Anticipating the Right Moment

With digital capture,  it’s very easy to take hundreds if not thousands of photographs on a shoot and hope that a few turn out good. Being shutter-happy is a double-edged sword and is something I try to avoid.

Digital cameras allow us to be better photographers on one hand by providing instant feedback and the ability to correct errors on location. On the other hand, many digital photographers employ the shotgun approach to shooting which leads to sloppiness and results in a lot of wasted time downloading, previewing and editing images that fall short on quality and artistic merit.

Consider the following as a case in point. Two weeks  ago, I observed a photographer shoot approximately 800 images of winter birds at a feeder in harsh midday light in a continuous sequence while I stood there watching. When I asked the photographer what he was trying to achieve, he replied he wanted a few good shots to take home.  A week later, I ran into the same individual at the same location and asked if he had met his objective of acquiring a few good shots.  He replied he had not and proceeded to shoot another couple hundred images of the bird feeder in the same manner as he had done before.

I’m not suggesting you should be overly conservative in the number of photos taken  on a particular outing given digital capture is free and you are not paying for film and processing. The point I’m making is slow down; think carefully about what you are doing and “anticipate the right moment”.  When you do find a good subject in the right light doing something interesting or striking that perfect pose then by all means hold down that shutter button and shoot a burst of images of that subject.


Nikon F-100, Nikkor 300mm f4 ED IF, (copyright) Adam Turow

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One Response to “Anticipating the Right Moment”

  1. Karyn Mueller Says:

    I am a student in your Parsippany night class. I agree, sometimes when you wait for the moment, you get the actual picture you are looking for. I take a lot of concert pictures and I’ve missed the perfect shot by trying to take more pictures instead of the right picture.

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