Keepers to total number of shots...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by c&k, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. c&k

    c&k TPF Noob!

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    So I was just thinking after going over some c&c on my first two images that I should be taking many more shots that what I have been.

    On both shots there were things in the images that I just couldn't see in the LCD that I could after I had opened the images up in Gimp to take a closer look. I could have easily taken more shots at different angles with different settings and tried any number of things. I see now that yeah it is a no brainer to take a number of shots instead of one or two and be done with it.

    But how many? I know there isn't a specific number I should target nor am I wanting one. I'm just wanting to know in general about how many shots are most of you taking before you find/get/shoot a "keeper."

    And I'm sure there are a ton of variables in the equation that each situation and shot have inherent in them but if some of you could post some specific examples in response that may be better such as I shot X, Y number of times, and got Z keepers.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. anm90

    anm90 TPF Noob!

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    Since I am still learning, I tend to bracket every shot +/- 1.0 EV and try multiple settings for each shot, and multiple compositions. I'll end up with 300 pictures for only 100 shots and and maybe 30 different subjects. Out of those, I'll end up with about 5-6 keepers after some editing. It's very much the shotgun approach. You'll still need a general idea of what the shot needs though as far as depth of field and shutter speed. If you're shooting a landscape but want everything to be in focus from 2 feet to infinity you'll need to use a small aperture such as f/16 or f/22, or if you're trying to isolate the subject you'll need to use a large aperture like f/4 or so.

    On landscapes, the aperture isn't as critical. But for something close up like a flower shot, I'll usually try a couple different apertures so that I can see how the quality of the blur is affected with each one. That is just part of my learning process.

    As for looking at pictures on the LCD, I find it notoriously difficult to find keepers on the LCD. I never know for sure until I look at them on the computer. Most of the time I can tell pretty much if it is going to be a keeper or not but often times many of the ones I think I like on the LCD turn out to be not so great. That's just how it works, and that's why you take lots of pictures when you're learning.

    Right now I'm beginning to learn a bit more and I think I'll be able to start seeing which shots are better than others. It really does take a lot of thought to get the shot right in camera.
     
  3. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As many as it takes.
     
  4. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    It really depends on what I'm shooting. If I'm shooting a vacation, birthday party or some event like that (I recently did a baby shower my wife attended), I will get a number of keepers, easily more than 50% in most cases. But when I'm shooting landscapes or am trying to get creative in some way, that number drops to closer to (or less than, in a lot of cases) 1% (yes, one). Typically, if I'm shooting a landscape (my favorite subject) I'll shoot somewhere between 50 and 100 shots in the same basic direction, though I'll vary things like exposure, orientation (I'll always shoot at least a few in a vertical orientation), or maybe zoom in or out. I might wait 20 minutes for different light. So basically, each of those 100 or so shots are of the same thing, but they are each different in someway. YMMV, but most people have a pretty low keeper rate.

    To give you an example, I have around 10,000 photos on my hard drive, but I only have maybe 100-150 of them actually shown online publicly.
     
  5. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    Ok, that's a much better answer than mine. :)
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yep Bitter gave the answer - infact I'd say as many as it takes and a few extra just to make sure! The power of digital is that the failed shots don't cost you a single thing save a moment to remove (ps I do this on the computer not the camera, you can't properly review an image on the camera LCD and on a canon delete and delete all are right next to each other - don't want to make a mistake ;))

    Even in the days of film photographers would bracket shots and try to get as much as they could - experience helped them cut down on waste shots as did paying for reach mistake. Never be fooled that the great masters ever came back with reels of keepers - often they would be happy to get just one really good keeper of a roll of 36.

    It's a nice statistic to know - your keeper rate - but that's about where it ends. Don't try to compare yours to others either as its so personal and indevidual and often depends highly on the area you are shooting in. I expect sports/wildlife/action photographers often have many more waste shots than say a studio photographer - but a studio photographer will often have many more test shots to see how the lighting is balancing. Also what is a keeper and what is not is highly debatable - you might consider some shots keepers that others would not dream of considering and vis versa
     
  7. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well, if you're gonna write a book, you should get paid for it.
    :lmao:
     
  8. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    a few. ;) i can't offer a specific number. handheld walk arounds: 2 or 3 for exposure and true verticals/horizontals. a macro of a butterfly perched on a stem being blown around by a slight breeze: 5,10/25/50 (if it's a rarity). street photos from the hip: 1 (or two). depends on the difficulty of the situation. sometimes the aperture and shutterspeed hardly alters over a period of an hour or two and i just put the camera to my eye and make photos.
     
  9. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Since my primary interests are birds and storms, my keeper percentage would be very low...

    For either, it's nothing to shoot 400-600 shots at a time (or more), pick the few that I like and delete the rest. I don't believe in keeping a bunch of mediocre shots around that will never be used when I have a few really nice ones. The only time I will keep crappy shots is if it is a bird I have never photographed before. I will add it to my file as having been shot & ID'ed, then delete them later as better shots of that species are added.
     
  10. HikinMike

    HikinMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    LOL....I do the same thing! Once I get a better shot, it's deleted.
     
  11. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I keep everything, unless it obviously has no value (camera shake, oof, etc). Storage is dirt cheap these days. You never know when you come across a gem that you didn't notice before (has happened to me several times). Also, that photographer that got that shot of President Clinton hugging Monica Lewinski. Everyone knows the photo. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it was an 'obvious' throw away photo at the time. Now it's made him lots of money.
     
  12. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    x2. I save my final judgments for when I am back at my computer sitting in my nice comfy chair.... there is no un-delete button on my camera (there is one on my computer)

    200-300 snaps with only 2-3 keepers is common when your subject is an active 18 month old....

    p!nK
     

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