How prolific are you when photographing?

OzRay

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A comment I made in the Leica post made me think once again about the film vs digital days. I said that I would never want to return to the film days again and one of the major reasons was the cost and relative inflexibility of the film medium (processing, printing etc). Strangely enough, even though I've embraced the digital era with gusto, I don't seem to have shaken off my film days shooting habits.

In the film days, when I'd go out shooting with say my 35mm, I'd take along two or three rolls of 36 film (even fewer if I was shooting 120 or 4"x5") and spend the day looking for shots. I might shoot one roll (mostly) or two, but rarely three in a day, as I would be considered with everything that I took. I simply wouldn't blaze away at everything and, when a scene caught my eye, I would take possibly 3-5 shots from different angles and exposures to hopefully capture what was in my mind's eye. When I got the film back from processing, I'd usually find that in a roll of 36 shots, I'd be lucky to have three that I'd consider acceptable (for a multitude of reasons).

Today, with digital, I can't seem to shake that same philosophy and so I shoot in exactly the same way, even though I have the ability to shoot thousands of shots in a day and view the results immediately (within reason) of every shot that I take. Over Easter, while away in the mountains for four days, I took only 120 shots in total. I'm not sure if it's because of a hangover from the film days to simply be conservative with available film, or a desire to be more considered about shots taken, partly because of the limitations imposed by film. I've noticed this in the past and can't figure out why I'm so conservative with digital.

Does anyone else operate this way?
 

foxtail1

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I'm with you in that I'd never go back to film — all that effort and expense for a couple of keepers!

But I've definitely changed my shooting habits. I frequently take several hundred a day, depending on what I'm shooting. I'm not overly concerned with framing, because I get what I want by cropping (which is my main post-processing — I don't do any advanced pp). I love the fact that I don't have to be conservative, and it's led to trying to shoot new genres, such as sports. Since I don't know the best way to shoot sports action, I just try a little of everything and see what works. (Occasionally, I even get a keeper.)
 

agentlossing

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Hmm, interesting thought. I didn't really get into photography hard-core in the pre digital days, so I can't claim that as an influence. Still, I sort of fluctuate. Some outings I shoot everything, others I want to be more methodical and picky.

I think the main reason for that is company: When I'm with my wife on an outing, I want my camera with me, but I'm not primarily focused on photos. Primarily I want to enjoy the time with her, exploring. I still see the opportunities, but I'll only stop for the good ones, and I don't linger over them for an extended period of time.

•••GX1+LVF-2+Olympus 17mm f/2.8, GF3; Konica FS-1, C35v; various lenses•••
 

Fmrvette

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Hi Ray!

Yep, that's pretty much my method of madness as well. Just because "film is free" isn't much of a reason to take a photograph that doesn't really need to be taken.

Maybe it is a hold over from the Kodachrome days :drinks:.

Regards,

Jim
 

GFFPhoto

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3 of 36 is a pretty good rate of keepers. Some days I do a bit better, but not overall. If you are getting roughly 8% keepers you are doing well (although looking back, with film I think I may have had more relaxed standards).

And my shooting varies with whats around me. I can go for a walk and come home with anywhere from 2 to 200 exposures, all depending on what I see. But I don't feel I'm holding back
 

Replytoken

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I certainly don't spray and pray, but I have found that I shoot more with digital. Some of that is because I have an instant feedback mechanism, and can work a shot a bit until I am happy, and some is because I can, and would have if film was not so expensive. I think a lot depends on the subject and type of shooting, but if there is a lot of action, I tend to shoot more as the keeper rate can be a bit on the low side (although there is no substitute for good timing, a sometimes small frustration due to the EVF lag with mirrorless cameras).

--Ken
 

fortwodriver

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I'm the same way... I shoot digital the same way I shot film. I have never really been a machine-gun shooter. Mind, you that could be because my first digital slr was actually SLOWER than my 35mm camera... ker-thunk---zzzzip, ker-thunk---zzzzip, ker-thunk----zzzzip - I think it was 1.5 frames a second. If you filled the buffer it slowed to one every 2 seconds or something like that.

I rarely make use of the high-speed advance on my digital cameras - it's fun sometimes though.
 

OzRay

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Those three shots would mostly be 'acceptable' shots, not so much great shots and that didn't happen every time. I was happy if I could snag maybe 10 great shots in a year, which is pretty much how I look at it today. Today there's a greater chance of improving your averages, as digital post-processing is so much easier than film post-processing, especially colour.
 

Superstriker#8

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I usually shoot a ton, which annoys me because of the sheer amount of photos I have to go through, especially with about 75-80% crap, 10-15% okay photos (the annoying part), and only 5-10% really good shots.
 

D7k1

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Depends on what I'm shooting and if I can easily get back to the location. BiF's - well hundreds per day. Landscapes more like film, but in an exotic locations I'll shoot with two bodies and several different lens.
 

jeffg53

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I still stick pretty much to my film habits. The idea of shooting by percentages holds no appeal. Back in my Hasselblad film days, it was 12 shots and finished. I do shoot a bit more now as I experiment with angles. I even found that I tool half the number of the other shooters when imn a helicopter.
 

Fmrvette

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... I have never regretted taking too many pictures.
I have, Steve - when we got back from that first "digital cruise" and I had to wade through 1,000 photos. I took the files to Woodward Camera and had 'em printed out on 4x6's (all of them) rather than wade through 'em on my computer. I regretted taking so many the moment I got the printing bill :biggrin:.

Immediately after that I upgraded the home computer network to be more 'photo friendly'.

Regards,

Jim
 

OzRay

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I wouldn't call myself prolific; persistent is more accurate.:smile: I try to always remember the following: I have never regretted taking too many pictures.
The only thing I sometimes regret is not taking enough photos and I wonder why I didn't. When I was shooting news and sports, that wasn't an issue, I'd go all out, but for personal stuff, it's the complete opposite and always has been that way. It's just a habit that I can't seem to get out of.
 

Zee

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I tend to limit the number of shots I take for a different reason. I hate processing my shots, so the less, the better.

I try to only take shots that I will actually want to show others, and pretty much put the camera away, or leave it off if the light is not right. For example, if I were at the Pyramids, I just wouldn't bother taking a shot in the middle of the day with the sun directly overhead. There is no point hving a bad photo of the pyramids, As I'll never show it to anyone, and I'll just end up deleting it. I would, however, hang around until golden light, and then go nuts...

I used film into my early 20's, so I do remember the 12/24/36 shot limit, and I also remember the $500 it cost to process a month's worth of photos from a trip to Europe... But I think it's more about trying to not take bad photos, rather than a film hang-over...



Z...
 

GFFPhoto

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I also remember the $500 it cost to process a month's worth of photos from a trip to Europe...
I must have a bad memory. I remember coming home from trips and taking a large ziplock stuffed with 20 or 25 rolls to the lab and paying $150 maybe?

Edit: or maybe I'm getting old and remembering 1985.

2nd edit: Or maybe I didn't realize you were talking about Aus$$. Mea Culpa.
 

jnewell

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My ratio is usually lower, but today, ~220 for ~20 keepers.

I was talking, sort of thinking out loud, with my older son's girlfriend at lunch today about digital vs. film. In film days, for several different reasons, I shot a lot less and paid a lot more per shot. But, when the "sensor" could be upgraded, it was as easy and as cheap as getting a new/different yellow box. Overall, though, and this is the point, I bet my overall cost was probably not much different, in terms of comparing buying a whole new digital camera from time to time vs. the aggregate cost of film and processing.

I am in a twice-divided mind, to borrow a phrase from Homer. I miss film, but love digital.
 

OzRay

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I did a calculation many years back and it worked out for me that in the long run, digital was way cheaper than film, even given the same number of shots taken. If I increased the number of shots with digital, it wasn't even a contest. I added up the cost of computers, software etc as well, and film just kept coming up a poor cousin. Sometimes you could pick up cheap rolls of film, but the processing killed any benefit every time. After while, it also because almost impossible to get 120 film processed, and that was well before digital took over. Home printing was the final nail in the coffin for film, for me at least.
 
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