Chimping refers to the act of shooting a photo, then immediately hitting the preview button on your camera to see the how it came out on the camera’s LCD screen. Much like a curious chimpanzee will hold and examine any new object. The term was coined by USA Today shooter Robert Deutsch in a story for the website SportsShooter.com. As defined by the Urban Dictionary: ‘What one does after taking a picture with a digital camera and looking at the result.’ Derived from the words they speak when chimping: “Ooo-oo-oo!”
Wikipedia adds, “the sounds and actions some make while reviewing images and those of an excited primate (Oooh! Oooh! Aaah!), or when a photographer is completely absorbed in the act of analyzing, admiring or proudly displaying a shot to others.” A wasteful ritual? Just a bad habit? Perhaps, but luckily shared it’s shared by many of our photo brethren be they professional or amateur.
You may be wondering why all this introduction about chimping and what that got to do with this photograph of young longhorned beetle. Please read further.
It was early morning of Wednesday. Coffee had not yet reached my bloodstream to wake me up, but I was greeted by the news that ootheca laid by some unknown praying mantis on the widow glass has hatched. I rushed with my trusty Canon 5D Mark II & Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM along with Rayflash on my Canon Speedlite 580EX II to get the glimpse of these newly hatched mantids.
The ootheca was laid high up on the window glass pane and I was able reach there only with a help of large wooden stool. All around the ootheca the newly hatched mantids were gathering. Previous day it had rained and the ground was unstable. I tried taking photographs so as not to disturb mantids away from the ripped egg sac. The glass of the window pane was not helpful as it was reflecting my flash light emitted from Rayflash. I took few unsatisfactory shots and was thinking of setting up a nice lightbox around the ootheca so that I could capture mantids on all their glory.
Just then I noticed a very young long horned beetle on the window frame. I was able to get a beautiful closeup from the elevated vantage point I was in. Wooden background helped to highlight this little beetle. I was curious to see how well I did in focusing, and as a usual practice I started chimping at the preview. I was so engrossed in appreciating the shot at the back of my camera, that I did not realize that the stool underneath me sank in the soft mud and was tilting. Next thing I knew that I was out of balance and was rushing towards ground. I was able to save my camera and the rig from harms way but got few bruises along the hand and shin. My dream of capturing young praying mantids in light box went down with pain and agony.
So even though chimping is good to improve your photography skills it is bad for your health. Have a safe chimping. 🙂
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/10 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 20 January, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 13° 4′ 1.7997600119994″ N 74° 59′ 44.314800313234″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.