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Thread: Number of shots taken of the same subject

  1. #1
    2 Bit Hack
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    Number of shots taken of the same subject

    I was reading an article on Stieglitz the other day. I had heard of him before but was not aware of what his history really was. It appears that he was most notable for his efforts to promote photography as art. He was responsible for the creation and demise of many different clubs, publications, and galleries. After reading all this I was left with the impression that Stieglitz was more of a promoter than a photographer. I do not mean this in any derogatory sense but rather the opposite.

    What did strike me is how the article was pretty much devoid of his photography short of his efforts to create galleries to publicize the works.
    There was almost nothing on his photographic ideal and methods. I found this odd given the popularity of his more famous works.
    What I did gather was that at any given shoot he would take many shots, many being what I would consider duplicates. From this lot he would pick and choose the best. This somewhat surprised me as I was under the assumption that many icons in photography were "one shot" kind of people.

    On a recent trip I started out bracketing my shots but the found that it was pretty much not necessary. A few days into the trip I was taking one shot. I have issues with this approach. Keep in mind that I am a beginner with LF and simply have not taken that many shots.

    In the digital world I have been known to shotgun. Heck, why not. It costs nothing and is a safe guard against problems. I have since stopped this practice and taken a more problematic approach.

    What is your approach? Are you a one shot kind of person or do you replicate a scene? Why?
    Regards

    Marty

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    I am not an icon by any stretch, but I shoot a lot of film taking very few separate images sometimes. Why? Cloud patterns, cloud shadows on the landscape and unique changing light is important in my work. I see something of interest and get that shot and then see if something in the weather will change and improve the image. As I like to shoot on the edge of storms it is like watching a dance of light that you have not choreographed and you can't predict. I'm always seeing if something better will happen with the light and often times it does. Its not unusual for me to shoot 6-8 even 12 sheets on a scene in rapidly changing light/clouds. On this setup I think I shot 8 sheets as these thunderheads blew through the scene. This was the 8th and I believed it was the culmination of what I was waiting for and quit after this neg. Film is cheap, cost of getting there and the time investment is huge. I never bracket exposures on B&W-I'm always bang on. With transparencies for reproduction yes-but I only shoot color now for commercial work and that is all digital now. The others sheets on this scene were good but not great. Waiting (for maybe an hour and a half?) made all the difference. I just knew in my gut something special was coming. On detail shots in constant light-just two negatives usually-one for insurance.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Walking Rain Min 8x11.jpg  
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  3. #3
    Preston Birdwell
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    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    Marty,

    I normally take a single exposure when using my 4x5, given that I am using color transparency film, which as we all know isn't inexpensive. So, I try hard to keep from making multiple exposures of the same set up. However, and there is always a 'however, sometimes I will make a second exposure in certain conditions of light and weather, or if I feel I may have goofed the first one.

    With my DSLR, I can fire away if I choose, but most of the time I only make two or three exposures. Sure, pixels are cheap, but I really dislike wading through many frames after downloading to my computer.

    Basically, I try to obey the prime directive: "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  4. #4
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    Landscape, using 8x10 X-ray, 2-4 shots per subject, limited more by the number of holders I can carry. For many reasons: the light changes as I'm photographing, clouds move in, wind picks up or dies down, I might try a couple of different lenses & apertures for tonality & sharpness, etc. Something like kid or pet photography, I routinely take 150-300 with the dSLR.

  5. #5
    2 Bit Hack
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    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    I remember that shot, Kirk. That is an excellent example of "more is better". I too spend a lot of time around storms and understand the ever changing conditions. I live for those days/nights.
    I took two from this vantage point. They were pretty much the same as the lighting conditions were constant (and harsh). Later on in the trip I would have taken a single shot.
    Shiprock by jmarmck, on Flickr
    Regards

    Marty

  6. #6
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    Nice. Yes me too in those conditions.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #7
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    I was under the assumption that many icons in photography were "one shot" kind of people.
    It would be interesting to know which icons were one-shot photographers. I don't know.

    I once had a collection of Ansel Adams' Half Dome photos, all different. It was a convenient subject to photograph over and over until he was satisfied enough.

    What others?

  8. #8

    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    It depends on the subject and budget :-) For my Cosplay portrait project, I usually take 2 images of in-costume, and 2 images of out-of-costumes, but I do explain to them that unlike other photogs (where they may fire off 50 shots in 2 seconds), I can really only afford 2 sheets per sitting, so we would work a bit beforehand to find good pose etc. first.

    When I go hiking and take landscapish stuff, then it depends on a number of factors: cloud patterns, people, whether changing angle of view would make a difference etc.

    If I were a commercial photographer though, with someone actually paying for the end results, I would take many more photos.

  9. #9

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    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    Stieglitz worked mainly in the early days of "dry plate" photography, (turn of the 20th Century plus or minus). Emulsions varied all over the place from batch to batch. There were no scientific standards of sensitivity, and even if there had been, there were no light meters. It's amazing how well they did.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  10. #10
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Number of shots taken of the same subject

    I always shoot both sides of a DDS. Same exact shot, even if I don't bracket. Just because.

    I carry Pentax 35mm for city shooting and find 24 shot rolls are way too long. I should start loading my own 12 shot rolls. Not to save film, but just to make it easier to separate ideas and images before developing.

    I'm going to shoot a 12 exposure Graflex bag mag today for the first time. I'm going to load only 6...but all 12 septems still need to be inserted.

    Before digital, I would shoot slides of my sculpture for submission to galleries. They all wanted a slide, which you may never see again. So I settled on shooting each art work with identical settings and image 37 times on individual rolls of film. Then I stored all this 'documentation' and I am very glad I did.

    Even my digitally made NOT ART logo I copied 37 times on slide film. It's nearly 20 years old. It has been stolen and I am working with an IP attorney.

    If the camera is on a tripod, I always double tap. That way I know it's dead.

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