I am a voracious reader.
It’s amazing how some things I read go in my eyeballs and immediately fly right back out of my head. But other things find a crevice somewhere in my brain and stick like a thorn.
Since purchasing my Canon Powershot SX50HS, I have been reading books, forums, reviews, you name it. I even subscribed to a weekly e-mail newsletter sent out by Digital Photography School. These newsletters are very interesting. There is a weekly photo challenge and many articles with helpful hints and tricks. And of course there are always plenty of stunning photographs.
Now, I am going to take a moment and digress from the main subject of this post to make an observation. I’m beginning to think that there are a small number of professional photographers who aren’t all that happy that advances in digital cameras and technology mean that schleps like me can take pretty decent photos with basically no training and without investing huge sums of money in equipment. Sometimes there is just a “tone” to some of the things that I read, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, several weeks ago I read an article about Limiting the Number of Shots you take with your digital camera. The premise was that in the old days of film, photographers couldn’t just shoot willy-nilly. Each frame shot cost money in both film and development so a photographer had to be much more judicious in the shots they took. They had to spend more time making sure they got the photo right the first time. So, the article suggested learning to become a better photographer by not taking advantage of your ability to shoot multiple frames of a single subject and just “hope for the best”. Instead, it suggested limiting yourself to a certain number of shots, composing those shots more thoughtfully, applying the basic rules of composition more thoroughly. (I’m totally paraphrasing and adding my own slant to what I read.)
This article has really stuck in my brain for some reason and I’ve spent a lot of time mulling it over. As a former journalist, one thing I’ve always been really good at is seeing two sides of a story. (Sometimes this ability makes it hard to take a firm stand on things.)
On one hand, I do see the potential benefits of limiting the number of shots you take. I can see how this could lead to improved skills.
On the other hand, one of the benefits of today’s digital photography is being able to learn from your mistakes without it costing a lot of time or money. Should a novice photographer ignore the technology at his/her fingertips in order to hone their skills the “old fashioned way”?
For me personally, I don’t feel I go overboard with the number of shots I take. Sometimes, when shooting a bird, I’m limited in the number I can take simply because the subject flies away. Sure, when I was shooting the wrens before and during their time of fledging, maybe I went a little overboard. I probably took 80 shots in three different sittings for a total of around 250. I was zooming in, zooming out, experimenting with changing the white balance, etc. Many of those shots got deleted. But that practice isn’t typical for me. On my recent walk in the park, sometimes I only took one shot and then moved on.
What is your opinion? Do you purposefully limit the number of shots you take? Would you suggest this practice to someone who wants to become a better photographer? Or do you believe photographers, especially beginners, should take advantage of digital technology and shoot away at a subject, learning from their mistakes?
Share your opinion in the comment section below. I look forward to reading what everyone has to say! Have a blessed day! 🙂