They’re only bits. And the good thing is – they’re nothing like milky minutes – they’re easily re-used tomorrow. So – keep ‘em rolling.
That’s OK – but I feel that tools today allow us many advantages over legacy solutions – and the ability to shoot a lot of frames at a reasonably low cost is just one of them.
That said – there may be a time or two where you’re specifically working on a skill – and limiting the frame count will emphasize a point (maybe as part of a class or self-assignment) – but generally – this is the exception – not the rule.
A few tips to keep shooting:
- Don’t put your camera away too early.
- Don’t turn off your camera until you put it away – just make sure you conserve batteries by setting your camera to turn off automatically after a minute or two. With a half-push of the shutter – it ought to be ready to go.
- When the assignment is done – take a few more “just for fun”.
- If you don’t have time to get the camera to your eye – just shoot from the hip. Get something on film.
- Not everyone does this – but I do it for most everything… Shoot with burst mode ON. Why? With people – they may blink. With landscapes – it may be a bird that decides to swoop through your frame. With a city fountain – the splash just might be subtly different in each frame. With city streets – any number of factors may change in a moment. And then again – there’s a chance you’ll get 3 images that look essentially the same. That’s OK – it’s those times that the image moves from good-to-great that the habit will pay off.
- If you’re shooting sports – this is a must: burst mode – lots of frames – be ready for just about anything.
- The BlackRapid RS-4 is comfortable for carrying your camera at-the-ready – and the “fast draw” feature actually works.
Example 1 (top – protesting crowd):
This shot was taken after I was done shooting – and while I was walking back to my truck. This scene unfolded – a few snaps – and I just kept walking – trying to make it home in time for dinner. As it turned out – I snagged one of my better crowd images of the day.
This shot of a bull fighter jumping over a charging bull was taken from the hip in a dimly lit rodeo arena at a high ISO on a Canon 20D (24mm lens, f/2.8, 1/200, ISO 1600). I didn’t even know I had the shot until I uploaded the images that night. Is it the best rodeo shot I’ve taken? Technically – no. Does it matter? I don’t think so – this is a great moment.
Example 3 (bottom – portrait):
Friends asked if I could come refresh their family portrait – while at the same time – get some baby pictures of the newborn. While baby was being tended to – the boys were playing in the front room – and with just the light from the front window – and precisely 0.4 seconds of the youngest son sitting still – out popped this image. I didn’t even know it was there until I uploaded the batch that evening.
A couple of exercises to help you keep shooting:
- Go on a walk – and shoot only “from the hip”. If you’re going to pull in a good frame – you’ll likely need to shoot a lot of images. If you’ve never done this before – try a wide angle lens – set to f/8 or so – and get the shutter speed up around 1/250.
- If you typically have conservative frame counts – say less than 100 in a shoot – try something new – and go for 500 – or even a 1000 – in a day.
- If you get bored shooting – try a new lens or angle – or find something else to shoot – but keep shooting!