Overclocking Your Camera’s Other Processor

Walked around Chinatown this evening to capture the pre-Chinese New Year atmosphere and was fortunate to chance upon a lion dance troupe.

Photography Tip: Normally with street photography, I leave the camera in Program or P mode. The camera’s CPU stores an algorithm that will assess a scene and pick an ideal ISO, shutter and aperture combo. But there are times, I need to override the CPU and utilise a much more powerful external processor: The Brain.

Seeing that the lions were prancing very fast, I switched to Shutter (S) priority and chose a higher shutter speed to freeze the action. Of course, a good shot requires more than control of exposure parameters. To capture more of the blue sky during the golden hour, I knew I must go low. I also must position myself where I can also frame the overhanging lanterns and umbrellas.

All these to be processed by the brain in less than a few seconds or I lose the shot. How do I do it? I start composing the shot in my mind as I move towards the lions. All before I even look through the camera. This saved precious time and freed my mind to click at the decisive moment.

How do you over-clock your brain? When you are without a camera, look at different scenes and imagine how you may want to photograph it. By learning how to quickly and instinctively process what you see, the camera becomes a natural extension of your eyes.

Olympus OM-D, ISO 8000, f4, 1/250 sec.

Chinese New Year Lion Dance At Chinatown KL

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