Tip: Shooting Fewer Frames Will Make You A Better Photographer

Oct 16, 2014

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Tip: Shooting Fewer Frames Will Make You A Better Photographer

Oct 16, 2014

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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How many frames do you take per shoot? One? Two? Fifty? Back in the days, film and developing was expensive so there was a price to each click. In today’s world clicks are cheap and a single frame no longer costs any money. This is why it is refreshing to see this tip coming from Hasselblad master Roman Jehanno.

It is a very simple advice: “shooting fewer frames will make you a better photographer“.

Roman says that the amount of pictures taken is counterproductive.

The post over InMyBag gives some very strong rational as to why taking more photos of a single scene has negative impact on the final outcome (at least for some types of photography):

The two ideas I identified with most has to do with how we invest out time:

… So spend more time talking (and by that I mean listening) with the person you want to make the portrait of.

This will achieve a number of things, all of which will help you get much more from your subject:

  • You’ll make them relax and forget about the photographic act.
  • You’ll learn more about the subject, gain their trust and respect.
  • Your subject will feel invested and want to help you make a special picture.
  • If you invest time to get to know them, you’ll end the photo shoot enhanced with the feeling of a shared moment.
  • And your last picture will be far more interesting than the thousand that you could have taken.

and how we perceive it:

Think about it this way: when you make a portrait session or even take holiday snaps, everything is about the moment, not about the picture. If you shoot 1,000 pictures, then the moment will be sliced 1000 times, and each picture will represent a 1/1000 of that experience.

So there you have it. Better to take one incredible frame than many good ones. I would love to hear the ratio between the time you invest in shooting vs. the time you invest in not-shooting.

[Why shooting less frames will make you a better photographer | Roman Jehanno]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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10 responses to “Tip: Shooting Fewer Frames Will Make You A Better Photographer”

  1. Human Avatar
    Human

    Sometimes, when I shoot fotos of my kids during a family activity, my younger daughter says “Daddy, now you have taken enough pictures” and makes instantly a grimace when she realizes that I point the camera to her.
    Sometimes, it’s annoying – but in my heart I have to admit that she is maybe right. This article proves that.
    The best teachers: Pros and your kids – probably in the other order…!

  2. Azety Avatar
    Azety

    cant believe im reading this kind of bullshit in 2014 … people shooting 1000 pictures for 1 portrait are not photographer, just picture maker.
    They dont feel anything, they just take pictures to say ” i was there “.
    Tourists.

  3. Amaryllis Avatar
    Amaryllis

    That’s kind of obvious though… shooting 1000 frames instead of getting just 1 that you’re confident about takes times and very little skill. Shooting just once, however, requires you to know why you’re doing it and why you nailed it.

  4. Ralph Hightower Avatar
    Ralph Hightower

    I’ve been shooting film since 1980 with my Canon A-1. Even though I bought my first DSLR 10 months ago, I don’t take multiple shots of the same image. Now, if I were shooting action such as sports or at an air show I would. I did use the motor drive of my A-1 at an air show.

  5. grammar nazi Avatar
    grammar nazi

    FEWER!

  6. Ahmet Avatar
    Ahmet

    I started with film, so I don’t shoot like a madman. But since I use digital (only) I shoot more. Not because it’s free, but because I get instant feedback. You don’t need to shoot a lot of picture, but you have to review the one you did and if it’s not quite what you had in mind, try to change the viewpoint, settings, etc. I’m not talking about blind try and error, more like an iteration of the desired result. The photo is always different than the real view. Our brain sees it in a different way. That is why it is really good to have the LCD as a feedback.
    As someone said: “Work on your photo” and that means much more than “take multiple exposures”
    Also it does not apply for everything. Obviously.

  7. Richard Woods Avatar
    Richard Woods

    *Fewer

  8. Greg Silver Avatar
    Greg Silver

    Not 100% convinced of this logic. National Geographic photographers will often take thousands of photos on a shoot only to get around 10 good pics. If they shot less would it make them better or could they possibly lose that perfect shot.

    I’m starting to think taking more pics gives you a better chance at getting that extraordinary shot.

  9. John C Avatar
    John C

    In portraiture I can see this being an issue, your lighting ,your background etc should be set properly. But if you are doing nature photography, shooting motion, shooting under changing light conditions etc, this is not as practical. But as a rule it is better to take a few than to take dozens of the same shot.

  10. Martosc, [Gm] Avatar
    Martosc, [Gm]

    100 photos of the same scene may be too many; 1 is too few; 10 photos from different angle and perspective may be perfect. Number is relative, but we need to work the scene.
    In the end, editing (not post-processing) is important.