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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 21 Sep 2012 (Friday) 07:25
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How many keepers do you get when shooting Macro?

 
hennie
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Sep 21, 2012 07:25 |  #1

I am quite new to shooting macro, have been experimenting with extension tubes and recently took the plunge to get me the 100L macro.

I like what I get but are wondering about the number of keepers I get.
When shooting bugs only 1 out of 20 is a keeper, while when shooting people or portrait I get about 1 out of 3.

How much should I be able to get after some more practice?
What is your keeper rate when shooting Macro?




  
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Larry ­ Weinman
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Sep 21, 2012 12:57 |  #2

There is no how much. You shoot until you get what you originally envisioned as a good photograph of the subject. This can happen in one shot or many shots.


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gatorlink
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Sep 21, 2012 13:25 |  #3

I find that it depends a great deal on the subject and environmental circumstances. For example, in this post (https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1230256), the top shot represents the only shot out of probably 100 attempts over the last 6 months that I deem acceptable of this kind of fly. However, that terrible rate of keepers is based on these facts: (1) that species never stops moving around when they don't just fly away entirely; (2) they tend to land on wispy branches that sway a lot in the wind, but you can't try to secure the branch or the fly instantly flies away; and (3) the dark bodies don't reflect much light, so even when a shot is sharp, at least part of the fly's interesting details are obscured in shadows.

Compare this to a quick shoot I did last night of a very cooperative weevil. The weevil almost wasn't moving at all, and it was on a table, so I could rest the camera and lens on the table. The added stability and control meant that every shot was in focus and had no motion blur. They were all "keepers" in the sense that there was nothing technically wrong with any of them. When I get around to processing them in a couple days, I will ultimately only post the best one, but they are all fine.

So, ultimately, you really need to either (1) do things that ensure a higher keeper rate (e.g., secure the plant on which the subject is sitting, brace your body/camera against something solid like a wall or monopod, hold the plant with the same hand you use to brace the lens, make sure your flash is oriented correctly to get good light, etc.); or (2) be satisfied with a lower keeper rate when the circumstances are difficult. If it's super windy and your subject is a skittish long-legged fly on a wispy branch, 1 out of 20 keepers is a fantastic rate. If it's a slow-moving weevil on the ground, you should be aiming for 1 out of 3 at the worst.


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StayFrosty
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Sep 22, 2012 00:27 |  #4

I'm very new to macro as well and I'm finding the "keeper" rate very low too, 1in 20 if only!
I got my first macro lens earlier this week and have shot hundreds of images most of which are rubbish but I take the view that I'm learning the technical side of the craft for now and it's like anything else: practise makes perfect.
I don't think it's something you should worry about.


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BasAndrews
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Sep 23, 2012 04:18 |  #5

I took 250 shots yesterday, and have six that I am happy to post.I have had days when I managed 50%.

Now the only frusration with that is if I missed focus on an otherwise potentially great shot. Other than that the keeper rate is not that important.


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Lowner
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Sep 23, 2012 04:41 |  #6

I've just spent 3 days in and around Oxford and shot 200 or so frames. I have just one good composition and a lot of "almost but not quites".


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Snowyman
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Sep 24, 2012 04:21 |  #7

My actual keeper rate is quite low, but I am a hoarder and keep everything, including every photograph I've ever taken!


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mat ­ vanella
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Sep 24, 2012 16:07 |  #8

Oooh man this thread has made me feel Sooo much better.
Hennie you'll find your keeper rate will improve with the more shots you take (practice). Mine is slowly getting better. The beauty of digital is no developement costs, so keep snapping and remember you're not alone.


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Lowner
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Sep 25, 2012 06:32 |  #9

If the "failures" are for technical reasons, then more practise is needed, because thats the easy part. Composition failures are more difficult but again it comes down to practise.


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weeatmice
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Sep 26, 2012 13:41 |  #10

1 in 20 is similar to what I suspect I get when shooting with flash at 1:1 or a bit more magnification. Less as magnification goes up obviously.

I also shoot quick moving insects like busy bees as if they are birds, using full speed shooting, relying on AF Servo. Bigger apertures usually too even on a bright sunny day (just doesnt work at all if its overcast). In that situation the keeper rate is appauling, but you get pics very quickly though compared to flash.


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archer1960
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Sep 29, 2012 12:40 |  #11

I found that my keeper rate went up dramatically when I started using a flash, which allowed faster shutter speeds. I was getting just enough motion blur that the image looked soft, rather than being obviously blurred.


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alazgr8
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Sep 29, 2012 20:13 |  #12

I just got my 100 f/2.8L tuesday, and took it out today, and I have to say that I am pretty disapointed in myself. I can't hold the camera steady, I can't focus fast enough, I can't make setting changes fast enough to capture images I want. You guys make this macro stuff look easy!! Keep posting your awesome images so I have something to shoot for!! -rick


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BasAndrews
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Sep 30, 2012 05:49 |  #13

alazgr8 wrote in post #15059147 (external link)
.........I have to say that I am pretty disapointed in myself. I can't hold the camera steady, I can't focus fast enough, I can't make setting changes fast enough to capture images I want. ........ -rick

Welcome to my world.


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Seapup
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Sep 30, 2012 08:11 |  #14

BasAndrews wrote in post #15060157 (external link)
Welcome to my world.

As if! :lol: I've seen your work and it's pretty damned good. Make that awesome. :p


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Lester ­ Wareham
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Sep 30, 2012 10:38 |  #15

Even now I will take many more shots than I need if I can just ensure I get to choose the best ones.

i still get plenty of immediate delete shots though so don't be discouraged.


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How many keepers do you get when shooting Macro?
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