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Taking too many Shots of same subject?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by MrDoug, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    I have a tendency of taking too many shots of same subject.. (for example a Lighthouse) in my mind I tell myself, don't overshoot this.. then, I do and end up with many shots of same subject and get I get confused when editing and deleting! I have heard that a lot of good photographers, (which I am not!!) take one or two shots and walk away and end up with better results, rather than having numerous shots of same subject.. or am I normal? and what are your habits and suggestions?
  2. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    Just as long as you aren't using film, what the heck! :thumbup:
  3. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    + 100 :smile:
  4. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I agree with digitalandfilm and hyubie.

    I also do not completely trust my camera display to tell me what is a keeper. I mean, I can get a general idea on composition, but things tend to look quite a bit different when I get home.
  5. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    While we're not wasting film when shooting multiple shots of the same subject, we're not training our photographic eye.

    As you approach your subject think about the finished shot you are looking for. What elements around the subject should be in the shot....and which detract from the subject. What angle is the light coming from?

    Take your time and get it right. Now that I've said that....take multiple shots (of the few compositions you like) to make sure you really have it right. Once you get home, go through and be judicious in deleting. Look at all of them and decide which are best. Delete ALMOST everything else.

    Process, print, frame and enjoy.

    And keep in the back of your mind.....do you want the biggest collection of photos or just the best photos.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    I am too like you.... taking way too much of the same picture. I don't trust myself yet in my composition skills, so I take many different compositions. I guess overtime I get more familiar with what works and what doesn't work. On a typical 150 picture shoot, I think after I run through the pictures 2 times, I would delete 100 of them. I'll fast process the 50, then select a few which i really like.... which is about 15. haha only 1/10 is a keeper. Not a very good ratio.
  7. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I do like the idea of taking fewer, better photos. I am just not quite there skill-wise yet!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I always end up taking multiple shots of my subjects, but during post, I can never get myself to keep just ONE.

    There's always this one slight detail in a shot that makes it a keeper for me, even if the other 99% was identical. Needless to say, I waste a lot of space on my hard drive.

    How can I get over this "problem"? :wink:
  9. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Analogue V Digital

    Luke sums it up well.

    I cut my teeth as a Photojournalist using film and even though for very high profile events (Royal / Presidential events), we would use our motordrives to shoot a burst of around 3-5 images to capture the main features, I am amazed now to see many digital users think nothing of shooting 20 images+ of the same subject.

    I let a self professed photographer use my camera to shoot a group shot that included me, even though I had the camera set on single shot he kept shooting and shooting until I asked him to stop - I asked him why he just kept shooting, his answer.......I wanted to get the shot!!

    I also used to use 10x8 view cameras to shoot large groups of up to 1200 people and we only ever used a max of 4 sheets, the critical factor being observation by the photographer - our group was 15 people and accounting for blackout as the shutter fired, the images were 99% identical.

    Closed eyes is a usual justification but if the photographer has rapport and communication with the group, 3 images max should be sufficient to get the shot.

    In view of this I do despair at the attitude of those who shoot too many to obtain one and even though there is technically no cost involved, shutters have limited lives and a 20:1 ratio is excessive and only serves to limit the life of shutter and other components without encouraging the photographer to adopt a more thoughtful and considered approach to their work - analogue taught me this and I pride myself in still applying these principles to my digital shooting.

    I realise that some who read this may be offended, this is not my intention it is purely my interpretation of what I see in the average digital photographer of today.
  10. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Actually, good photographers will take many images--film and memory cards are cheap, getting back to a location or doing a reshoot is not. I just had a 45 minute shoot for portraits of eight poets--total time, not 45 minutes for each poet. I took 162 images. I only used one image for each poet. I did not overshoot.

    Now if you are simply taking the exact image again and again and expecting a different result, then I would say you might be crazy. (The first sign of madness is hairs growing on the palm of your hands.) If you are bracketing or changing the composition, that is different.

    You just need a way to deal with your images. I would start by simply sorting them into firsts and seconds folders. That will soon get the number of good images down to a manageable number.

    BTW, the second sign of madness is looking for hair on the palm of your hands...
  11. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    I am not offended, but format also changes your shot rate. As the format increases the shot rate goes down. Shooting 20 8x10 frames is a lot of work and a piece of cake in 35mm. Shooting many frames is not thoughtless if you are thinking with each exposure. And it depends what you are doing. If you are shooting a model in the studio or wandering the streets for a landscape, your shot rate will be different. If you are following a riot or or taking a picture of your friend in front of the Statue of Liberty, your shot rate is different.

    The most important thing is the result. If you come back with three frames and not the image, then what was the point? I am also a dinosaur from the film age and the saying was in my education, film is cheap. You shoot what you have to.
  12. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    That's a good point. One needn't limit the number of thoughtfully composed shots out of fear of cost per frame. But blindly shooting dozens of shots of the same subject is most often because the photographer isn't deliberate enough. If you are taking you time with regards to composition and technique.....take as many as you like.

    But I believe what MrDoug was getting at in his original post is the frustration of having tons of shots and none of them being as great as the person who is more deliberate and only taking a couple shots.

    The tale of the tortoise and the hare could just as easily be about 2 photographers photographing the same subject.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I take too many shots of my dog and my beardie. But then, I guess all pet owners do that, lol.

    Experienced models understand that I want them to hold still for a couple shots at least before moving on to another pose (if I like the pose I may want a headshot as well as a body shot, or maybe a bust shot, etc.), but amateur models think that once the flash goes off the shot is done.
  14. Aniseedvan

    Aniseedvan Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    +1, the number of families I have to instruct to stay still - esp. if you find you have a blinker and need to take a couple...

    I'm trying to reduce the number I take - but then I can go to, say a motorsport event and spend the entire event behind a camera. Last one I went to I took a few of the first race, then a load of the drivers at the signing session and actually sat with the family and watched the other races. I had a bit of a nervous tic by the end though...
  15. Janine4d

    Janine4d Mu-43 Regular

    Doesn't everyone have a different shooting style anyway? Some people prefer to put more effort into their photography upfront, plan out their framing and settings in depth and end up with a good photo with just 3 shots or less - others (like me) prefer to leave a lot of the decision making until later and just shoot a bunch of different versions with different settings of the same thing. To me both styles are equally valid, everyone has their own way of working. And I don't take photos of models, my subjects don't care how long I stand there snapping away. ;) 
  16. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    That is exactly what I am saying as well! I have read in the past to take just a couple shots of same subject and it will force you to be better at sizing up your composition and save lots of hard drive space! I am going to force myself to do just that for a bit and see what shakes. No pun intended. :smile:
  17. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    You caught me as I was just checking the palm of my hand. :smile:
  18. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Here's one way to force yourself... use a 1G memory card. Betcha that'll be an eye-opener!
  19. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA

    Hmmmm... I think I may have a 128 MB card around here somewhere.
  20. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Nothing necessarily wrong with shooting lots of images, but that shouldn't be a replacement for thinking about what you're shooting first.

    The key to dealing with lots of images is to have a workflow to compare and evaluate them, AND THEN DELETE THE WEAK ONES. There's no reason to keep poor images that you know you'll never print / display. Decide on the best 1, or 2 or 3 images of a given subject, and trash the rest. Confusion ended.
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