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What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?
  
 
Bsmooth
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


I just saw an ad for a hobbyist photographer who had put over 70,000 actuations on his camera in just 2 years. It got me thinking, that I probably haven't put that many actuations on my 20D since I bought it.
Maybe its being used to film, where you try and make every image as good as you can, I just don't take that many images. Granted I can see a wedding photogarpher shooting a lot more.
I mostly shoot landscapes and seascapes, wildlife, flowers, birds. But in a weekend I might only shoot 100-200 images, and definately shoot more in the spring, summer and fall, although Snow Owls are increasing that more in the winter now.
So thats about 500 a month approx, or about 6000 a year. How does that classify me as a photographer, certainly not a hobbyist I guess?
The general perception is If you want to improve you must do something more. But at the same time, just doing more improve what your doing, or just doing more get you deeper in a rut of doing things, shall we say not as well as you could?.
I try and improve all the time, reading as much on the subject, watching video tutorials, taking classes when I can, but I don't see any great improvements. Some things are better, my work in RAW has improved quite a bit.
I'm also finding some things knew years ago are starting to fade away to the point I have to reread or even find something that refreshes the memory.
So do you reach a point where you should be satisfied, or is it like living in a house you own, where everything is never quite done?



Apr 01, 2014 at 02:27 PM
sjms
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


i don't count clicks but i'm also old school. that is back when you paid for film and processing only 36 shots on a roll. that being said you generally take a lot more effort in shooting with that engrained in your shooting psyche. making the effort to do it with minimal frames. when i shoot sports and such its about timing.


Apr 01, 2014 at 02:38 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


When I shot sports with 35mm film cameras, I generally sent in 20 to 35 rolls per month, for processing (say about 1000 images per month). Now when I'm shooting sports or BIF with a 1DX and 1DIV, I usually get about two thousand images on a typical, three or four hour outing.

When I shot landscapes and other non-action subjects with medium and large format cameras, I had far fewer images processed, same as today.

You don't have to take 'more' images to evolve as a photographer, just do it more often.

I really miss looking at a new 6x12 transparency on my light table. Otherwise, I prefer digital.



Apr 01, 2014 at 03:32 PM
onesickpuppy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


This isn't a fair question...due to what "type" of photographer you are...let me try to explain:

I, am a event photographer (motorsports)....so on any weekend, I may shoot 1500 to 3000 images.
If you take that the season is about 5 months (in my area...longer if in southern states) and you take an average 4 weekends to a month....that is 20 events times (lets say) 2000.....40000 images on the average??
Then you take in the off season....maybe shoot wildlife. During December when the Eagles are around, I might average 3 to 5 hundred a day....so maybe anohter 2000 for the month

So in my case....I could easy put about 60K on a body a year or more.


Now you take a PURE hobbyist....they might place only about 4000 a year

As you can see...it just depends on who YOU are.....someone that shoots for a dedicated reason like a event photographer, a photo journalist, camera happy father.....or just someone that enjoys the ability to to capture some images as the mode hits them.

Even when I'm shooting an event, I rarely spray and pray...for keepers. I too want just "the" image and try to keep down the weeding through process in post work.

Note: even in film days, I went through a lot of rolls on a weekend.



Apr 01, 2014 at 03:37 PM
Bernie
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


Photography is not golf where you count your strokes.

The whole idea of a "keeper rate" is totally ridiculous. If you're not experimenting (ie making mistakes, trying new things), you're not growing as a photographer.

Since we all grow at different rates, to compare your "score" is counterproductive.



Apr 01, 2014 at 03:58 PM
onesickpuppy
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


Bernie.......WELL SAID!!!


Apr 01, 2014 at 03:59 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


So most of you have pretty much reached a point, where your pretty happy with your processing and image taking ?


Apr 01, 2014 at 04:39 PM
onesickpuppy
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


Bsmooth....processing and image taking are TWO separate goals....at least for me

My image taking has reached a very solid platform...but I'm still constantly learning new tricks or
methods to pull out a little more of my images.

Processing....I will admit is my weaker side....someday I'll have the skills like some of the great ones here on FM...but until then, I need to keep pushing to get it right in the camera



Apr 01, 2014 at 04:56 PM
docsmiles17
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


Regardless of what title you want to put on yourself, growth as a photographer is individual and personal and can't be determined on how many clicks you take or should take.

A hobby photographer may be satisfied while a pro may not be. The reverse can also be true but thats irrelevant...The most important question is are YOU satisfied? If not, strive to get there.



Apr 02, 2014 at 03:24 AM
AnthonyRay
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


I was spoiled through the 80's because I had a design firm with a Colenta E-6 Processor and Loersch slide mounter. My biggest expense was buying film canisters in bulk. I'd sit in the dark room with a big roll of Ektachrome in a little black bulk film loader and load them up!

Worst case Kodak was literally down the street, and they had a pick up service where we'd put our 4x5 and other film in a big yellow mesh bag and hang it up and they'd come get it. Kodachrome was for the serious stuff! You'd tell them if you were pushing the film or what have you - it'd be hanging up on the door the next morning! Those were the days!

So the only counting I really had to do was to keep track - because you were still limited by how many rolls you had. Sort of like having a 64GB card and no way to download it on vacation. But also in those days - I was paying guys to do the shooting. I had all the fun.

These days I shoot and shoot and shoot - and still wonder why I didn't shoot some more. For me.

BUT! If it's a paid job then I can only compose and shoot so many - time is money.

I have to look at them and edit them and have them ready in a certain amount of time. The client expects to see instant results so they can move forward with their plans.

I allow myself "X" amount of time for "X" amount of photos. And that's the goal. If I have to shoot more, I've done something wrong.

If something happens to throw me off - and it still does - I learn from my mistake and hopefully charge accordingly going forward. So no, I don't think the amount I shoot has anything to do with it (for the type of work I do).

Where I fall down is planning or not asking enough questions - thinking I'm going into something with certain expectations and finding something completely different.

I can always pull it off - but to me shooting more means bad planning and more work. But see, again it depends on what you do. For architectural interiors, there's no waiting for "the shot". No waiting for the light to get just right - well actually yes, I'm wrong there - we do have to wait for the light to be just right - but I've got a huge window (literally) I mean window of time of time. So you don't want sun streaming in that window necessarily. You know what I mean! It's getting late, sorry! So it depends on what you're doing. More photos can make you better because it means you're practicing, and it could also mean your chances of luck improve but that's not how I do it.



Apr 02, 2014 at 05:17 AM
 

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Paul Mo
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


AnthonyRay wrote:
These days I shoot and shoot and shoot - and still wonder why I didn't shoot some more. For me.

BUT! If it's a paid job then I can only compose and shoot so many - time is money.

I have to look at them and edit them and have them ready in a certain amount of time. The client expects to see instant results so they can move forward with their plans.

I allow myself "X" amount of time for "X" amount of photos. And that's the goal. If I have to shoot more, I've done something wrong.

You know what
...Show more

Recently we had a university graduation, and you could see the GWC's over shooting, wearing out their 'clients' and running around in the heat searching for locations and experimenting with poses.

All they needed was twenty final edits to make the university students happy - with eight cracking shots.

Planning and experience saves time.



Apr 02, 2014 at 08:22 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


Bsmooth wrote:
So most of you have pretty much reached a point, where your pretty happy with your processing and image taking ?


Heck, no. I'm always trying to improve. I work on my 'seeing', my taking technique, my PP capability and efficiency, and my marketability.



Apr 02, 2014 at 12:03 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


The number of shutter actuations you put on the camera is not a useful or meaningful metric in any way. Everyone has different subject matter, different ways of shooting, and different methods to improving. Where one person might get better by shooting 35 different pictures of the same subject at different settings or angles, then looking at the results, another person might get better by shooting one picture, studying it, framing a lot of angles in the viewfinder, then shooting one more. It might be that the second person was a film guy who learned a process that reduces the amount of film consumed - but neither is better, they're just different paths to the same goal.

Subject matter makes a huge difference, too. 5k actuations might be a year's worth of landscape photos, or a busy weekend shooting football games.

Don't count your clicks. They don't mean anything. Measure your progress through your results.



Apr 02, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


jcolwell wrote:
Heck, no. I'm always trying to improve. I work on my 'seeing', my taking technique, my PP capability and efficiency, and my marketability.



Ditto, but I could care less about my marketability.

As for you being satisfied, you are the only one that can answer that.



Apr 03, 2014 at 02:35 AM
Jeff Napier
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


As mostly an event/sports photographer I can take well over 20k+ images (mostly cheer) in a weekend. Its matter of what the person/company ask of you. With that said baseball/softball can be quite a lot less but still up there.
I guess it would be hard to rate someone as a photographer based on how many shots I am taking.
When Im doing seniors or portrait's I do even less, landscape probably even fewer yet.



Apr 03, 2014 at 05:33 PM
scorpix
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


Bsmooth wrote:
So most of you have pretty much reached a point, where your pretty happy with your processing and image taking ?


By taking about 10k pictures a year I see myself as pure hobbyist . But I treat it more like a path to go, not like a goal to reach. It never ends. As mentioned you read something, try something new etc. It all adds up and forms a way of seeing things. And I am sure professionals progress much faster.

In addition I wanted to point out that some photographers prefer the phrase "making photos" instead of "taking photos". Because they think that the "making photos" describes more clearly that there is a complicated process behind it. Not just button pressing. For example for a landscape: to scout the location before, figure out the best time of the day or year to be there, prepare, go there, compose (very important step), post process. And it could take many such attempts to get what the photographer intended.



Apr 03, 2014 at 08:06 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


Bsmooth wrote:
I just saw an ad for a hobbyist photographer who had put over 70,000 actuations on his camera in just 2 years. It got me thinking, that I probably haven't put that many actuations on my 20D since I bought it.
Maybe its being used to film, where you try and make every image as good as you can, I just don't take that many images. Granted I can see a wedding photogarpher shooting a lot more.
I mostly shoot landscapes and seascapes, wildlife, flowers, birds. But in a weekend I might only shoot 100-200 images, and definately shoot more
...Show more

I'm not a photographer, but I shoot a reasonable amount on each day in the field. I average about 1000 frames per day for landscapes (plethora of panning/stitching) and 2000 for wildlife. However, double that or more is not unusual on an exceptional day. Normally I figure that the cost to see the good wildlife is about $1000-1500 per day, so memory cards and storage are trivial in comparison.

It was not all that long ago that I'd only shoot a few rolls of 120 (6x9) or 20-exposure rolls of 135.

EBH



Apr 04, 2014 at 03:06 AM
clund10
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


I shoot sports mostly and it's not uncommon for me to get anywhere from 600-2000 shots in one day. I do it as a hobby mostly so perhaps this is more in line with what the other hobbyist is doing. People who shoot still life obviously would put way less on a body in a year versus someone who photographs action.


Apr 07, 2014 at 07:08 AM
justruss
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


Bsmooth wrote:
So most of you have pretty much reached a point, where your pretty happy with your processing and image taking ?


Happy, sure. Satisfied, or stopping my progression, no. Unhappy sometimes, yes. Realizing I have a long, long way to go, all the time.

By the way:

hob·by
noun
an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.

hob·by·ist
noun
a person who pursues a particular hobby.

There's nothing in there about volume. You can be a hobbyist and shoot 5 frames a year, or a hobbyist and shoot 100,000 frames a year.

If you do it for fun in your non-incoming producing time... you're a hobbyist, or amateur. There's also nothing in the definition that denotes skill or quality.

There are hobbyists, it turns out, who produce a huge body of work that can be so damn good it goes on to influence the entire field. See: Vivian Maier: http://www.vivianmaier.com/



Apr 07, 2014 at 08:06 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · What "grade" or type of photographer are you ?


If you are a bird photographer and you're not putting more than 200-300 clicks on your camera per weekend then something is very very wrong ! I just returned from a week's birding trip .. 7,000 clicks. A typical weekend locally will see 300-500 clicks. One day out 200-300 minimum.

When I shoot street, landscape, portraits, friends then it's far far less .. maybe not even 100 per day. Action demands bursts to hit the right position, whether it be sport, airplanes, cars or birds.



Apr 07, 2014 at 09:05 AM
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