It’s a term, I swear. While getting my bachelors in photography I was more than a little obsessed, not just with taking photos, but with studying the history of photography. I almost went to grad school to get my master’s in the history of photography—but really? What do you do with that? So now here I am, full of knowledge of photographers in the past and ready to share. What does that have to do with jumpology?
Photographing people jumping has been a huge trend in photography recently, from wedding parties, to actors, to political figures, but it isn’t anything new to the photography world. In fact it was a photographer in the ’40s and ’50s that made it popular. His name was Philippe Halsman. Halsman said, “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.” He photographed many unbreakable subjects this way in order to show their true personalities, and he coined the term “jumpology” as an explanation for his approach.
1. The lower you go, the higher they will look! If you shoot from a lower angle, it will appear as though there is more space between the subject and the ground. So get down low, sit or squat near the ground, and shoot up at your subject if you want the appearance of height.
2. Remind your subjects to relax their faces. A lot of times when people are jumping, they tighten their faces at the same time. It’s a simple thing, but it makes a big difference. If that doesn’t work, make them laugh. Laughing and jumping gives a carefree feel to the image.
3.Instead of jumping straight up and down, have your subjects try creating shapes with their bodies. It will appear as if they are floating rather then jumping.
4. Use the continuous burst mode on your camera so that you can take several images while holding the shutter button down. That way you can catch the entire jump, from takeoff to landing, and you won’t miss that perfect moment when they are at the top of their jump.
5. I find it helps to have the subjects count to themselves, rather than having me count. That way they feel in control and are much more relaxed. It’s a simple one, two, three. Then we are both prepared.
6. Use a fast shutter speed to freeze the movement. If you don’t know what that means, use the little running man icon on your camera dial. (But really, if you don’t know, you should learn! Join me for the DSLR class here!) It’s the sports mode, and it will try to pick the fastest shutter speed it can to give you crisp subjects even while they are moving.
7. If you are in auto or on the running man setting and you notice your subject is blurred, you need to move to a brighter area of light. It will really help to shoot the jumping images outdoors where there is a lot of light so that you, or your camera, will have the ability to choose those faster shutter speeds I was talking about.
8. For all those cell phone users out there, it will help you to know that your cell phone doesn’t take the photograph when you push the button/icon on the screen; it actually takes it when you let go. So when you are trying to shoot action with a cell phone, pre-focus on the area your subjects will be when they jump by tapping on the screen, then hold down the shutter icon and don’t release it until the instant before they are right where you want them to be. There won’t be as long a pause between triggering the camera and actually taking the photo if you shoot with this tip.
9. If you want to take a jumping selfie, try using a remote. Trust me on this one! You don’t want to be running back and forth between your camera/phone and your jumping spot, plus jumping! Elsie found a remote she loves here.
My jumping photographs have been some of the most pinned, talked about, and reposted images I have taken. They can be moody or fun; they can tell a story or show a personality. Whatever you choose to create, follow these simple tips, and your jumping photos will jump out of the crowd of images we see everyday. (Totally cheesy ending, but I couldn’t resist!) –Candice
Credits// Author and Photography: Candice Stringham
GIVEAWAY: Just a quick reminder that you only have one more week to register for Candice’s workshop, Mastering Your DSLR. Today we’re giving away 3 spots in the class. Just leave a comment to register for your chance to win! The giveaway will be open until March 14, and the winners will be contacted directly shortly after. Good luck! xoxo.