or distorted hands blocking the frame.

04-04-2008, 02:20
No.I don't no to shoot.I only play shooting games.

04-05-2008, 18:34
I saw this young guy with a Rebel XTI hanging around his neck right where his navel would be and he had approached some girls standing and he would push his stomach forward to raise the lens and he shot in burst mode. The whole thing just looked hilarious. All he had to do was rais the camera to his eye level and no one would care but i guess he was shy.

04-05-2008, 19:44
These girls wouldn't happen to be wearing loose fitting belly shirts or bikini tops would they? He may not be as shy as you think.

09-27-2008, 10:48
I shoot from the hip from time to time and often get interesting shots because of the perspective, rarely as others have said over the head, I'm wearing out the right knee of my jeans from dropping down for a shot, I like setting the camera on the ground with an ultra wide lens, got a shot I really like with the camera on my lap while sitting on a bench with just zone focus, shoot with my TLR, shoot close up on the street with a 15mm from chest height, and when not doing any of the above with the VF up to my eye.

I'm open to all approaches being curious to what surprise I might get, I've never done well with what I should do and the don't do things.

09-27-2008, 15:52
NEVER. Winnogrand said it best (and I apologize if i f up the quote) the second you take that camera away from your eye you give up any and all control. Even if the camera is only at your eye for the instant the picture is snapped, you are exerting some amount of control on the way that image looks.

09-27-2008, 16:49
Rarely. Here we had just been ordered off of the street by the cop in the car - it was pretty crowded on the curb, would have been toughish to get my face that low.