Photography Tips: Take Many to Get One

5 01 2010

One common misconception of “good” photographers is that every photograph they take is a good shot. In my experience, this is hardly the case. I just choose not to show you my bad shots. In the world of digital photography, bad shots are cheap. They cost nothing to delete.

One of my photographs that I enjoy is posted below. It was a particularly difficult shot to capture how I wanted as I was on one small boat trying to photograph another. The boat rocked up, down, left, and right. And I missed the shot up, down, left, and right. It took many attempts to get the boat framed how I envisioned and do it with a straight horizon. It was my decision to take about 10 shots of the same scene that allowed me to capture a good shot. If I had stopped at 1, 2, or even 3 attempts, I would have been left with less clutter on  my computer and nothing to show for it. Taking a few extra shots allowed me to get a photograph that is at least worth sharing.

I’m not suggesting that one decide to shoot recklessly in all situations. This will not challenge a photographer to improve. But when difficult circumstances present themselves, don’t be shy. Don’t be afraid to take a few bad shots to capture the good one.

A sailbot on the bay in Annapolis, MD




3 responses

5 01 2010

in all honesty every scene is different and requires a different approach.
its nearly always beneficial to get lots of shots

6 01 2010

I do underwater photography and I have to say this is a golden rule shot shot shot take all the photo’s you can. Like you said you just might get lucky and get one shot if you or very very lucky.

10 01 2010
Stephen Mitchell

Totally agree. Every time my camera and I go somewhere, I’m always the guy moving around the location taking LOTs of photographs, whilst the snap-camera people have shot 3 or 4 and think they’ve got enough. Whereas I go home and carefully scrutinise every shot to see how many I can use and maybe sell! I also know the pain of shooting from a boat to the horizon, it is often painful if you want a perfect horizon!

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