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Author Topic: First snap is the often the best... but why?  (Read 770 times)
dreed
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« on: March 13, 2013, 08:53:53 AM »
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Something that I've noticed from time to time is that when I a particular scene that I want to photograph, unless I'm trying to do HDR or stitch, often the first photograph that I take of a scene is the best. As a for example, the image I posted in Experimenting with surf/stones is the first of a small number that I captured at that location but none of the others worked as well as the first.

Is this something that others find?
Or is the "first shot being the best" simply a die roll and thus luck?

I suppose what's nagging in my brain is that there's always a reason why I stop to take a photo or go some place to take a photo and in that first instant of response to that scene, I somehow capture it correctly. Thereafter I try to analyse it and search for more but in doing so, move beyond the emotional impulse that drew me into taking the photograph and also the "right"(?) composition.

I suppose a question that comes to mind is should I stop trying to be technical when taking photos?

Thoughts?
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 09:11:46 AM »
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Something that I've noticed from time to time is that when I a particular scene that I want to photograph, unless I'm trying to do HDR or stitch, often the first photograph that I take of a scene is the best. As a for example, the image I posted in Experimenting with surf/stones is the first of a small number that I captured at that location but none of the others worked as well as the first.

Is this something that others find?
Or is the "first shot being the best" simply a die roll and thus luck?

I suppose what's nagging in my brain is that there's always a reason why I stop to take a photo or go some place to take a photo and in that first instant of response to that scene, I somehow capture it correctly. Thereafter I try to analyse it and search for more but in doing so, move beyond the emotional impulse that drew me into taking the photograph and also the "right"(?) composition.

I suppose a question that comes to mind is should I stop trying to be technical when taking photos?Thoughts?

Absolutely; technique must be automatic so that all you are really aware of is the image.

I find that the temptation to shoot around a static subject is a throwback to model days, where it was a matter of catching a basic shape and then working to get the response from the girl within the basic format one had selected. With dead things, you don’t get any kinetic reaction from them unless at the shore, but what does happen is that insecurity slips into the equation… the hedging of bets.

I’d imagine that for a specialist, landscape wouldn’t be much about changing viewpoints a lot, but setting up with the one you like and then waiting for atmospheric changes to create the differences through time. A very different approach.

In both cases, I think you have to be totally unconcerned with camera operations, setting etc. which have to be second nature. I don’t mean you disregard them of course, just that you hardly need think of them consciously.

Rob C
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Johnny_Johnson
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 09:13:21 AM »
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I suppose what's nagging in my brain is that there's always a reason why I stop to take a photo or go some place to take a photo and in that first instant of response to that scene, I somehow capture it correctly.

Maybe you have a gift. For a different viewpoint watch Scott Kelby's Crush the Composition video on You Tube.

Later,
Johnny
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Johnny Johnson
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 10:01:00 AM »
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Personally I find the opposite is true if I take a series of images, especially sunsets. After being at a place for a spell then you probably, consciously or unconsciously, notice more about what you are seeing. Then of course the light often changes for better or worse. Even if you find that the first is usually best then there isn't any harm in taking more if you have the time.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 10:07:19 AM »
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Sometimes my first shot is really the best.  Other times, shooting at other angles and distances opens up more possibilities in my mind that perhaps had been overridden by the concept I had before pressing the shutter button the first time.

At any rate,  I have found that 1)  Usually the first shot gets it, but 2) Often, a later shot either does it better, or from an equally interesting viewpoint that makes it worth the extra time and file space.

So, as a rule when I have the time, I take the first shot and then look for others that might equal or surpass it.  Sometimes it pays off, sometimes not, but in case it did, I have it on the CF card.
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RSL
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 10:22:46 AM »
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Maybe you have a gift. For a different viewpoint watch Scott Kelby's Crush the Composition video on You Tube.

Later,
Johnny

Scott Kelby's really good on post-processing software, Johnny, but he's not anywhere near that good as a photographer. Certainly there are situations where you need to "work" a scene, but more often than not, not. The classic "not" situation is street photography where most of the time you get one chance to make the shot and that's it.

But even for static scenes, Rob's right: what was it that made you stop and raise the camera? Chances are what you saw was the best of the choices or it wouldn't have grabbed you.

By the way, Kelby may downplay the standard rules of composition, but there's a reason why they've hung around since before the beginning of recorded history: they work!
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stamper
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 11:09:56 AM »
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There wasn't any chance of me playing the YOU TUBE video of him because it was listed at over an hour. A few minutes possibly but if he started his "humour" then it would have been the back button. Whatever he has to offer is spoiled by his "humour". Sad
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