What Is Chimping In Photography? Is This A Bad Thing?

What Is Chimping In Photography? Is This A Bad Thing?

what is chimping in photography

What Is Chimping?

Chimping is taking a photo, and immediately looking at the image on the screen of your camera.

This Can Turn Into A Bad Habit

The habit of checking every photo on your camera display can quickly start wasting your time.  This happens with rookies and seasoned photographers who (most of the time) already know how their shots look.  Out of habit, they chimp anyway.

Three Problems With Chimping

#1 - Small Camera Display Screens

Things look different on your camera’s SMALL display screen.  Keep in mind that this is a tiny version of your image.  With thousands of pixels squished into two or three inches, some images that are soft (out of focus) may appear sharper than they really are!

# 2 - Missing Out On Important Moments

This one is simple.  If you are looking down at your camera display, you are not paying attention to what is going on around you.

Something important like a game-winning touchdown could be happening but you’re busy chimping on your latest image.

So much for the touchdown.  Maybe another photographer got that photo :(

# 3 - Not So Fast!  Too Quick To Delete

Sometimes images are BETTER than they appear on your screen.  Remember, they are small versions of the actual photo.  Things that make images great, like composition, could be overlooked.

The more chimping you do, the more great shots you are going to delete.  Period.  Take a good look at your images after your done shooting.  You took each photo for a reason.  Give yourself the benefit of the doubt.  Trust your instincts and keep the images.  

The worst case is you’ll just delete them later.  The best case is they are client worthy or “keepers”.

How To Limit Your Chimping Habit

Use An Electric Viewfinder

An EVF (Electric Viewfinder) and its WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET display, will limit the amount of chimping you do.  By using an EVF, you’ve already taken a look at your final image as you shot it!

Try Turning Off Your Review Screen

Scary thought isn’t it?  Turning off your display screen will remove the chimping problem altogether.

Chimp In Moderation

Use chimping to dial in your exposure and lighting.  Once you're dialed in, then just shoot, shoot, shoot.  You can pay attention to your model, the soccer game, or your surroundings.

Do you think that chimping is a good or bad thing?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments…

~john



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