DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> how many are keepers
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 24 of 24, (reverse)
AuthorThread
06/29/2006 12:40:53 AM · #1
lately i've been getting frustrated with the number of shots i take and how many are keepers. I've been hoping to bring up the quality of each shot but I find that the ones I like are becoming fewer and fewer. Either my standards are changing or I'm getting bored and need a change.

Also I don't like my point-and-shoot much any more. I probably need a break then a nicer camera.

What do you consider a good keeper ratio? What are you all getting? Mine's about one in 20-30 taken.
06/29/2006 12:44:47 AM · #2
"Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." - Ansel Adams

06/29/2006 12:47:28 AM · #3
For personal and sharing:
200 keeper out of 250 (discards usually due to blur)

Are you taking a beat due to DPC challenges?
Anyway, was looking at your profile and stumbled on this little gem :)

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/28882/thumb/345567.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/28882/thumb/345567.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
06/29/2006 12:53:04 AM · #4
Depends.....

'Keepers' as in stuff I keep on my gallery at home probably 1 in 50 or so..

Keepers as in stuff I keep in my image archive... 100%. (38,000 images, including 8,000 scanned film negs)

Keepers as in stuff I would enter in competition (real world photo comps, not online digital stuff) probably around 1 in 1000.

Keepers as in stuff the paper publishes from sports events, 1 in 100 or so.

Keepers as in stuff the paper publishes from events/news, 1 in 20...

etc etc etc...

We all have different criteria and wants from Photography.

For some of us it's just a hobby; as long as the image looks sorta like what we wanted it's fine. Others are pedantic and want perfect images every time, and throw out all but the very best.

Others are into recording the moment, and want emotive pictures but could care less for technical aspects of the craft.

Some sports shooters are happy with 1 in 500 shots, others commit honourable suicide by camera strap if they don't get 1 in 20.

If you're not happy, and it's only a hobby for you, take a break and find a new muse.

Just my 2c worth.. :-)
06/29/2006 12:55:08 AM · #5
Originally posted by crayon:

For personal and sharing:
200 keeper out of 250 (discards usually due to blur)


are you serious?! that's pert near every one!

Originally posted by crayon:


Are you taking a beat due to DPC challenges?


No not really I haven't entered many challenges in the last 1/2 year. Maybe I'm just too busy right now to make the required effort.

Message edited by author 2006-06-29 00:57:06.
06/29/2006 01:03:57 AM · #6
Originally posted by KiwiChris:

Depends.....

'Keepers' as in stuff I keep on my gallery at home probably 1 in 50 or so..

Keepers as in stuff I keep in my image archive... 100%. (38,000 images, including 8,000 scanned film negs)

Keepers as in stuff I would enter in competition (real world photo comps, not online digital stuff) probably around 1 in 1000.

Keepers as in stuff the paper publishes from sports events, 1 in 100 or so.

Keepers as in stuff the paper publishes from events/news, 1 in 20...

etc etc etc...

We all have different criteria and wants from Photography.

For some of us it's just a hobby; as long as the image looks sorta like what we wanted it's fine. Others are pedantic and want perfect images every time, and throw out all but the very best.

Others are into recording the moment, and want emotive pictures but could care less for technical aspects of the craft.

Some sports shooters are happy with 1 in 500 shots, others commit honourable suicide by camera strap if they don't get 1 in 20.

If you're not happy, and it's only a hobby for you, take a break and find a new muse.

Just my 2c worth.. :-)


yah, good point. I guess it doesn't matter how many turn out, so long as SOME do.
06/29/2006 01:06:13 AM · #7
Originally posted by briantammy:

Originally posted by crayon:

For personal and sharing:
200 keeper out of 250 (discards usually due to blur)

are you serious?! that's pert near every one!

Yes, serious. I rarely discard photos (snapshots, some call them) of friends, family and relatives. I only delete them if they are blur or technically "useless". I find all photos of this type good for keeping, because to me, ultimately, my photographs are meant to serve as memories. I dont try to make a living from my photos so there is no stress for me to produce a "killer" photo (besides DPC tho, lol)
So yes, I keep most of what I shoot :)
06/29/2006 01:12:41 AM · #8
Originally posted by crayon:

Originally posted by briantammy:

Originally posted by crayon:

For personal and sharing:
200 keeper out of 250 (discards usually due to blur)

are you serious?! that's pert near every one!

Yes, serious. I rarely discard photos (snapshots, some call them) of friends, family and relatives. I only delete them if they are blur or technically "useless". I find all photos of this type good for keeping, because to me, ultimately, my photographs are meant to serve as memories. I dont try to make a living from my photos so there is no stress for me to produce a "killer" photo (besides DPC tho, lol)
So yes, I keep most of what I shoot :)


I guess if you see it from that angle I keep more than I thought. but I was actually thinking of shots that I am pleased with, ones that I'll actually show someone. mmmm :)
06/29/2006 01:54:04 AM · #9
Originally posted by briantammy:

I guess if you see it from that angle I keep more than I thought. but I was actually thinking of shots that I am pleased with, ones that I'll actually show someone. mmmm :)

I dunno about you, but when I purchased my camera, that was what I wanted to do with it, so I'm still in line with my "target" :) And since you mentioned it, you might have set your own standards too high - I mean, most of the "average" snapshots that I took of friends and family, they are always popularly accepted and liked - after all, it's the content of the photo, and the memories in it that counts, I think?

Message edited by author 2006-06-29 01:59:19.
06/29/2006 01:59:51 AM · #10
Originally posted by briantammy:

lately i've been getting frustrated with the number of shots i take and how many are keepers. I've been hoping to bring up the quality of each shot but I find that the ones I like are becoming fewer and fewer. Either my standards are changing or I'm getting bored and need a change.

Also I don't like my point-and-shoot much any more. I probably need a break then a nicer camera.

What do you consider a good keeper ratio? What are you all getting? Mine's about one in 20-30 taken.


The problem is that you're spending too much time on sites like these and becoming overly critical ;)

But really, I think its healthy to want to strive to be better.
06/29/2006 02:13:59 AM · #11
I now have two pictures in the last year I can look at and say I wouldn't change anything.

Two pictures in twelve to fourteen thousand.

Lady in Green
The Corrosive Touch of Time

On the bright side, up until last week it was only one...
06/29/2006 02:54:05 AM · #12
Hi, my name is Dan and I and a picture-keeper-holic.

I keep all my pictures no matter what. I've thrown out maybe 10 pictures since I got my first digital camera in 1998.

I never threw away my negatives so I just couldn't see throwing away any digital pictures either.
06/29/2006 06:26:07 AM · #13
I keep all my family shots, except the blurriest. I also keep all my vacation photos, because it is an archive of a place we went to. I basically record just about every photo on to disks, just because I need to review them frequently just to see shutter speed, aperture etc. It helps in future referencing. As to how many are spectacular, 0 in 20,000
I have sold about 7 to newpapers, I have sold about 50 as prints, I have done 4 weddings, and now I am doing portfolios and portraits of young adults with attitude. So even though I would not term them as spectacular, other folks are not as picky as we are as photographers connected to dp. Can't help but be a little frustrated, but you have to remember that there are around 45,000 members (maybe more) and that we are seeing a lot of photography from everywhere. We are also seeing the very best that each individual has to offer, which may give us an unrealistic view of us and our photos.
As long as you give some people enjoyment with your images, including family and friends, you should give yourself a pat on the back and be joyous that you can offer it to others.

Message edited by author 2006-06-29 06:37:21.
06/29/2006 07:51:13 AM · #14
Originally posted by briantammy:

I guess if you see it from that angle I keep more than I thought. but I was actually thinking of shots that I am pleased with, ones that I'll actually show someone. mmmm :)


That's a good way of putting it... MAYBE 5% for me... And for me the number is dropping, as I'm learning more and more what NOT to do. :)
06/29/2006 08:01:12 AM · #15
I keep just about all my RAW files on dvd, but maybe 3 or 4 images per month make the grade through to being worked up in PS. Thats my real criteria for designating something as a 'keeper' - is it worth spending any time on it to make it into a publishable image?

Sometimes I might do a few little tweaks in PS, but come to the conclusion that the image really isn't going to polish up the way I want, so I drop it into the 'RAW only' bucket. Others I will spend days, possibly weeks working away at an image until I'm satisfied.

Of the ones which get worked up, then maybe 1 in 10 will be competition quality, so I guess I'm runing about half speed of the likes of Ansel Adams ;-)
06/29/2006 09:19:56 AM · #16
I used be happy with about one or two of every 20-30 images. I had a nice dry spell starting around the fall that ended about 2 months ago where I really didn't like too much of what I was taking and have since recovered. I threw tons of stuff away...

Most of this portfolio was taken in one day from less than 100 shots and there are more that came out well from the lot.

My percentage seems to go up and down day by day but I think my overall quality has improved.

Message edited by author 2006-06-29 09:37:56.
06/29/2006 09:24:21 AM · #17
I find that the longer I've been at this whole photography business, the pickier I become about what I keep. I might go out and take 80 shots, show 12 in an online photo essay, and maybe put one up for sale. It's one of the dirty little secrets of the business, I think, that we don't miraculously take perfect shot after perfect shot. When you shoot in quantity, you get to pick and choose the best for public consumption.
06/29/2006 09:41:56 AM · #18
To take a different perspective on it, I am finding that I take fewer and fewer photographs but still get roughly the same number of shots that I am pleased with. I am a lot more discerning as to when to point my camera at something: if the light is bad, almost nothing gets photographed. I am also more sure of getting the shots technically right first time, so there are few duplicates.

The exception comes when trying to get a genuinely difficult shot. Then, the shotgun approach is sometimes the most appropriate.

Eg Shooting a Flamenco dancer at 200mm from the back of a packed bar that was almost pitch black meant just keeping the trigger button down (1600 ISO, -2stops, f2.8, still 1/20 second!) as I leant around people and I got one shot from 100 or so where I was still enough for no handshake and she was still except for the waving of her dress (last image in this gallery for anyone interested //www.matthewredding.com/MWRphotography/Spain.html)

Message edited by author 2006-06-29 10:20:44.
06/29/2006 10:17:40 AM · #19
I find i am shooting more and the percentage of keeps is down...at least on my wedding photography. Some of that is taking 3 of a pose and keeping the best one, so i throw out 2/3 right there! And have a drive mode on the 30D that actually works (compared to a rebel 300D) means i take more pics 'hoping' to catch a better expression - so more tossers there.

I also take detail shots at weddings that i don't show in the proofs, so my last wedding there were 791 captures and probably 380 keepers, but i showed only 250 or so to the couple. My first wedding i shot 250 or so and showed 180.

I'm not as concerned about my ratio as i just now take so damn many pics the work on the computer is taking too long. Just looking over 800 images to throw out the blurry ones, pick the best of the 3 formals, etc can take 3 hours!
06/29/2006 10:25:39 AM · #20
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

I'm not as concerned about my ratio as i just now take so damn many pics the work on the computer is taking too long. Just looking over 800 images to throw out the blurry ones, pick the best of the 3 formals, etc can take 3 hours!


That, plus the hassle and time factor for backing up several gigs from a single shoot, are the main factors for me shooting fewer images but taking more time over each one.

Rawshooter is still very good for this - whack it into slideshow and right arrow combined with ctrl 1/2/3 to grade, plus "del" for the blurries, can get through a large folder full of images pretty quickly.

The real time waster, I find, is getting entranced with a particularly good image!
06/29/2006 10:45:59 AM · #21
I personally take a lot of photos for the sole purpose of learning new techniques, angles etcetera as I try to ultimately get my inner artist in sync with my gear. That being said I trash a lot of photos because they are the result of something new that I'm trying out that didn't work out or just wasn't quite up to par yet. I have found that when I set out to capture something in a specific way (i.e. I'm setting up a shot for a challenge) It takes a lot less shots than it used to. When I shot my entry for bokeh (which didn't make the challenge due to a wrongly set date) I took ten shots, three of which I deemed worthy. I guess my point is that how many keepers you have is really relative to what you are doing at the time. If you wish to grade your skills in that way, that is something you have to keep in mind. As long as you see yourself progressing and are content with your rate of progression, I say don't sweat it. Relax and let it keep flowing.
...my 2 copper worth
06/29/2006 10:54:03 AM · #22
I have to agree with KiwiChris. I really depends... My "keep ratio" is probably very close to this:
Originally posted by KiwiChris:


'Keepers' as in stuff I keep on my gallery at home probably 1 in 50 or so..

Keepers as in stuff I keep in my image archive... 100%. (38,000 images, including 8,000 scanned film negs)

Keepers as in stuff I would enter in competition (real world photo comps, not online digital stuff) probably around 1 in 1000.

Keepers as in stuff the paper publishes from sports events, 1 in 100 or so.

Keepers as in stuff the paper publishes from events/news, 1 in 20...

etc etc etc...

We all have different criteria and wants from Photography.

For some of us it's just a hobby; as long as the image looks sorta like what we wanted it's fine. Others are pedantic and want perfect images every time, and throw out all but the very best.

Others are into recording the moment, and want emotive pictures but could care less for technical aspects of the craft.

Some sports shooters are happy with 1 in 500 shots, others commit honourable suicide by camera strap if they don't get 1 in 20.

If you're not happy, and it's only a hobby for you, take a break and find a new muse.

Just my 2c worth.. :-)
06/29/2006 11:13:31 AM · #23
Your keep ratio is not the real issue, what is important is that with each and every image that you put 100% effort into composing and capturing the very best image you can.

The worst case scenario is when you catch yourself thinking, "I can fix that in photoshop". Make it right in the camera. Photoshop, or whatever image processing software you use, only allows you to enhance what is already there. Nothing more.

Given that, any keep ratio from 1% to 10% would be considered good.
06/29/2006 11:52:51 AM · #24
I try to keep my keeper rate somewhere between 3% and 7% when I'm shooting a race.

For a target keeper percentage of 5%, this is how things tend to break down:

10-15% are technically good (decent lighting, focus, sharp, etc.)
5% are technically good and interesting (composition, unique, etc.)
1% may be good enough to warrant consideration for my portfolio
0.01% might be good enough for entering into competition

It also depends on what/how I'm shooting. For instance, with motorsports, I often do very low shutter speed pans (shooting cars at 150+ MPH at 1/60 or so), and that results in a low initial keeper rate (due to camera shake, etc.) and find that specular reflections blow out a decent number of shots (although, this is improved with a polarizer).

I tend to break my shots into two major groups ... "gotta' get it" shots (ie, a crash, a critical pass for the lead of the race, any "moment" that won't happen again) and "lap after lap" shots in which I let myself get creative and experiment with angles, technique, timing, etc.

The "gotta' get it" shots are generally taken with very conservative settings (bump up the ISO a bit, shorten the shutter, stop down a bit to get some breathing room on DOF), and I use lots of shots (at 5 FPS) to guarantee a keeper in the set.

For the more experimental shots, I tend to push myself, and if I find that I'm succeeding in too many shots, I try some new things that are outside of my comfort zone. This brings the keeper rate down, but keeps me discovering new ways to try and convey the thrill of the race.

/Andrew
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 07/18/2019 11:53:05 PM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2019 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 07/18/2019 11:53:05 PM EDT.