Shooting From The Hip In Saigon


I came across the Lomography mantra of shooting from the hip many rolls of film ago from the days of taking photos with my old Holga and Diana. I recently bought a Fujifilm X70 and as it doesn’t have a viewfinder I decided to revisit my days of shooting candid photography from the waist . My home from home is now Saigon, Vietnam – so I jumped on my bike and headed to District 1.

© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris

Let’s talk settings. In order to shoot from the hip I needed to setup my camera in a way that I didn’t have to worry about auto focus slowing me down and missing the moment. I switched to manual focus and used zone focusing (click here for a great article on zone focusing). Operating in aperture priority mode I set my dial to f8 and moved my iso up to 1600 for faster shutter speeds. After a few test shots I was good to go.

© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris

Shooting from the hip is great way to approach street photography. Walking the streets with your camera at waist level allows you to go unnoticed most of the time, giving you the opportunity to capture life as it is – undisturbed by your presence.

© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris

After a while framing from the hip becomes natural and all you have to worry about is who and where you’re going to photograph next. Not having to mess around with your camera settings or focus points adds to the experience – just point, shoot, and move on.

© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris

I recommend not looking at at your photos on your lcd screen while your shooting, it slows you down and drains your battery. Don’t worry about the shots you’ve already taken – save that for when you get home. And in the editing process set your standards high, only work with the good ones – if you think a photo needs saving do the right thing and just delete it!

© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris
© Sam Morris

All the photographs featured are unedited and straight from the camera. I used the Fuji’s monochrome film simulation + R filter. The fuji X70 is a camera I highly recommend for street photography. It’s becoming harder to find recently but it is still available to buy here.

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