by Florence W Deems

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Shoot without looking? No, it's not what you think! Most of us look through our camera's viewfinder or on the view screen on the camera's back. We carefully arrange the composition and then click the shutter. BUT--what if you were to just walk along with camera held at your waist and just click the shutter several times without looking at its view finder or view screen? What do you think will happen?

That's the method we'll be exploring for this Assignment. So go out and about and put the camera in different positions and shoot, shoot, shoot. Be prepared to delete many images - but you'll get a few that'll look nice or quirky or have some other redeeming characteristics.

I've also used a monopod to do this. With the camera on the pod, I raise it high, or stick it out over the edge of a pond, or put it low when I can't get down that low (old creaky bones, you know). Often I can't see the back screen and so get images that usually need deleted. But once in a while I get something I like.

If you really want to get adventurous, set the camera's self-timer for 10 seconds, put it down some place and walk away. The image will be more interesting if you first aim it at a group of people or animals and then walk away. That's not really cheating.

You can also use a very slow shutter speed. Hang the camera around your neck with its strap. Start walking and then press the shutter release. You'll get a blurred image. Keep trying, varying the time the shutter stays open. You'll get one or a few images that look interesting and that you may want to keep.

A variation is to have someone else drive the car. You in the passenger seat can shoot out the front or side window using a slow shutter speed. I've done this while driving, too. I tried to hold the camera on the dashboard. Or I've also sat the camera on my shoulder aimed out the side window. You do this at your own risk, of course. Just make sure that no police office sees you. This is probably just as illegal as talking on a cell phone while driving, at least in some states.

This technique can be used to great effect during December when driving past holiday lights.

Perhaps you'll think of some other interesting things to do when shooting while not looking. Best of all, have fun.

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