After 400 shots, do you keep shooting?

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by wt21, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Don't know if this belongs in the "philosophy of photography" or not, so mods feel free to move.

    Over the weekend, I joined a church retreat up north. It was a great time, and I got over 400 shots with my RX100 (a few more with film, but they aren't ready yet).

    This morning, I went for my am dog walk, and brought my camera, but thought "I don't want to take any pictures. I've already got a pile I need to wade through."

    I was wondering what others do -- If you run through a large shoot, afterward do you just keep shooting, or do you purposely pause, while you process what you have? I'm sure the answer is dependent on what is coming up next and what else is going on in your life, but would love to hear some thoughts.
  2. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I'm prone to let it rest, but not sleep for a few days.
  3. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    If I am going out and I see things, I shoot. It doesn't matter that I shot the day before, every day is a new day. If you go on vacation, every day will bring you new things. One day on vacation I had two cameras on me, shot with each. The next day I had one camera and barely shot at all, not because of the camera capabilities but because I really didn't see anything I wanted to preserve. If you are concerned about the number of shots you are taking backing up on you and having no time to sift them, then concentrate on each shot like you are using film and you don't get to just delete it if it's no good. With digital people take a lot more photos firstly because wow, you can have more than 36 or even 72, but also because you don't feel bad about throwing out what isn't good. If you already have the attitude that many aren't good, why take them in the first place-- and to complicate things, not shoot the next day because you have such a pile to sift through. You'll miss the good opportunities.

    Where I do pause is I don't edit the photos unless I need something out of them right away in which case I get what I need. Not editing right away, not sifting them, gives you a little time to become more reflective when you do look at them and you will see things you didn't before, appreciate shots you might have thrown out as junk and just decompress from all that shooting. So if you go out daily.. then you set up a pattern of looking at your images a few days later. While you don't have to be shooting for art or for perfection and some photos are great even if they are blurred because they captured something really special, those 400 photos you shot weren't all worthy of saving. So of course you keep on shooting. Besides, practicing as often as you can increases your mastery of the camera and your percentage for more photos worthy of keeping next time. :)
    • Like Like x 2
  4. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Kristen, good thoughts. Thanks! I especially like "Not editing right away, not sifting them, gives you a little time to become more reflective." I think I have a compulsion to minimize storage impact. It's almost OCD. I think I'll try the "step away for a time" approach.
  5. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Learned the not editing right away from a lot of pros. Another tip they suggest is that even after you sift your photos, keep them a bit longer for a second sifting. Your perspective changes over time as you get more practice and you might find that you liked the shot of the woman with the red handbag and want to add it to your 'people and their accessories series' later.. etc. To deal with the ocd, promise yourself every two weeks you will look or after a month you will purge, whatever time frame works for you. But do not stop shooting.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Gary

    Gary All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Keep shooting. And when you think there is nothing to shoot look again ... look left, look right, look up, look down, look behind ... look harder.

    (Remember that this is coming from a guy who used to get free film, so shooting with total disregard to film cost, I'd always would shoot a ton. So my opinion on how much to shoot is sorta based on my free film days.) I am so backlogged on processing ... it isn't even funny. Last night I shot the opening day of the Brea Jazz Festival and I still haven't processed last year's images.

    • Like Like x 2
  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Nice comments here. I make no real plans. I go through my stuff during the evening when I typically do very little shooting. If I fall behind, so be it. The opportunity for a shot won't last but my SD card will.
  8. thekeddi

    thekeddi Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    I keep shooting, because you never know what might pop up the next day and you may miss out on that one special shot :)
  9. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I can usually keep up with processing because I don't shoot very many frames. Some months I may not even shoot 100, but I'm pretty choosy. But every once in awhile I'll have a couple hours free for shooting and I get a whole bunch and then not have time to process until later. No worries...the files can wait. Shooting and processing exist on separate planes of existence.
  10. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    Similar to Luke - I don't tend to shoot a whole lot. I've tried over time to reduce the number of pictures I take.Even so, I still end up deleting the majority, though I also adhere to the 'let it sit for a few days approach' and then use the star ratings in Lightroom to do repeated runs through to whittle them down.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Good method Olli
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Lili

    Lili Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    I keep going, just because I have shot a bunch already doesn't stop me from seeing
    that said, I have never taken that many shots in a day...
  13. retow

    retow All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Keep going. But be as generous with deleting as you are with shooting. I.e. set yourself a target of deleting at least 50% of the shots taken in the first fast review session and another 80% of the remaining files in a more thorough review round. This will leave you with 40 shots, of which maybe 3-5 will be real keepers.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    i think the most ever took in a day was between 2 and 3 hundred, but for me, reviewing large numbers of images is tiring and dispiriting.

    I like to look at what I've shot the same day and process them the same day. I find if I'm shooting regularly, then leaving them longer means I start to feel overwhelmed by the numbers I have to look at and stuff just gets missed or forgotten or shelved.

    There are still shots in my LR catalogue from months if not years ago that I could return to and make something of, but it seems such an effort!

    Even before i started back using film again, I began to be very self-limiting on the number of photographs I took, for the reasons I just stated, and because I realised that there is a limit to how many shots I could take and still find anything new or worthwhile on the card when I got home.

    So unless I'm just recording "someting interesting I saw", I more often than not don't take a photograph unless I'm sure there's something extra going on in the frame that I really feel captured by.

    Using film again has reinforced this habit.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Gary

    Gary All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Yes, looking, selecting and processing from hundred's of images is not only tiring and dispiriting but I'd add tedious ana pita. I shoot a lot of action stuff, sports, plays, people moving about and it is difficult to employ prior restraint when one just doesn't know if there will be something better in the next five seconds or the next hour. Typically, unless it's family images, I only release the shutter if I find the subject interesting, pleasing, something worth preserving. (When using film I tended to restrict myself not to exceed four rolls.)

  16. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    i dont stop shooting till i get home
    then i obsessively process like dr frankenstein
    then i start over the next day.
    • Like Like x 4
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    I'm way, way, way behind in processing images, but I don't treat that ad a bottleneck to stop me from shooting now. What it does do is make me more selective in pressing the shutter. I hate low keeper rates!
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 All-Pro

    Jul 21, 2012
    NJ, USA
    I'm with many of the others, I keep shooting. When I have taken over 200 photos in one day they tended to be of a specific event I was asked to cover or of a new city I was visiting for the first time. The next day is bound to bring different subjects. I will confess I do not spend as much time in post, I tend to shoot Fine JPGs more often than not and only do minimal cropping and minor color adjustments, so this is not a real backlog. I may come back later on and look at a batch of photos again to see if there is anything else that is worth working on further with Aperture or Snapseed. What I need to do a better job of is editing down and deleting stuff from my digital albums. like retow says. Very tough to find time to do that!
  19. wok64

    wok64 Guest

    If there's something to shoot and you feel like it then shoot, never look back. Garry Winogrand purportedly had around 10.000 rolls of film (>300.000 images!) either unprocessed, not contact printed or unedited when he died. Maybe you shouldn't carry it that far :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  20. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    With digital, I do what it incentivises me to do: Both shoot and delete aggressively. (One is easier than the other.)