Using the “not so remote” camera

It’s not common for a photographer to be the subject of an others imagery and I am certainly not used to being photographed while I work. Yet when my friend and assistant Lindsay sent me this shot the other day I thought that it was actually pretty cool.


Ya see what I was doing was not adjusting my camera controls but composing through the LCD with the camera, my beloved Nikon D700, in Live View mode. But rather than holding the camera in a position, like over my head, and then composing through the LCD I had to hold the camera low and compose. Well then, why not just kneel down and shoot “normally” and focus/compose through the regular viewfinder? That wouldn’t have given me what I wanted. My head needed to be above the camera to get the effect that I wanted and the only way to get the camera in position was to go through this gyration.

You see the subject was partly a person who was out of focus in the “background” but I wanted her eyes looking up. Rather than the normal shooting method of lowering myself to get the angle I wanted and potentially distract her and change her gaze I needed my eyes to be somewhere for her to naturally look at above the camera. Thus the reason that the camera is below my head. I was able to engage her in conversation and in that manner subtly direct her without the bothersome “Can you lift your head and look over there, no, there” kinda mess. A regular person doesn’t take very good posing direction and when I’m in documentary mode I never to that because it spoils the mood and energy that I am witnessing.


Technicals: Nikon D700, Nikon AF-D 50mm, ISO 800, f/1.4 @ 1/30th, Daylight WB.

So I totally forgot about this shot until Lindsay sent me this delightfully unflattering image of me at work. It reminded me of how often I use the Live View mode to help get the camera into places quickly that I can’t get my whole self into in order to make an interesting-er image by using it as a semi-remote camera. If you have a camera with such capacity I recommend that you give it a try.


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