The announcement of the Fujifilm X Pro 3 has plenty of people talking within the street photography community. The decision to hide the LCD screen, and emulate a build that pays homage to an analog camera, is attractive to many. Designed to prevent people from chimping (the act of reviewing each image after it’s been shot), the Fujifilm X Pro 3 comes at a hefty price. Starting at $1,799.95 (and going up to $2699.99) the camera certainly isn’t a cheap fix to a widespread problem. If you don’t have the cash to drop on this camera, check out these more cost-effective methods that will help prevent you from chronic chimping!
Why Is Chimping Bad for Street Photography?
Before we get locked into ways you can stop chimping, let’s look at why it’s a bad habit for street photography. Unlike other genres, such as portraits or landscapes, nobody is waiting around for you to get the shot you want. The streets move at a fast pace, and this means you need to be alert at all times. If you’re wasting time looking at the shot you took, you’re missing potentially great opportunities unfolding around you. Before you know it, you look up from your LCD screen, and just as you connect to a scene, it’s gone and you’ve missed the shot. You don’t want this to keep happening!
Chimp Every 10 Shots
To go from being someone who chimps all the time to someone that doesn’t chimp at all won’t be easy. That’s why we want to start you off slowly, with the aim of eventually freeing you from the chimping addiction. Start off by reducing the number of times you chimp. Instead of reviewing your images after every frame, set a target of reviewing them after every 10 shots. It will take some discipline, but if you stick to it, you can break the cycle of constantly reviewing your images when shooting street photography.
Only Shoot 36 Frames
The act of chimping is kind of like a nervous twitch. You go out for some street photography, take loads of shots, and review them along the way. By slowing down and taking fewer shots you begin to slow down your mind. As a result, you can be more in control of your actions and behaviors. If you only take 36 frames (like you would with a roll of film) on a photo walk, you won’t have the luxury of going back and taking multiple shots of a scene. Because of this, it’s pointless reviewing each image that you take. Instead, you can wait until you get home to review the images on your laptop or computer.
“Shooting street photography with a film camera will open up the door to a more concentrated shooting experience.”
Turn Off Image Preview
Pretty much all cameras allow you to turn off image preview. By doing this, you prevent your camera from automatically showing you the last image you shot on the LCD screen. Instead, you would have to manually hit the playback button in order to see your images. Sure, this doesn’t make it difficult, but by taking full control of your camera’s functions, you can then apply some discipline.
Tape Over Your LCD Screen
If you’re really struggling to stop chimping when shooting street photography, there is a more “extreme” action you could take. Get some black electrical tape and cut out some pieces that match the dimensions of your LCD screen. Tape over the screen, ensuring the it is fully covered. Now, if you hit the playback button, you’re not going to see anything at all. It’s a short term solution to help you break the cycle. However, you’ll want to work towards being more disciplined as time goes on. Don’t worry about damaging your screen. Using appropriate cleaning kits will easily remove any sticky bits left behind after removing the tape.
“…the more focused you are, the more you’re able to analyze a scene and get better shots. How good does that sound!?”
If the temptation to chimp is just too much for you to ignore, it’s time to put your digital camera to one side. Go out and purchase yourself a nice film camera, and wave goodbye to reviewing your photographs on the go. Shooting street photography with a film camera will open up the door to a more concentrated shooting experience. You can become fully immersed in the creative process and not worry about all the flashy features of a digital camera. You’ll also appreciate what it’s like not having such luxury functions, and instead, concentrate on creating technically strong and visually pleasing photographs.
The Fujifilm X Pro 3 Is Still a Great Camera for Street Photography
Aside from its gimmicky feature – which is cool – the Fujifilm X Pro 3 is a great camera for street photography. But if chimp prevention is your only motivation to buy it, you’re best off saving your cash and implementing these cheaper options instead. And remember you’re doing this for yourself. Chimping can feel suffocating at times. By managing the urge, you’re allowing yourself to enjoy street photography much more. In light of this, you should see an improvement in the quality of your work too. Because the more focused you are, the more you’re able to analyze a scene and get better shots. How good does that sound?