Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

jwolf6589

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
4,835
1,591
Colorado
Went to a lake today. I took 6 shots with Mr. Powershot, 1 with my iPhone, and 1 video. The lake was small but the 7 photos told the story just fine. However many other photographers would disagree and would have taken a hundred shots. But why? How many photos is necessary to tell a story? Do people really care about all the minor details? Perhaps I should have taken a shot or two of the bugs on the ground, the frogs chirping away, etc.. I have taken photos of frogs before and they are hard to capture just right. But why do some people think a dozen photos is necessary to tell a story?
 

mollyc

macrumors 604
Aug 18, 2016
7,846
47,753
you can stop with the frogs.

storage is cheap. i’d rather have too many photos than too few and if someone wants to take a caboodle of photos, then have at it. i would never think to judge someone on how few or how many photos they take.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
People who are serious about photography will often shoot a lot of photos of the same subject -- from varying perspectives and angles, getting in close, backing up a bit, sometimes swapping lenses in order to get a different kind of effect, etc., etc. Sometimes they'll be waiting for some particular thing to happen and while doing that will pop off a few shots of some other subject in the meantime with the same or a different camera.

Sometimes it may take firing off several or many shots in order to get that one, ideal, perfect shot...... Other times the photographer might nail it on the first try or within two or three (always good to have insurance even if one does think that first shot did nail exactly what was desired) and then move on to see how else he or she can address the same subject in a different way.

Photography for most enthusiasts who are really into it actually incorporates the actual experience of making the shots in the first place, not just seeing a subject and shooting an image or two and saying, "OK, there's a frog, now I'll look for something else....." A serious photographer will become intensely interested in that subject, especially if it is one which doesn't promptly hop or fly away, and will enjoy the experience of exploring that subject photographically. The actual pursuit of and activity engaged in photography is reward in and of itself, regardless of what images one might bring home later.

This month I have been engaged in participating in a group activity on a photography-related forum, where everyone shoots something each day and then shares one photo daily throughout the month of October. A 31-day project, so to speak. Today I spent a fair amount of time shooting one subject. I first did the setup -- a scene on a tabletop at home since the weather outside wasn't really conducive to good shooting -- and then spent quite a bit of time shooting the scene, making adjustments in the scene's elements, placement or the lighting, swapping out lenses (for this project participants are restricted to up to three prime lenses), tinkering with this-and-that to see what else might work..... I didn't pay attention to the time but this all probably took well over an hour. Not a bang-boom, mash down the shutter button, take one image and move on kind of snapshot deal at all here...... In later reviewing the images prior to editing them, I selected a few out of however many it was that I actually shot and that was that. I chose one to post to the group for today's entry.

Sure, sometimes I run out to my deck and fire off two or three shots of the geese or the ducks or other water birds doing something interesting, but more often than not I can easily again spend a fair amount of time with the camera, viewing and capturing them digitally -- not so much because I think I'm producing Great Art or something memorable recording a particular event, but just because I enjoy having the camera in my hands and that by itself somehow brings joy to me.
 
Last edited:

r.harris1

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2012
2,190
12,628
Denver, Colorado, USA
There isn’t a magic number. 1 or 100 or 1000. As long as somewhere in that mix you have the image you wanted to capture. You may someday wish to take your frog pictures to the next level and start to capture different behavior - “the essence of frog”. You might find it takes more than 7 images, for example, to capture a jumping frog in just the right light and perspective, even on Mr. or Mrs. Powershot. Or frog mating season, now that’s a sight!

The answer to ”how many images” is “as many as it takes”.
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
4,835
1,591
Colorado
People who are serious about photography will often shoot a lot of photos of the same subject -- from varying perspectives and angles, getting in close, backing up a bit, sometimes swapping lenses in order to get a different kind of effect, etc., etc. Sometimes they'll be waiting for some particular thing to happen and while doing that will pop off a few shots of some other subject in the meantime with the same or a different camera.

Sometimes it may take firing off several or many shots in order to get that one, ideal, perfect shot...... Other times the photographer might nail it on the first try or within two or three (always good to have insurance even if one does think that first shot did nail exactly what was desired) and then move on to see how else he or she can address the same subject in a different way.

Photography for most enthusiasts who are really into it actually incorporates the actual experience of making the shots in the first place, not just seeing a subject and shooting an image or two and saying, "OK, there's a frog, now I'll look for something else....." A serious photographer will become intensely interested in that subject, especially if it is one which doesn't promptly hop or fly away, and will enjoy the experience of exploring that subject photographically. The actual pursuit of and activity engaged in photography is reward in and of itself, regardless of what images one might bring home later.

This month I have been engaged in participating in a group activity on a photography-related forum, where everyone shoots something each day and then shares one photo daily throughout the month of October. A 31-day project, so to speak. Today I spent a fair amount of time shooting one subject. I first did the setup -- a scene on a tabletop at home since the weather outside wasn't really conducive to good shooting -- and then spent quite a bit of time shooting the scene, making adjustments in the scene's elements, placement or the lighting, swapping out lenses (for this project participants are restricted to up to three prime lenses), tinkering with this-and-that to see what else might work..... I didn't pay attention to the time but this all probably took well over an hour. Not a bang-boom, mash down the shutter button, take one image and move on kind of snapshot deal at all here...... In later reviewing the images prior to editing them, I selected a few out of however many it was that I actually shot and that was that. I chose one to post to the group for today's entry.

Sure, sometimes I run out to my deck and fire off two or three shots of the geese or the ducks or other water birds doing something interesting, but more often than not I can easily again spend a fair amount of time with the camera, viewing and capturing them digitally -- not so much because I think I'm producing Great Art or something memorable recording a particular event, but just because I enjoy having the camera in my hands and that by itself somehow brings joy to me.

Its sure allot easier firing off lots of shots with a pro camera. I lack a pro camera but have a consumer camera so firing off lots of shots is more difficult.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jagolden

r.harris1

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2012
2,190
12,628
Denver, Colorado, USA
Its sure allot easier firing off lots of shots with a pro camera. I lack a pro camera but have a consumer camera so firing off lots of shots is more difficult.
With a Powershot sx740 hs you can get up to 10 frames per second. I have a camera that pros use that gets 1.2 frames per second if I’m lucky and another (that pros use) that gets just north of 9 fps. You win in the shutter rate department against two cameras used by pros! Both of us lose that battle with some of the mirrorless cameras that get 30 fps and more. Oh well. I still hold my head high and get out to take photographs :). You should too.

I’d recommend learning about your camera. I believe many of us have recommended this in I think literally all of your threads, although you may only see a handful of those responses.
 
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: soulreaver99

tizeye

macrumors 68040
Jul 17, 2013
3,097
34,071
Orlando, FL
First reality of photography...

It is always the one you didn't take, so take a bunch.

No. seriously. As a child in the 60's, the family took a trip to Key West. I was working on, digitizing and archiving my parent's photos. That trip...one roll of 12. A few treasures there, but...
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
4,835
1,591
Colorado
First reality of photography...

It is always the one you didn't take, so take a bunch.

No. seriously. As a child in the 60's, the family took a trip to Key West. I was working on, digitizing and archiving my parent's photos. That trip...one roll of 12. A few treasures there, but...
Yes if I took a trip there I would have taken allot more than 7 photos. But in reality it was a small lake. No big deal.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
Its sure allot easier firing off lots of shots with a pro camera. I lack a pro camera but have a consumer camera so firing off lots of shots is more difficult.
It's not necessary to fire off 10,15, 20 frames per second.....although, yes, that definitely increases the number of shots made in a hurry!!! One can shoot a lot of frames using single shot, though, too, especially when trying different angles and perspectives. Using Continuous High is common when shooting action, such as flying birds or moving animals or active children, or sports, but single shot works just fine for most situations, too. When shooting macro or landscape and other scenes where the subject isn't going anywhere, isn't moving, singe shot is preferable especially if one has the camera mounted on a tripod.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jwolf6589

r.harris1

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2012
2,190
12,628
Denver, Colorado, USA
Yes if I took a trip there I would have taken allot more than 7 photos. But in reality it was a small lake. No big deal.
@jwolf6589 Why did you ask your question? It's silly of me to ask this given all of the personae non gratae you maintain ?, but I don't think anyone has taken exception to you taking as many or as few images as you'd desire, with whatever camera you wish. You can quite easily fire off as many shots (with buffer limitation) with your camera as many people who use other gear.

Unless you're really, really exceptional and know your own limitations, those of the camera and the ins-and-outs of your chosen subjects very well, those seven probably won't represent the best you could have gotten. Angles, perspectives, changing light, changing subject behavior (if animal) and so on. Unless your only goal was to say "I was here at this small lake".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Clix Pix

jwolf6589

macrumors 601
Original poster
Dec 15, 2010
4,835
1,591
Colorado
@jwolf6589 Why did you ask your question? It's silly of me to ask this given all of the personae non gratae you maintain ?, but I don't think anyone has taken exception to you taking as many or as few images as you'd desire, with whatever camera you wish. You can quite easily fire off as many shots (with buffer limitation) with your camera as many people who use other gear.

Unless you're really, really exceptional and know your own limitations, those of the camera and the ins-and-outs of your chosen subjects very well, those seven probably won't represent the best you could have gotten. Angles, perspectives, changing light, changing subject behavior (if animal) and so on. Unless your only goal was to say "I was here at this small lake".
A job of a photographer is to know what is a valuable scene and what is not so valuable. The small lake I was at yesterday was not a valuable scene. I had no idea as I’d never been there before but I would not pay $14 again to go there. On the other hand when I was in California in August I took lots of photos and videos with all my cameras because I was at valuable scenes.
 

mollyc

macrumors 604
Aug 18, 2016
7,846
47,753
A job of a photographer is to know what is a valuable scene and what is not so valuable. The small lake I was at yesterday was not a valuable scene. I had no idea as I’d never been there before but I would not pay $14 again to go there. On the other hand when I was in California in August I took lots of photos and videos with all my cameras because I was at valuable scenes.
What's valuable to one photographer is not the same to the next. As a macro photographer, I find small details in large settings. I would likely have found something of value there to shoot even if you did not.

Also, the same location at different times of day, and with different gear have very different outcomes. The first image here really isn't much to write home about, taken on my phone, slapped with a preset, and not much of a story unless you know what is going on.

FB_September_21_2017_001.jpg



Here is another image from my backyard, different light, different gear, much different feel. This is where gear matters, and light matters, and perspective matters, and voice matters.

2020_November_0508_Z6-Edit.jpg



You take as many images as you need to get to the heart of the matter.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
22,995
9,973
CT
A job of a photographer is to know what is a valuable scene and what is not so valuable. The small lake I was at yesterday was not a valuable scene. I had no idea as I’d never been there before but I would not pay $14 again to go there. On the other hand when I was in California in August I took lots of photos and videos with all my cameras because I was at valuable scenes.
If it's not valuable why take pictures of it in the first place. Sounds like a huge waste of time.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Feb 21, 2012
55,502
53,352
Behind the Lens, UK
Went to a lake today. I took 6 shots with Mr. Powershot, 1 with my iPhone, and 1 video. The lake was small but the 7 photos told the story just fine. However many other photographers would disagree and would have taken a hundred shots. But why? How many photos is necessary to tell a story? Do people really care about all the minor details? Perhaps I should have taken a shot or two of the bugs on the ground, the frogs chirping away, etc.. I have taken photos of frogs before and they are hard to capture just right. But why do some people think a dozen photos is necessary to tell a story?
Less is more. Unless I’m capturing wildlife I usually have my camera on single shot. And it’s very rare on a day out that I’d take more than 50.
 

mollyc

macrumors 604
Aug 18, 2016
7,846
47,753
i actually think this is as much a gear issue as it is a vision/voice issue. having a prime lens with a fast aperture on a larger sensor allows for more storytelling and dof/composition choices than a smaller sensor with a slower aperture.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
Sometimes a photographer finds an interesting scene or subject to shoot; other times he or she may create one..... For instance today we're again having rather "blah" weather and the light's not great for outdoor shooting, so I spent some time indoors doing some photography. First I set up a scene with a couple of props and a vague idea of what I might want to do, then got out the camera and a lens and starting shooting with that lens for a while, trying different angles and perspectives, seeing in the VF and when I periodically checked playback as well if something was working or not. After a while I put another lens on and spent some more time using it, too, and getting different kinds of shots.

When I sat down at the computer to process the 100 or so images, I sorted through them, selected the ones which were most pleasing to my eyes and edited those. One of them then was shared at the forum where we're doing the daily Octoberfest project, as we are to post a new image each day, and over time the others will also be shared -- here and various other places. I had fun with this and that to me was the important thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ish and r.harris1

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
22,995
9,973
CT
For every great shot came 100 bad ones. You don't know what the bad ones are until after you take them. I might think the first shot was the best one, until I look at shot 20 and find it more pleasing to the eye.
 

r.harris1

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2012
2,190
12,628
Denver, Colorado, USA
In all honesty, I’m more on the AFB side of things in that my outings generally have fewer images brought back. A couple of the cameras are laborious to use and would take a long time to get to 100 shots, for example. On the one where I could rattle off 100 images quickly, it’s usually on single servo AF. Bison and deer don’t move a lot and when they do it’s not too interesting unless it’s during mating season where there may be aggressive behavior amongst the males. The only exception for me where I’d bump up the rate would be birds in flight, but I’m mostly getting shots of them on poles, trees, bushes or ground.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Feb 21, 2012
55,502
53,352
Behind the Lens, UK
The main reason I don’t take loads (except with wildlife), is I spend too many hours at a computer a week as it is. Last thing I want is sorting through 100’s of images after a day out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ish

OldMacs4Me

macrumors 68020
May 4, 2018
2,208
28,835
Wild Rose And Wind Belt
Yikes where does the idea of subject value come in? A common mud puddle can give you a spectacular reflection. Seriously some of my favourite shots are taken in spots which many other photographers would pass over without a second glance and anyone who is not local would never recognize.

The fact that National Geographic is unlikely to pay big bucks for photos of a subject does not in the least mean it's not worth exploring fully. Finding a good photo in something that does not at first glance seem worthy of the effort can be a great learning tool.

Thing is, one can easily narrow down 100+ images of a single subject to the half dozen (or fewer) that are worth keeping.

But the simple answer to your question is that you take as many images as required to accomplish whatever it is you wish to accomplish. Card space and battery life are your limiting factors.
 
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.