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Author Topic: How often do you get out?  (Read 8947 times)
Edward
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2004, 09:19:49 AM »
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If you read the books by Ansel Adams, you realize that he also had very few keepers per year, and a relatively low % of his shots were keepers. †The ones he kept were great, and he lived a long time so they added up.:-)

(His commerical work was a different matter - he did a lot of commerical assignments and turned out pictures of turkeys, bars, and other mundane subjects by the ton.)

I wonder about keeping all the duds on the endless string of harddrives. †Fred Picker, one of the most thoughful writers on photo technique, wrote about the importance of editing by woodstove - every so often he would ruthlessly edit his negatives and burn the ones that were not great. His point was that you need to keep going forward and not quite good enough negatives were a constant distraction. †He was talking about art photography, not stock photography, and the calculation might be different if you are building a stock catalog - a crummy shot might sell if it is the right image for the right buyer.

I suspect that PS makes this problem much worse - you can always keep tweaking to make an image better, when you should be working on shooting the next image. Besides, shooting has all the secondary gain Michael wrote about, and I have never heard much about the secondary gain of sitting in the dark with PS.:-)
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jeffreybehr
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2004, 03:41:03 PM »
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Rickster's got it--"Well I just finished reading "The Modern Camera and the Dilution of Effort" and agree that the time spent composing without a camera in hand is as important as taking the picture. †(There is a barn I have been studing for months, I've yet to take a picture of it). †But at the same time technical competance comes from taking a lot of pictures, deconstructing them, and learning from your mistakes. †So I guess it comes down to both. †Learn how to take a picture and then learn how to make a picture. †Then burn the bad ones."

Absolutely right on.
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b.e.wilson
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2004, 12:01:09 AM »
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But at the same time technical competance comes from taking a lot of pictures, deconstructing them, and learning from your mistakes. †
What you say is certainly correct, and I should add to my essay that the digital camera makes it much easier to see the exposure settings used to capture the image.

But then I'd need to add that you learn exposure better by thinking about it before you shoot the camera rather than after. Consider what you learn when looking at a picture exposed automatically by the camera. It reports the f/stop, shutter, and equivalent ISO used. And what can you do with that info? You don't know where the camera metered, how it combined the measurements of different areas, nor why it wanted the scene to look the way it did (except in older cameras; they want everything to look 18% gray).

Some of us, after framing the scene, examine it for luminosity range, correct with a filter if necessary, then choose the way we want it to appear on film, find an object or color that we want to look a particular density, spot meter it, and shoot one frame after making appropriate filter and recipricosity adjustments. No bracketing, no safety exposure, and nothing left to chance or camera programming. We choose what we want, and we get it.

I was amused shooting Delicate Arch two years ago. The northern bench was lined two deep with photographers snapping away a half hour before sunset. I sat on a low stone hummock and enjoyed the sunset. When the light was right, I framed and shot three images with an old Super Graphic. Two were perfect, but I lost one because I tried something fancy with the lens tilt that didn't look artistic in the end (I wanted the close rock and the arch in focus, but the distant LaSal's and the stone bowl in the mid-ground out of focus--dumb idea in retrospect).

I hope I don't sound like I'm bragging; this is simply how some of us work. I didn't always work like this, and that was part of the motivation for writing the essay. And I know darn well there are photographers who don't even need to use the meter that often, they know light and the medium so well. I hope to be there some day.

I honestly can't see how you learn the relationship between light, exposure, and the image unless you think about it before you take the picture.

Oh, and Bryan, that quote of mine I got almost word for word on the PhotoSIG site (is it still around?). It was certainly the operating principle of a lot of photographers there.

And yes, I also had a lot of good times at Palisades. Why even today I was discussing with my sister the possibility of getting some of that gorgeous pink quartzite for her kitchen countertops. Prettiest rock I've ever seen.
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victoraberdeen
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2004, 12:34:10 AM »
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This topic is fascinating, and scanning through noticed a lot of complaints that shots didnít work. But this should be part of the learning to see like the camera. I shoot lots, but measure my performance on the number of frames that pass grade. The BBC expects a 10:1 ratio and I try hard to achieve that giving a client 30+ pictures from 300 taken. The ratio on my last big assignment was 4:1, it take a lot of seeing what the camera sees.
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b.e.wilson
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2004, 01:57:27 PM »
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One thing that taking as many pictures as you like for free does for you is make you more open to taking lots of chances with your photography.
It's true that operating a view camera is both slower and more expensive than a digital.

But most of us carry both. If there is a shot I'm unsure about, or exposure I can't quite see, I can experiment with the digital then shoot the 4x5 when I think I know what I'm doing.
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