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Comparison Between Cameras and Rifles

August 07, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I've debated posting this one for a long time as it seems that every time I think about posting this one, some national tragedy occurs that brings weapons of all kinds into the spotlight again.  As we're coming up on the anniversary of my enlistment/EAS I figure now is as good a time as any to post this.

This is going to be a bit of an odd post.  As most of my followers know I did spend four years in the United States Marine Corps.  While I was enlisted my Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was a cook Food Service Specialist (don't we feel special???).  As everyone knows about the USMC however, every Marine is considered a rifleman.  We learn it in bootcamp, and have to qualify every year that we stay in. 

Now, just to get this thought out of the way.  I am not pro-gun.  I am not anti-gun.  I'm for the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms, but I do not believe that every American should own a gun.  What I am for however is safe ownership of guns.  Locking them up when there are children in the house, making sure that everyone (adult and child) is familiar with gun safety and gun safety rules.  Treat every weapon as if it were loaded, never point at anything you do not intend to shoot, etc.

There was a lot that I learned on the range that I feel pertains to using a camera as well.  Here are some of mine:

  • You need a solid standing base to shoot to avoid missing the target; essentially forming a tripod with your body and centering your gravity.  Keeping your arms tight to your body.
  • With a rifle there are methods of wrapping your hand in the sling to steady your shot.  I've used a similar method at times when using my camera.
  • A slow steady squeeze of the trigger will allow you to take a fine shot rather than pulling the trigger and missing the target.
  • Anything you point at can be shot whether intentionally or not.
  • With a rifle and a camera you typically need two hands to shoot. One hand will squeeze the trigger, while the other steadies the barrel/lens.
  • You need to know the special physics behind your craft.  Trajectory and speed for rifles, and light for cameras.
  • You need to know your subject.  How it moves, and how it will react to what you're doing.
  • Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.  This is true for cameras too.  There have been many celebrities, high school kids, teachers, etc. that took a racy shot and "accidentally" had it posted for the world to see.  We live in a very interconnected world, and it is very easy to slip up or send something out that may be inappropriate.
  • Never point at anything you do not intend to shoot.  For me as a photographer, I believe this applies mostly to event photography.  If someone says that they do not want their picture taken, don't take their picture.  There are plenty of other people at the party, no reason to upset someone unnecessarily.  Don't even point the camera in their direction if you can help it.

This post again, is not necessarily to be tongue in cheek or to advocate, or not advocate the use of firearms.  This is merely to present the idea that a lot of the things that we learn in life can be translated into other areas of our lives.


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