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    • I thought this was an interesting topic for my first Cake post...

      Examining my photo library recently, I realized I press the camera shutter much, much less than I used to. I'm a landscape photographer, so I'm not prolific to begin with. I'm not capturing thousands of frames during a wedding, for example. Although even for me, I noticed my capture rate is really low.

      On at least three outings in the past two months, my camera never came out of the bag. There was another instance where I captured precisely three photos. For me, I think this is because I'm "pre-culling" in the field. I won't force a shot. Also, once I've captured a scene to my liking, I'll move on to another subject. And sometimes it's nice to put away the gear and just enjoy being outside. That little thing called "living". :-)

      I posted my thoughts in a vlog, too. What about you? As you have progressed as a photographer, do you take fewer photos? More photos? Something else?

    • Yes, I think with experience you get a better idea of what works and what doesn't. A long time ago, I did an exercise in which you had to pretend you were shooting film and had to limit yourself to 12 frames in 2 hours. I got more keepers than I normally do, not just the proportion (which was inevitable) but the absolute number. That said, I think I probably click the shutter about as often as I did when I started. I'm a street shooter and usually don't have much time to analyze--you have to be fast. But I am much more likely to toss a shot when culling than I was and I very rarely resort to Photoshop heroics to "save" a shot, something I did frequently as a beginner.

    • Hi Scott,

      Great to see you here! Beautiful shot.

      I'm a little bit of a tortured soul, but in the opposite direction: it's the ones I look back on and say I wish I'd had my camera ready that haunt me. I sometimes yelp to my family, "I'm a photographer! What was I thinking?"

      For example, this morning I'm taking the train to SF to have coffee with Thomas Hawk. I'll sling the camera over my shoulder without a lens cap just in case. And you're right, I'll probably never press the button because I don't shoot as many frames per session anymore, but if I saw a scene I loved and didn't have my camera, the feeling would linger.

    • For me it's been the same as it ever was. I tend to shoot at a frenetic pace. Like beat poetry snapping everything around me as much by feel and intuition as anything. It's not unusual for me to take 3,000 - 5,000 frames in a day of shooting. Later on that day will be culled down and I might make 1,500 or so finished images from that days work. These images then get randomized and inserted into my daily flickrstream of 40 photographs a day.

    • And you! I’ve been a fan of your photography forever. It’s pretty much a dream come true to see you join the conversation.

    • Thomas! Pleasure to see your comment on my post. Been following your work since the G+ days. You're definitely more prolific than me (perhaps most).

      Would I be correct in assuming the frenetic pace of your shooting happened after the switch to digital? I was chatting with another photographer who took the perspective of comparing his film shooting patterns to today. Clearly an uptick, even with being more discerning in the field.


    • Hi Richard,

      Street... that's a different world, at least for me. Not my comfort zone. Similar to your 12 frames exercise, last December I challenged myself with a different genre - street. Incredibly uncomfortable for me, and you're so right about needing to be quick. Although I can't say I'll be photographing street scenes again anytime soon, the experience was worth the effort.


    • I'm in the same boat, and not, I guess. And I also carry a camera most of the time, especially now that we have a little boy.

      For me it depends on the situation/type of photography. If I'm comfortable shooting that situation I know what will work and what will not. I don't shoot what I think will not work and even though I may have a camera with me I might not use it.
      If it is a situation that I am unfamiliar with, and so different I can't use my knowledge from other situations, I tend to shoot way too much. (I try to keep it down, still, since sorting and selecting photos isn't my favorite thing to do.) It makes sense to me.

      I fall for the digital 'trap' as well; Digital makes me shoot much more/too much. I shoot film (for fun) and it suits me much better, really.

    • Hi Ivar... interesting point - the situation. What popped into my mind when you said that is when visiting a place I might likely never return. A major vacation, for example. In those situations, I'll capture a lot more photos than I normally would. I suppose in those types of situations, I'm capturing memories and not necessarily the portfolio-worthy photo.

    • Scott, to your point, we were in Costa Rica last month and I sat in the front passenger seat while a guide drove. I had a camera in my lap, 70-200 lens, no lens cap, when this creature scampered across the road. Seemed like I had two seconds to stick the camera out the window and fire a frame.

      I never would have gotten it with a camera phone. It's not a great pic, but it means a lot to us because the guide said that in 14 years he had never seen one of these. I would have been kicking myself if I missed it.

    • I don't shoot a lot of subjects but the ones that I do shoot I tend to work to death. If something catches my eye I can easily fire off 50+ shots from every possible angle and using every possible shutter speed/aperture combination.

    • Hi Scott - I usually keep three or four - the one that I think is best and the others as insurance (in case I'm having an off day). I used to keep everything but that became overwhelming. The only exception is the (very occasional as in maybe twice a year) wedding/special occasion shoot - I keep all of those.