It's all in one's approach, and that differs for each person. I expect more "keepers" when I'm shooting medium format, but I experimented more with 35mm. I almost gave 35mm up about a year ago, but I took a camera on two recent trips (with no expectations) and I may have to rethink that decision. I found on this last trip that there is a certain liberation (for me) with 35mm.
HCB disliked doing darkroom work and used a company to do his for him. He also seems to have disliked bothering with correct exposure. In turn he was disliked by the technicians of the company who were forced to make prints from impossibly difficult negatives. So practice does not always make perfect.
Originally Posted by markbarendt
Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 06-22-2014 at 11:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Just because Abell only settled on 8 photographs doesn't mean there were only 8 good photographs there.
When I photograph a subject or a place, in some cases I end up choosing between several "keepers" whereas in other cases no "keepers" seem to be willing to show themselves.
I also tend to discover more about a subject as I photograph it. So later shots may benefit from earlier shots. In other cases, one photograph doesn't do the subject justice, whereas a choice of a number may tell the story. And in many cases, different choices tell different parts of the story.
There is nothing wrong with taking lots of photographs, if each shot is approached diligently, and with a sense of searching and discovery.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Probably should define "keeper"...
I go back through my slides and find keepers all the time... maybe it depends on ones frame of mind at the time, or maybe it is time itself that has a way of tempering a persons view as to what was really important at that time.
That said, lately I have been switching between a Nikon F5 with provia 100 and a Nikon D4 to shoot kids soccer games... definitely more conscious of frames with the F5!
Also toying with the idea of shooting mountain bike and dirt jumping action type shots with a 4x5...
I shoot digital too, but prefer film. I think from decades shooting film, I developed good habits. I do chimp, but stop when I've got the shot. I think shooting a lot, playing the numbers game and shooting "just to make sure" are for photographers that are unsure of themselves. My last grip and grin assignment for an award ceremony for 12 recipients, I only shot 3 shots per. I have to edit the pictures and I hate sitting it front of my computer sorting and adjusting the pictures. It's just as bad as sitting in front of a light box sorting chromes after an assignment. Less is more.
"Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
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Now that's a variable.
Originally Posted by Chris G
My standard for keeper's good enough for my darkroom wall and what I'd give to a friend, differ. What I'd display at a gallery different again. Each has a different purpose, each a different audience.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Years ago I was at a portfolio review (commercial stuff) talking to an agent, and one photographer was walking around with his 1D-whatever taking pictures of the goings on machine gun style. Rattatatatat, ratatatatat, ratatatat. After shooting at least 25 pictures hovering over me, I turned to him and said- "How about you take just one good one?" The agent busted out laughing and he turned beet red then went away.
That about sums up how I feel about this.
The only ones that count are the good ones. You aren't worth your salt if you don't know a good photograph looking through the viewfinder.
For sure I agree... I guess I am just saying that what a keeper might be to you 10 years or 20 years from now...might not make the cut today...
Originally Posted by markbarendt
Usage ratio is very variable for my work, sometimes several frames (6x7cm) per roll are good other times nothing. I try and not photograph if there isn't really anything there, often depending on mood and light conditions as well. Film / developer combinations standardised so I don't have to think about technical factors when photographing apart from exposure / visualisation etc.
I've shot more than 1000 frames a day when chasing out of control subject matter; a street riot for example. Editing was not my problem but fell to the person illustrating a news story.
When doing commercial illustration I'd use the entire film budget shooting everything every which way. This was to please clients who knew exactly what they wanted but only after they saw it. Again editing was not my problem.
Now I shoot only for myself I take hundreds of photographs but only in my mind's eye. There's no journey of discovery in terms of photographing something to see how it will turn out. With a view camera on a tripod, static subject matter, good film, and a reliable light meter (and a bit of prior practice) I know pretty exactly what the final photograph will look like. A lot of effort goes into "editing" before exposure and much less into burning film. Keepers? Nearly 100%.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.