Hip Shots

December 2, 2011

I enjoy taking extra time to compose my photos while I'm on the road. The slower nature of bicycle travel suits both me and my photography.

But once in the city, I enjoy taking what I call "hip shots." Thanks to auto focus cameras, it is possible to walk (or cycle) around the city with my camera by my hip and click away, allowing the camera and fate to decide what the composition of my photos will be.

This also allows me to capture bits of life discreetly, instead of always having my camera up to my eye and pointed toward someone's face.

I can rattle off hundreds of photos and then delete the ones I don't like (which is most of them) later. This is a luxury that I never would have attempted back in my film days, when every roll was costly and precious. With a digital camera, it is easy to shoot thousands of images during even a short trip. When I took my first trip across the United States with my old Canon AE-1, my budget was so small that I could only afford six rolls of film ... for a three month trip!

Hip shots also make me take a second look at the city life I've just experienced. Little bits of life that my brain didn't process at the time.


Photos by Willie Weir

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at http://yellowtentadventures.com.


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