I talk and work with photographers every day. I hear a recurring theme, in two parts. First, most photographers are not totally satisfied with what they get when they shoot, and second they usually say they “over shoot”
I always respond the same way, There is no such thing as overshooting.
And it’s true.
How many shots does it take to get the perfect image?
1? ….. 5?. . . . .100? The fact is no one knows, and more importantly, ….
No one cares.
Let’s say you create the perfect image with great composition, excellent lighting, and the right perspective. You print it, frame and hang it in a gallery. Do you think anyone is going to ask you how many times you had to shoot it?
No one cares, . . . only that you got the image.
Thanks to technology, memory cards just keep getting cheaper and we can stick a card in our camera and have literally thousands of frames to shoot. So, why don’t we?
Somewhere along the line people got the idea that if you are great photographer you don’t need to shoot that many images to get the perfect one. Not so.
I thought maybe it was a holdover from the film days. I shot film and if you were lucky you had 36 exposures. You had to get-it-right-in-the-camera and get it the first try.
Well, contrary to what hipsters think, . . . . film IS dead. I don’t miss my film camera and I like the ability to shoot until I get it.
Here’s an image I am rather proud of.
I shot this at a place called Boneyard Beach. Now I don’t want to shock you, but this isn’t the first image I shot of this tree. If you were to ask me how many shots it took to get this, after I gave you an odd look I would admit I have no idea. So, I did a little research.
This particular tree I shot from about 5 different angles, and at least that many camera heights and perspectives.
I shot the cra….. heck out of it, To get ONE image, but, . . . . I got it.
And I had a blast doing it.
And . . . You know that’s the other thing about photographers and shooting I have found. There is often way too much too much emphasis on “getting the shot” and doing it the “right way”. Many photographers get so wrapped up in the technical minutia, that all of the fun gets sucked right out of it.
Am I following the rule of . . . “whatever”? Does it have the “magic spiral” or something?
The best images I’ve made were made when I was in the moment, and enjoying what I was doing, with no regard for how many frames I took, what rules I was following (or breaking) or whether or not they were going to be perfect. Keeping track of the number of frames I’m shooting? . . . . Yeah that’s fun.
There was a term thrown around a few years ago “be there now” and it is true. Be in the moment, take in what you’re shooting, let it affect you , then capture that feeling.
So what am I saying? Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot . . . . shoot.
. . . and enjoy your art.
Keep this in mind; some people go their entire life with out ever making a great image.
And if you ever sell just one of your images you are way more financially successful than Vincent van Gogh was his entire life.