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?