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  1. #1
    jakeblues's Avatar
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    I think I shoot too few photos

    Hi all,

    Recently, I've found myself getting back a lot of disappointing rolls of film. I don't think it's dissatisfaction, or that I'm getting better and just can't see my own progress. I think I'm shooting too few photos.

    Over the last year, I've had a strong desire to get back rolls of film that are dense with great photos. I shoot fairly sparely (often only shooting 2 to 5 well thought-out photos of a location, event, or subject). As you can guess, it takes me a long time to finish rolls of film, often a week to a month. I have 2 main camera systems (and 2 bodies for each system), so a particular film will often sit in a camera, half finished, until another appropriate event for that film will come along.

    Part of this obsessively spare shooting is that I don't want to throw money away. I might compose a photo, and then not shoot it because I suspect it might not turn out to be a good or great photo. But I've been noticing some weird habits with my shooting, too. The other day, I finished a roll of film, and as I was walking back to my car, I dry-fired my camera a bunch, at different things (I didn't have another roll with me to load up). I remember thinking, "actually some of these photos I'm NOT taking are more interesting than the ones I just took!"

    Needless to say, the results have been disappointing. While I'll occasionally get a roll back that's pretty saturated with good stuff, I feel the overall effect of all of this thought and care has been a decline in the quality of each roll, not an increase.

    What's wrong with me? Am I letting fear control my photography? Or simply going through a dry spell?

  2. #2
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    We all have different ways of working. If shooting more works better for you so be it, you are far from the only one.

    As to the cost, I regularly spend more getting to and from a shoot than I spend on the film.

    Yes film and developing has a real cost but it is a really small part of my cost in the grand scheme of things.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  3. #3
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Photography like driving a car cannot be learned by reading a book or posts; it is learned hands on by making mistakes. Take more than one photograph of each subject, but vary the position, composition and if necessary the exposure.

    A common mistake that is made is not moving close enough to the subject to isolate it from distractions.

    If the photographs are consistently flat in contrast, then you may want to open up one-half or one f/stops.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  4. #4
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Welcome to APUG!
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #5
    jakeblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    As to the cost, I regularly spend more getting to and from a shoot than I spend on the film.

    Yes film and developing has a real cost but it is a really small part of my cost in the grand scheme of things.
    I should clarify and say that the cost plays a merely psychological role. I'm lucky enough to have a good day job.

    The real desire that I think might be getting in the way is the desire to create a "magic" roll of film where every shot is great.

  6. #6

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    I drove 210 miles the other day to take 3 pictures.

    Less is more.
    5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit / B+M 135mm Zeiss Tessar + Compur Deckel
    RB67 Pro S /50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
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    Canon 300v / A2

  7. #7
    eddie's Avatar
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    If you're new at this, you definitely should shoot more. You can't make much progress shooting a roll, or two, a month.

    Give up on the "magic roll of film". It ain't happenin' (but, if it did, you'd be the first)...

  8. #8

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    Get a bulk loader and buy bulk rolls + cartridges from freestylephoto, will take your film costs down so you can afford to shoot more.

    Enjoy!
    http://street-photos.net/ | http://felinik.com/ | http://www.facebook.com/jf.felinik

    "The one with the most stuff when he dies wins"

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Give yourself at least one roll of film for an event, place, or length of time...hopefully short. Short so you can get it processed and you can look at your work before the memory of exposing the film becomes too dim. And an 'excess' of film will help perhaps to find a few interesting images that you take to just finish the roll.

    Or just walk around with an empty camera and 'take' pictures. Fine practice!
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  10. #10

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    Hi,

    Welcome to APUG.

    I believe film is the least expensive part of photography. You can get Arista Premium 400 (which is really a Tri-X) for less than 3 dollars a roll. Processing is cheap if you are doing it yourself. If color, you could take it to a warehouse club and have it done inexpensively also.

    I agree, one may not want to randomly shoot frames after frames but if you don't shoot what you think it *might* be interesting, you will never know what you have missed or more importantly, how you can do it better next time. I plan to shoot at least a complete roll per trip/event/visit - and hopefully a few rolls.

    I don't know your financial situation but you've probably spent enough money for your equipment. You got to put some rolls through and make full use of it/them. We often have folks (myself included) dumping excess/older/expired film in classified section. I've also seen local stores simply dumping exiting inventory. You just got to watch for them and grab them.

    In another word, SHOOT!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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