How many keeper shots per roll do you get?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Middlemarch, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch TPF Noob!

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    I'm not surprised that I have only shot one "useful" pic per roll so far (I understand that they are all 'useful' b/c they all teach us something, even the poor ones).

    I'm wondering what your range is for 'keeper shots'...1/24? 5/24? more? Those shots that you wouldn't mind blowing up and framing, that is...

    Also, how many rolls do you shoot a week, just for yourself, not counting 'work'?

    MM
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    What do you mean by keeper? I try to keep them all. I shoot almost everyday, and I get lots of photos I like, but if I get 10 really good photos in a year I'll be very happy.
     
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch TPF Noob!

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    I figured folks would keep them all. That's not what I meant. As I said, a keeper is one that you would feel good enough about to enlarge and frame, say for a gift....
     
  4. paul rond

    paul rond TPF Noob!

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    There was a documentry about Plauden and in it he was asked the same question. He looked at it in an interesting way. He said most people think of their pictures as if they were trout adn they have to come home with a creel full of fish every time they go out. It doesn't work like that. You have to work at getting good shots.

    He says he feels lucky to maybe get one good shot out of dozens of rolls of film. Also, hel shoots one subject on that dozen rolls of film, he'll spend all day with that one subject and keep shooting it over and over.

    When he is in the darkroom he will process each roll using different techniques and times, selenium toning at different concentrations adn times to bring up the hightlights a tiny bit or altering the shadows till it is perfect in the negative. He says "film is cheap, why be so stingy when it comes to making that one perfect shot worth a million dollars out of such a small investment of $2/roll?"

    Makes perfect sence.
     
  5. ShutteredEye

    ShutteredEye TPF Noob!

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    HAHAHA my wife would KILL me if I shot dozens of rolls for every subject.

    I shot about 15 rolls for my sister n laws wedding, btwn the engagement sessions, showers, and ceremony, and I thought she was going to have a hernia. It makes sense though.

    I range between 4-6 per roll I'm really happy with, but its usually only about once every 4 or 5 rolls that I get one that takes my breath away and makes my heart jump when I see it for the first time.
     
  6. David A

    David A TPF Noob!

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    I probably end up with 6-7/24 on a good day and on a bad day...possibly none.
     
  7. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    on film, where i spend more time composing and lighting, i would say i get 1 or 2 good shots per 36 exposures, and 4 or 5 pic to blow up out of 400 shots.

    as for digital, out of 4,500 pictures, ive got about 20 that i would like to enlarge.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've been out of the film game for a few years now... But on a typical 40ish exposure roll (when you wind your own, you can usually get a couple of extra in the can if you wind tight ;) ) I was happy with 1-2 what I call 'good' shots. In digital... if I get 1-2 per 100 I'm reasonably happy...
     
  9. wharrison

    wharrison TPF Noob!

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    Middlemarch:

    I don't wish to brag - and please don't see it as such - but there are many times that I have had excellent and consistent results with a 96% to 99% "return" on a roll of film - 36 exposure or less. For example, I spent one summer photographing (available light) a series of plays for a summer stock theatre in the round in the following manner:

    In order to achieve high consistency, I took the time to read the play, if time permitted, which I did most of the time; spent some time at the dress rehearsals before I shot the play to get a sense of the action as the play played out; took meter readings (incident method) on the dress rehearsal before the final one and memorized the basic exposure and also whether the light went up or down by a half or a full stop; shot 11 13 rolls of 36 exposure each of Tri-X and developed it in Diafine making certain that all of my temperatures - from start to finish - were within 1/2 degree and that the agitation was consistent throughout the entire developing process, and easily blew up whole or partial segments of the negative to 11 X 14 prints with minimum grain and high acutance. With very few exceptions, all of the negatives on each of the many contact sheets exhibited consistent exposure. Of course, I made use of a Leica rangefinder, the 35mm and 50mm Summicrons and a Leitz Valoy II enlarger.

    The same consistent results can be easily under far less stressful conditions, i.e. everyday photography - preferably using a handheld meter and the incident light method and carefully looking through the viewfinder before tripping the shutter.

    My suggestions for raising one's consistency is to begin treating your photographic efforts as if you were using a 4 X 5 view camera. In other words, slow down a bit and look at both the parts and the whole before tripping the shutter.

    For example, I have a wonderful shot of a model log cabin and sawmill that was taken with a 28mm Elmarit M (borrowed from a friend) on my Leica. The only thing that really "spoiled" the effect of making these model buildings look "normal" in size was the fact that I forgot to more carefully look in the viewfinder before tripping the shutter. Located at the top of the frame - almost out of view - was a few power or telephone lines. The slide is still a "keeper" in my book, since I was still able to make use of it when I taught photography and use it to discussed and illustrate one of the effective uses of wide angle lenses, i.e. moving in close and making things seem bigger than they really are and to also illustrate the need to "look" carefully before tripping the shutter release.

    Consistency of excellent results are not difficult if one pays attention before tripping the shutter. It's the real "keeper" photographs that are often difficult to achieve because not everything "gels" at the decisive moment, i.e. your subject looked fine through the viewfinder, but the resulting photograph shows that she/he blink. etc.

    Hope this discussion is useful.

    Bill
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Or just think about how much the processing will cost :lol: that'll make ya think twice before pressing that button.

    It's all about thinking though. That might sound stupid, but the way to get more of what you'd consider "keepers" is to really think about the various factors that will affect the final print. Know the strengths and weaknesses of every piece of equipment you're using - film, camera, lenses, lightmeter whether dedicated or built-in... know you're own strengths and weaknesses. Of course, how can you learn? By your mistakes - cliché? Yes, but only because it's true. Don't get discouraged when you don't like any of the prints - learn from them. Look at each "failure" and think hard as to why it didn't turn out the way you wanted. To this end, taking notes when shooting is not a bad idea.

    Oh, and luck. Sometimes ya get lucky, sometimes ya get screwed :mrgreen:. That's life... that's what all the people say... hmm hmm hmm hmmmmm... da da da da...

    Lightmeters too. Get one, use it. You'll feel the difference. In 30 days or your money back. Or possibly not. Still, use a lightmeter :thumbup:.

    Plus wherever possible, do it yourself. Here I'm referring to processing; if you develop your own film and make your own prints in a darkroom you have (almost) complete control; you'll find you have far more "keepers" than if you hand over the film to a guy in a shop and wait for your 6x4s to come back. Of course, money being no object and all that eh :mrgreen:.
     
  11. airgunr

    airgunr TPF Noob!

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    I am happy if I get 1 or 2 out of a 36 exp roll. Lots of times I don't get any that I'm truely happy with. Either the composition is off, sometimes exposure or perspective didn't come out the way I had planned.
     
  12. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the input, everyone.

    I'm learning from my many failed prints. There are little things I need to consider, and practice will help me see these better.

    I also have a tendency to snap a pic because I don't want to miss a good shot -- these have turned out lousy, of course. The prints that are most pleasing are those that I did in fact think about carefully. Thanks...;)
     

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