There is a phenomenon in photography called chimping, where a photographer will take a photo and immediately look down at the preview that appears at the back of the camera, stick their elbows out and go ‘ooo!’ or ‘ahhh!’ When you group a large amount of photographers together all doing this chimping action at once, you can really see what I mean!

It seems Darwins Theory of Evolution doesn’t apply to photographers and may just be a bunch of monkeys getting excited over large shiny pieces of glass. The irony of course is in the days of film and before digital, there were no previews, so there were no chimps – maybe it’s even worse and we’re devolving as we go along

But chimping is a part of digital photography, so don’t worry, it’s normal. When taking a photo it’s important to to review it to make sure you’ve got the exposure and composition right. You never quite know; all cameras meter slightly differently and getting the exposure perfect is never an exact science. However, I would encourage you to fight your primordial urges and contain your inner chimp – it’ll really help your photography.

I often see photographers undergo a complete morphism as soon as they take a photo – they’ll look down, succumb to the chimp and spend forever looking at the preview. If the inner chimp is powerful enough, you’ll see them showing their shiny reflectly thing with other chimps who all gather round and suddenly everyones converted! Meanwhile their model stands waiting or the moment they’re trying to capture passes them by.

So when you’re taking photos, don’t be a monkey. A camera is just a camera and it’s not your eyes. It can’t see the range of tones that your eyes can, and it has a limited function. Understand when you’ve got the best you can get with what you have and focus on the moment.

Stay engaged with your subject; if that’s a person, make sure you’re talking to them and keep them relaxed and focussed. Keep the intimacy up and you’ll get much better results. If it’s an event, don’t take your eyes off it. Be disciplined and stay on it, you never know what could happen.


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