Is Chimping Good For You?

Chimping isn’t referring to anything animal related. At least not when it comes to photography.

This is a term that can be used in the photography world. If you’ve never heard it before, it’s going to sound confusing.

A term like chimping will bring an image to your head that has nothing to do with photography. That’s to be expected.

Before even knowing what the term actually means, you need to understand that in photography, there is a stigma against chimping.

It’s also something that is looked at as a bad habit in photography. This is something that everyone is guilty of doing at some point in their photography journey.

So, don’t feel like it’s something that only a few people do. Everyone has done it.

Is Chimping Good?

You’re probably still in the dark about what chimping is.

To get you out of the dark with the term chimping, it refers to a photographer that either checks their photo after every take or one that checks their photos almost too frequently.

This could be a nasty habit when it comes to your photography. You could very well miss a bunch of opportunities for great photos if you’re too busy looking at the ones you’ve already taken.

You can probably see why a lot of people consider this to be a terrible habit. However, it may not be the worst thing in the world.

But how can we really determine if chimping is actually good for you if there’s such a negative connotation with it?

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to have an answer to this question.

What is Chimping?

As mentioned above, chimping is when you’re checking your photos too often. A ton of people have a habit of looking at every photo they take as soon as they take it.

I would say there is nothing wrong with that, but it could cause problems for you.

Chimping could cause you to miss out on certain photo opportunities. You might miss some chances for the best photo you’ve ever taken because you took a few seconds to look at the photo you just took.

Based on that, chimping definitely sounds like it’s always going to be a bad thing. What good could come from missing opportunities to get the photo that you might actually be looking for?

Chimping Can Be Good

Even though it really has a negative connotation, chimping can have its positives.

Chimping can allow you to make sure you have all of your camera settings where they should be.

Lighting in photography is extremely important so it’s good to be able to see if that’s right through chimping.

There are a number of other components that you need to make sure are right when you’re taking a photo. Focal length is another one, for example.

It’s going to be weird if you take all your photos, then get to the editing process and realize none of them have turned out the way you wanted them to.

If that happens, it’s going to be way too late to go back and change things the way you really want to. Editing can only do so much. If you don’t have your camera settings right, you won’t achieve the photo you want no matter what you do with the editing process.

Chimping can also allow you to make any changes to your composition if you need to. Composition is going to help you have the best possible photo.

An image that has poor composition is going to be extremely annoying because there is so much potential. You’re going to be frustrated with yourself if you notice a photo that has a lot of potential, but you can just tell something is off because of its composition.

Chimping can help prevent this annoyance from happening.

Why Chimping is Hard to Avoid

I personally believe that chimping is extremely hard to completely avoid because of the way people are conditioned nowadays.

If we were able to go back a few decades, before the digital camera came out, you wouldn’t see anybody chimping.

Why is this?

It’s because people didn’t really have a choice. They either had a disposable camera where they had to wait until their pictures were printed before viewing them or they had a polaroid camera where the photo would already be printed when you took the photo.

Camera technology wasn’t advanced enough to give people the chance to look at their photos immediately after they take it.

Chimping wasn’t something that came around until cameras gave people the opportunity to see their photos immediately after.

Although the advancement of cameras has been great for photography everywhere, it has taken away from a little bit of the skill required to get the shot nearly perfect on the first try.

Nothing is wrong with that because who wouldn’t choose something more convenient like a nice digital camera?

A lot of people now, especially the ones that are just getting into photography are going to be conditioned to look at their pictures immediately after taking them.

It doesn’t matter what type of camera they have, whether it’s a Canon EOS-R (my personal favorite) or something else.

People love to admire their work so it’s only natural to look at your photo immediately.

You should also think about how phones are today. Almost everyone with a phone has a smartphone. Taking a picture with these phones is going to allow you to see what you took right away.

We want to see how the photo came out. We don’t want to just take the photo and go about our business. People want to make sure they have the best possible photo, so if that takes multiple shots then it’s okay with them.

When we develop this habit it’s going to be hard to break once we start getting serious about photography. It becomes almost a habit to look at the picture as soon as it’s taken.

Should You Avoid Chimping?

For me, whether or not you should avoid chimping is entirely situational. There are going to be times where it’s okay to be chimping and other times where you should avoid it.

For example, if you’re in no rush for time and know exactly what you need the chimping is okay. If you have subjects that aren’t moving and your photos don’t depend on the background changing at all, go chimp crazy if you want.

However, if you’re trying to capture sports moments at a game, chimping can really harm you. There could be times where you miss a lot of the action because you’re looking at your previous photo.

Sports photography should be something where you don’t chimp at all simply because you can easily miss a ton of the action.

Is it Good to Chimp?

There isn’t a definitive answer to this question. It’s going to be based on the type of photography you’re doing and the type of photo you’re looking for.

You’re going to have times where chimping is going to be perfectly okay. There are going to be other times where chimping is going to significantly hinder your ability to get the best possible photo.

So, if you really wanted an answer to the question, is chimping good for you, I would have to say both yes and no.

I understand that chimping is something that can be hard to avoid if it’s already a habit that you have. It can easily turn into a bad habit if you’re doing it at crucial times.

However, it shouldn’t be viewed as a bad habit. Don’t just look at your photos to admire them. Look at them to see if there are any adjustments that need to be made.

If you do this, no matter when you start chimping, it won’t feel like you’re doing something that’s very egregious.