Why and How to Prevent Chimping in Photography

Chimping is a term used to describe the behavior of photographers who immediately check their camera’s LCD screen after taking a picture. While this may seem like a harmless habit, it can actually be detrimental to the overall quality of the photographs being taken. In this essay, we will discuss why it is important to prevent chimping in photography and how photographers can break this habit.
Firstly, chimping can be distracting and take away from the creative process. When a photographer takes a picture and immediately checks their LCD screen, they are interrupting the flow of their work. This can be especially frustrating when shooting in fast-paced environments, such as sports or events. Instead of being present in the moment and focusing on capturing the shot, the photographer is distracted by reviewing the image on the screen. This can lead to missed opportunities and subpar photographs.
Secondly, chimping can be misleading. The LCD screen on a camera is not an accurate representation of the final image. It may appear that the exposure, focus, and composition are all correct, but when the photograph is viewed on a computer screen, it may be revealed that these elements are not as they seemed. Relying too heavily on the LCD screen can lead to overconfidence in the quality of the photographs being taken.
So, how can photographers prevent chimping? The first step is to acknowledge that it is a habit that needs to be broken. Once a photographer realizes that checking the LCD screen is a distraction, they can consciously make an effort to resist the urge. One technique is to simply turn off the LCD screen or cover it with tape so that it cannot be viewed. This forces the photographer to rely solely on their instincts and technical knowledge, rather than relying on the camera’s screen.
Another technique is to shoot in burst mode. By taking multiple shots in rapid succession, the photographer can avoid the need to check the LCD screen after every shot. This allows them to stay in the moment and capture more opportunities.
Lastly, photographers can learn to trust their instincts and technical knowledge. By practicing and developing their skills, they can become confident in their ability to capture quality photographs without the need to constantly check the LCD screen.
When using a used camera, chimping can be even more detrimental as the LCD screen may not accurately represent the final image due to wear and tear. It is important to rely on one’s instincts and technical knowledge to properly assess the exposure, focus, and composition of the shot. Additionally, when purchasing a used camera, it is important to inspect the camera thoroughly to ensure that all functions are working properly and the LCD screen is in good condition. By being mindful of chimping and taking the necessary steps to prevent it, photographers can avoid missed opportunities and capture quality photographs regardless of whether they are using a new or used camera.
In conclusion, preventing chimping in photography is important for several reasons. It can be distracting, misleading, and take away from the creative process. By breaking this habit, photographers can become more present in the moment, capture more opportunities, and ultimately improve the overall quality of their photographs. Techniques such as turning off the LCD screen, shooting in burst mode, and trusting instincts and technical knowledge can help photographers break the habit of chimping and take their photography to the next level.