Following up the theme I started with the last post, I want to suggest something that should benefit virtually all in their photography going forwards.

Without doubt one of the things that technology has changed is simply the speed and number of shots photographers of all kinds tend to take, compared to those of yesteryear.

Those who have attended my workshops will know that one of my mantras is “shoot less, but higher quality”. It simply has been a slow and hard one lesson during my decades in photography. The reality as strange as it seems is ‘professionally’ you to try and shoot as little as you need for the best workflow.

A case of; simply because you can, that does not mean that you must I think. So typically, I see people take significant numbers of shots when really just a couple will do. To make matters worse, the shots do not vary in variety overly. Often same starting point, usually standing height, whereas adjusting your or your subjects height can be quite effective not just visually, but if you are looking to maximise your post capture potential and are not sure of what you will need. Far better than a dozen pretty much the same. But if you are aware of what you are after before you start, and plan ahead, even that can and should become redundant to a large degree.

In essence, more images are taken today, most briefly looked at, then placed on a hard drive, waiting for that rainy day, which of course overtime creates his own problems. The bottom line to me is simply this, how many pictures do you take compared to those that actually end up being used? And when I mean used, that’s either published digitally or in paper form, printed or maybe seen on a social product, such as a mug or a T-shirt. If as I suspect, the percentage is really small, then I would suggest a little more control and thought at the taking stage will be of benefit in both the short and long term.

And on one related point, I can understand fully that those shooting one-off moments gravitate to the multiple shot per second by holding the shutter release down and letting the camera do the work. In fairness, if I was shooting press pictures or sports shots I ‘might’ be tempted to do the same. However, many people who have booked me to shoot weddings over the years, or for PR photography in years past, have commented on just how good my timing seemed to be. The reality is that for many shots, using a flash in the camera’s hot shoe made me very aware of how noticeable that might be to people. So I simply practised, practised some more, and followed the proven craft of so many who had gone before. And with regular use, most people can trigger the shutter at the right time. I like to combine that with previous experience and the ability to ‘anticipate’ what could be about to happen is a proven combo.

Those who do or have shot rolls of film in the past, will also be aware that discipline was needed, so you did not run out of film at the wrong moment. Nothing has changed except the discipline seems less obvious today with digital.

So following my comments in our previous post, for all the technology, we are in danger very much of losing the photographer if we let technology do all it can.

Best wishes and good photography,

John. (05/01/24).