View Full Version : Good Sports Pic Percentage ?

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 17:09
OK fellow sports photographers! What percentage of the pictures that you take really turn out good enough to keep/sell/post? All of us with digital cameras don't really worry about the number of pictures we take at an event(well, at least I don't, really). I take alot of soccer and track pictures. These include shots taken indoor and outdoor, sunny and raining and somewhere in between. That should cover most sports environs.

I seem to get maybe 10-20 good shots per 100 frames taken. Does that seem about right?

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 17:19
about 8/10... after the 1st half hour. before that about 6/10, i seem to need to warm up to find my angle!

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 17:25
It depends.. running, I usually get 900 out of 1000... biking, maybe 750 out of 1000, Downhill maybe 600 or so...

Really depends on the lighting, and what spot I've chosen to stay at. With Event photography you put everything up (as long as it's in focus)... since you never know what someone will buy.

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 18:14
It really depends what you are shooting for. Event photography I ditch only the OOF shots like mtbkanata said.

However for papers and my website I take the best 35 from 300/400 odd.


22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 18:23
If you're asking about pictures good enough not th throw away then it's abou t 3/5 but shots that are very good or great, for me it's about 1/25

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 19:06
I usually keep about 35% shooting basketball.

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 19:14
I really recommend against this sort of thinking and instead thinking in terms of getting "the One!" Who cares how many you take? It is how many that do the job. I may shoot 3000 frames at a boxing card and get only two or three stunners and there is no way that I am going be upset at 1/1000 rate ... it is nonsensical.

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 20:01
I might be posting 10 out of 300 from a given night of basketball, significantly more for cross country and tennis though. Really great photos come along maybe once in a thousand (every three or four games for me), but--like DwightMcCann said--I can't really expect to shoot wowing photos in a high school gym without taking quite a few bad ones.

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 22:24
depends on the lens and the sport. My Sigma 70-200 is kinda slow to AF for fast hockey - I usually keep 2 or 3 out of 5. When I get to use the Canon 200/1.8L, its so fast that my ratio goes up to 4 out of 5. Baseball is way easier, but you take 100 to get 5 or 10 decent action shots (bat-on-ball, pitcher at release, base play). Lax or football under the lights goes down to 1 or 2 of 5, but in daylight its much better...

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 22:52
It does depend on the sport for me. My keeper rate for basketball is much higher than night football, as I'm much better equipped for indoor sports shooting. Basketball, to me, is a much easier sport to shoot than football or baseball, for example.

22nd of February 2007 (Thu), 23:30
Define "keeper" or "good shots". Are we talking submitable/publishable? Are we talking something a kids mom would like? Are we talking it's in focus and thats it? I think everyones definition of keeper or the likes really depends on why they are shooting and the intent of the usage of the images. By the numbers being reported here, I doubt we're all talking about the same thing. Dwight shoots for a very specific purpose. Something tells me his criteria is not the same as mtbkanata's criteria. Unlike mtbkanata, nobody gets to see my crap shots.... no one.

23rd of February 2007 (Fri), 00:09
Good point, Mark. What I consider a "keeper" is one that would sell to a parent. They aren't as discriminating as my newspaper editor. :)

23rd of February 2007 (Fri), 00:27
It's hard to say because I rarely count the number of shots taken and I delete the really bad and out of focus ones at first glance. At a recent wrestling tournament in a poorly lit gym I posted 1400 photos out of about 3000 taken. Most of the rejects were because the positions were too similar to other shots. The percentage of good shots was high due to the relatively slow pace.

Lately with basketball I've started shooting short bursts on action close to the basket. Usually I'll post only the best 2 or 3 out of 5 or 6 taken. Ditto with hockey. When the puck is in front of the net I'll shoot bursts in hopes of getting the perfect photo of the puck going into the net.

All of that lowers the percentage of shots I post vs shots taken but at the same time increases the total number of good and great shots.

23rd of February 2007 (Fri), 00:30
I'm with you guys, If I say shoot 300 to 400 at a basketball game I'll end up keeping usually on average around 120-150 (some may be ok to keep but others of the same sequence are slightly better for example) but as for submitting for publishing it'd only be the best 5-10 that I use maybe 20 at most. And like Liza I seem to get a lot more from Basketball and tennis then I would at Soccer, Rugby or Rugby League. I also shoot cricket and it also has less keepers but somewhere in between the basketball and football ends of the spectrum.

23rd of February 2007 (Fri), 01:59
It depends on sport. For example with alpine skiing my percentage is around 70-80%, maybe even more. Ok ok let me explain :) With alpine skiing it's pretty clear how photo should be that it's usable (normally skier has to be at gate). Since they are pretty fast (for slalom and GS between 70 and 90km/h and for downhill up to 130-140km/h) you don't have much time to get such photo. So even with 8fps you are limited to about 2, in best case 3 photos/skier. And at least one from those 2 should be good enough to send. If it's not, you might not have winner. So basically I don't shoot to fill all buffer, but just really short bursts of 2 to 3 photos per skier. If I would shoot 10 photos of same skier, 8 of them would be throw away photos, even if they would be perfectly sharp. So that's why percentage is so high.
With other sports (basketball, handball, cycling, etc.) percentage is much lower, but I would still say it's around 30-40%. But I usually come back from event with less then 200-300 photos. For example from basketball I normally come with 150-180 photos max... it's easier and faster to edit this way :mrgreen:

23rd of February 2007 (Fri), 03:27
It really depends on the sport and the venue. Lighting plays a big role...much easier to get keepers with great light. Like Dwight mentioned...I don't really care how many shots it takes to get a keeper, as long as I come home with something of quality to show for my effort.

23rd of February 2007 (Fri), 23:20
For skateboarding maybe 10-50 of a hundred depending on the day. If people are going big 40-50 of a hundred. But on a slow day 10-20 of a hundred.

23rd of February 2007 (Fri), 23:48
I shoot hockey, figure skating, equestrian, dog agility, armwrestling, soccer and other sports. Most of the photos I take at hockey games are keepers, figure skating is different because the skaters are very particular about what they look like and if they are positioned the right way so I delete more photos. Most of my clients at dog agility trials are so happy to get a good picture of their dog that I sell all kinds of poses so I keep most of my pictures. Equestrian events are a bit trickier because the riders are looking for that special shot and are very particular in what they choose. I really enjoy fast sports i.e. exteme motorcross because of the challenges it offers. Armwrestling is all about capturing the expression on people's faces so I delete many pictures. To me it's not about how many pictures I delete, it's about how many really good ones I end up with. Shooting these sports takes most of the day, 6 to 7 hours without any breaks so you can't make much money ... you have to love doing it. Capturing people and animals in motion is such a thrill!