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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 13 Sep 2014 (Saturday) 15:47
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Do you ever get hacked off with your bad photos?

 
slicendice
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Sep 13, 2014 15:47 |  #1

I've just been having a browse through some of my photos and I have to be honest, some of them (OK...quite a lot of them) are just awful! I look at them and think "how on this earth could I take something so bad?!?". From some of my trips abroad it feels like 99% of the photos I took are basically bin fodder. I find it hugely frustrating, because I've been to some really nice locations and yet I just feel like I've totally wasted the opportunities...and I get really hacked off with myself!

Just wondering if anyone else gets the same feeling sometimes...? Or is it just me? :lol:


Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy

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Overread
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Sep 13, 2014 15:53 |  #2

100% and totally normal.

We are all like this, its part of what drives us to improve our skill, because the day you think they are all perfect and fantastic; well that's the day you stop working at learning.

I think that its also something that can be an easily felt thing right after a shoot; when the thoughts are fresh in your mind as to the 100001 things you did wrong. Sometimes I find that leaving the shots in the computer a few days helps; you can come back and be more objective, but also less emotionally attached to the shots. In addition you can more easily say "ok this wasn't perfect, but honestly its not half bad".


And yeah most shots you take are likely going to be poor quality - esp in the digital age where the ease and cheapness makes us FAR more likely to press the shutter even if we are not sure about the shot. It's a fantastic thing in many ways as it means sometimes we get some outstanding shots where if we had film we'd have not bothered risking it - sometimes we get some ok or rubbishy shots, but they are of importance to us still for what they capture ( a person, place, moment, event etc...).

So yeah you'll get lots of duff shots, and sometimes you can challenge yourself to restrict your shooting to only a handful and work at getting a higher number of keepers - but chances are you'll do that the same way most of us do - by avoiding tricky/abnormal/trivia​l situations. It's a neat learning tool, but at the same time I wouldn't honestly worry about pushing the keeper rate - be aware, seek to improve but don't be ruled by it.


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slicendice
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Sep 13, 2014 16:10 |  #3

Thanks...glad I'm not the only one :D

I used to shoot film many years ago (Olympus OM2) and whilst I enjoyed it to a degree, it was always a bit of a trial having to finish a film, send it off to get developed, wait for the prints, etc, etc. When digital came along, I found my love of photography increased exponentially as the turnaround was so much quicker. So yes, much more trigger happy with digital (and so yes, I suppose undoubtedly the % of keepers will be lower) but also much more enjoyable...for me at any rate :-)

Guess I'll just keep plugging away ;)


Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy

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KirkS518
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Sep 13, 2014 17:02 |  #4

It's funny, because I recently went back to film. Have hardly picked up my DSLR in about 3 months.

Percentage-wise, my keeper rate with film is close to the 95-99% rate (as long as I develop the roll correctly), whereas it's the reverse when using digital. I find each film shot is much more planned and thought out, everything is double-checked (exposure where I want it, composition, etc.) before I hit the shutter. When I'm using digital, I'm a lot sloppier, having the mindset of "I'll just shoot a couple more" or "I'll fix that in post" and the like.

I was just playing around with a new-to-me Nikkor 60mm Macro earlier (I recently picked up a Nikon F4s, so I've been using that for film). I shot a total of 17 shots in the course of an hour. Nothing special, just some backyard macro stuff. When I get a new Canon lens, I burn through 100+ shots in the same timeframe. Of those, maybe 10% would be considered keepers (although subject matter usually makes it 0% as I'm just testing and playing). Of the 17, I'm expecting 15 or 16 keepers (I know I screwed up one shot).

So, no, you're not alone. If you want to improve your keeper rate, the best suggestion I have is to slow down, and think the shot through as if you only had one chance at it. Your keeper rate should go up exponentially.


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DC ­ Fan
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Sep 13, 2014 17:34 |  #5

slicendice wrote in post #17152350 (external link)
I've just been having a browse through some of my photos and I have to be honest, some of them (OK...quite a lot of them) are just awful! I look at them and think "how on this earth could I take something so bad?!?". From some of my trips abroad it feels like 99% of the photos I took are basically bin fodder. I find it hugely frustrating, because I've been to some really nice locations and yet I just feel like I've totally wasted the opportunities...and I get really hacked off with myself!

Just wondering if anyone else gets the same feeling sometimes...? Or is it just me? :lol:

Rather than getting "hacked off," it's best to learn from images that didn't work well. Examine EXIF, review conditions and decisions, and figure out approaches that are more effective the next time. If you don't learn from your mistakes, you'll never progress.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Attributed to Rita Mae Brown, "Sudden Death," 1983.

“By seeking and blundering we learn.” Attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.




  
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watt100
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Sep 14, 2014 04:10 |  #6

DC Fan wrote in post #17152476 (external link)
Rather than getting "hacked off," it's best to learn from images that didn't work well. Examine EXIF, review conditions and decisions, and figure out approaches that are more effective the next time. If you don't learn from your mistakes, you'll never progress.

^^ and different composition, lighting, lens, etc. you can always learn !




  
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Keith ­ R
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Sep 14, 2014 05:36 |  #7

Yep, what DC Fan says - it's brilliant learning tool. I do it all the time, after every shoot: I really look at the files that didn't work, and do my damnedest to figure out why.

Then I make sure I don't repeat the mistake.




  
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ceriltheblade
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Sep 14, 2014 06:55 |  #8

i can understand where you are coming from. In addition, there are those people who think the ones we hate - are good to great pics.
But then there are pics to be proud of, that you've "sculpted"
and those you took for family and friends
but hopefully we can always take that energy and make our pics better - at least for the times that we want them to be amazing! :)


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Sparky98
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Sep 14, 2014 12:46 |  #9

I too have a wealth of shots that really need to be discarded but I realize that rarely have I taken a "photography" trip. I usually travel with family or a group so I don't have time to find the best vantage point or wait for the best light to take a picture. As a result, a lot of my photography is snapshot photography just recording a memory of where I have been. The few times I have gone somewhere with the sole purpose being photography I may have returned with 1 or 2 shots that I really liked but a lot of the culls were a learning experience where I was trying different locations, different exposures, different angles, etc. To me that is one of the advantages of digital photography, the ability to experiment and see the results instantly.

I recently read an interview with Art Wolfe and he talked about how in his career he had taken a multitude of shots to come up with the one really good salable shot. However, he did say with time he has learned what makes a really great shot so he now gets that shot with fewer culls. Of course that is our goal but in reality the majority of us can't spend the time with our photography that Wolfe has spent with his so comparatively our keeper rate should be relatively low. I think we all should have a lot of bad photos but as we look at our history of photos we should see an improvement over time. If that improvement is not there then maybe it is time to step back and reevaluate our methods. Most of all we should just enjoy photography and try to improve where we can.


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slicendice
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Sep 14, 2014 14:37 |  #10

Sparky98 wrote in post #17153727 (external link)
Most of all we should just enjoy photography and try to improve where we can.

This is definitely something I subscribe to - and I do enjoy it and I do try to improve...it's just there is a little frustration from time to time. But then I suppose that goes for a lot of things in life ;)


Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy

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LV ­ Moose
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Sep 14, 2014 14:45 as a reply to  @ slicendice's post |  #11

What pisses me off isn't the poor quality, as much as the reasons for the poor quality; stupid mistakes like having too slow of a shutter speed when I was shooting wildlife, or forgetting to turn IS off when using to tripod, not having the right lens along because I didn't properly anticipate the situation... and so on. I keep thinking I'll learn from these mistakes, but I don't :mad:


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gonzogolf
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Sep 14, 2014 14:59 |  #12

There are two ways to work. The first is to shoot a lot snd discover the subject as you work. The second is to mentally craft the image through preplanning. If you do the first you can't help but have some images that don't work, its part of the process. The second process gives you a better keeper ratio, but may limit your ability to adapt. Most of us work somewhere between these styles but leaning more toward one or the other. If you are a "shoot until you find it " sort of guy maybe spend a little more time thinking about the elements of the shot before shoot. Pretend you are a film shooter with only 24 exposures for a shoot.




  
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modestglock26
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Sep 14, 2014 15:53 |  #13

I look back and see some absolutely horrible shots and I blame myself for being okay with it due to the ease of everything being digital these days. With film, you'd be wasting more. I look back and also see some shots that I'm very happy with as I was learning how to use my camera. What bothers me the most currently is seeing the bad post processing that I had added to pictures and then saved them only to not keep the originals.


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OhLook
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Sep 14, 2014 16:08 |  #14

LV Moose wrote in post #17153924 (external link)
forgetting to turn IS off when using to tripod

I attached a note to my tripod to remind myself about IS. The note is on the platform the camera sits on so that I'll see it just before placing the camera.


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LV ­ Moose
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Sep 14, 2014 16:18 |  #15

OhLook wrote in post #17154069 (external link)
I attached a note to my tripod to remind myself about IS. The note is on the platform the camera sits on so that I'll see it just before placing the camera.

Good idea. Some lenses it doesn't matter on. But I can't count the times I've made this mistake with my 28-135. The resulting blur is nothing I notice by looking at the LCD, but once I get the images on the computer, I realize my mistake.


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Do you ever get hacked off with your bad photos?
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