I wonder how many millions (billions?) of pictures are made each day. Without doubt the advent of digital technology has caused that number to explode. A friend returned recently from a cruise around the Mediterranean. “We were gone ten days and I made over three thousand pictures.” (I hope she does some serious culling before inviting friends to see them!)
Digital is free, after all. Except…maybe it isn’t.
I can buy the argument that, once the camera, batteries and a memory card are paid for, the incremental cost of the next photo requires no outlay of money. But is money the only commodity here?
The old timers used to say that they were satisfied if they got one “keeper” out of roll of film. I expect that number is now more like one out of a hundred exposures. A baseball player named Woodie Held is credited with the saying, “Don’t forget to swing hard, in case you hit the ball.” We are getting sloppy if that’s our photography approach. And when we get sloppy the quality suffers. In this sense, digital isn’t free. If we simply click away with snapshots we are paying dearly in lost opportunity to make quality images.
Of course there are times when – for a purpose – we want to fire off many exposures. Take, for example, a fast moving sporting event requiring rapid fire exposures. Or the group portrait. If more than a few people are involved someone is going to have his eyes closed. And if you are experimenting, perhaps different exposures, different depths-of-field, or different angles, then, I would say, shoot away. There is a purpose and you are learning something.
So…here is my point: Shoot fewer, shoot slower, shoot with purpose, shoot smarter and bring home better pictures.