Next Workshop: New York City Z8-Z9 November 24 In-Person Bootcamp!

Nikon Z9 Bootcamp: The Articulating Review Screen Is The New Normal For Street & Travel Work

The one common theme I see in much of the work of classic photographers I admire, like Vivian Maier and Diane Arbus is they used cameras where they looked down into the viewfinder, shooting from a lower angle-- and the result was the literal elevation of their subjects. By that I mean, shooting lower and looking up at the people in their images tends to communicate a dignity you see it in the photographs.
Photo: Vivian Maier
The great portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh mostly shot his famous subject from a low angle which tended to glorify the iconic historical figures who were his subjects. 

And I've taken my cue from these photographic heavyweights when I go out shooting with my Z9. The Nikon Z9's and its amazing tilt screen has allowed me to take a similar tact, and I'm loving the results. I use the camera the way I usually do, back button AF, wide-large with subject detect set for people. I increase the monitor brightness to its max and I look down and shoot.
Photo: Steve Simon
The huge added benefit I notice is I'm much less intimidating to people when my eye is not on the viewfinder window pointing my camera in their direction. People don't seem to notice or care that my fairly large Z9 is pointing in their direction when I'm looking down at the monitor.  As a result, in concert with the Z9 lightening fast AF, I'm getting stronger, more intimate, authentic and candid moments. It's my new normal when street and travel shooting. In situations when I need to be extra stealthy, I set the camera to silent mode and screen to "tough shutter/tough AF" and I simply touch the area on the screen I want to focus and the camera focuses and shoots without making a sound. It's a game-changer. More on this in the Nikon Z9 Bootcamp. 

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