3 Reasons to Shoot Photography Every Day

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We all have reasons to get out of practicing, but it’s never a good idea to stop altogether.  Once you stop shooting regularly, even your basic skills can start to atrophy. And while shooting every day can sound like a daunting task, people have asked me why it’s important to do this as a photographer.  It’s important because it helps keep your fundamentals grounded. It also serves to keep your eyes active and always looking for new inspiration. There’s so many reasons to shoot every day, but rather than bore you with a laundry list of words, here are  3 reasons to shoot photography every day:

1. Practice Makes Perfect

The first reason to shoot photography every day is because shooting more often will simply make you better! Whether you are starting out in the world of photography or you are an established professional, or even an active hobbyist, there are always things you can learn about your craft, whether it’s improving your vision, your composition, or even refining the controls you have over your gear.  You really only can get there through lots and lots of practice.  Someone once said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice before you can really consider yourself an expert in anything.  Here I would say one caveat and that is to never think you are done learning – adopting that attitude will only blindside you downstream.

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To Burst or Not to Burst…

As we’ve seen so many improvements in technology, with higher and higher resolution images, decreasing costs of storage, and faster  burst rates with every new generation of gear, I know a lot of photographers tend to move toward the attitude of “it’s just digital, so why not just shoot in burst rate?”  To some this may make sense.  If there is a best shot in a particular scenario, shooting rapid style in that scenario means youwill get the shot.  One of those 200 frames will be the right moment when say, for instance, you are doing a portrait session and the model has a perfect smile or laugh, right?  Fast-moving scenarios like sporting events, running kids, a burst rate will give you a much better chance of getting the shot you need as well.

Continuous Burst

On the flip side of this, I also know many other photographers who argue that using the burst rate is a crutch.  It’s fine to start out with it while you are learning, but that a true professional should not be “spraying and praying”, because a professional should know how to get good results through timing, knowledge, experience, and all the rest. Arguments against using the burst mechanism also include other considerations like post production and undue wear and tear.

The first of these holds that if there’s only 1 shot in those 200 that is the “keeper” – you have to find it, right?  That could be time consuming, and extra post production where it’s not needed is a waste of time. The “Wear and Tear” point notes that shutters are built for limited actuations, and over-shooting can result in going through the mechanism prematurely.  Replacing a shutter mechanism could be costly, and spending money when you don’t need to is a bad idea.

Single Shot

Moving back to the original position in favor of burst rates, the response usually is “why does that matter, if I am okay with it, why should anyone else pass judgement on me for how I shoot and spend my time”.  After all, it’s digital, the cost of replacement is low enough, and I enjoy spending the time looking through all the shots – it gives me a certain degree of comfort and security in knowing that the best shot is in there somewhere for me to find!

For me, I do think that using the burst mode on your camera can be very beneficial, especially in the beginning of your photographic development.  But, as you advance, and start to find that your keepers are occurring earlier and earlier in your shot sequences, that perhaps there might be a time to move away from burst mode.  There may be times and places for it like fast moving scenarios, HDR capture times (when you have several bracketed shots), and others.

Three Shot Burst

Imagine this though – what if you could get a semi-burst of shots to handle these scenarios?  On most cameras, you have the single and burst rate modes as shown and discussed earlier, but you also have a 3-shot or 5-shot burst mode.  This might be a good compromise scenario for those of you that can see the merits of each.  This is what gets my vote in the “To Burst or Not to Burst” debate.  What about you?

Which mode to you most often shoot in with your camera?

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Who Makes the Best Media Cards?

Stable light

Stable light

I get this question a lot too.  The problem with any ultimatum, is that it’s going to invite bias and subjectivity.  Whether it’s lenses, cameras, computers, software or even media cards, there is no objective and universal vendor or manufacturer of media cards that is head and shoulders above the others in the field.  What I can tell you is that there are some who are notably superior.  I’ve not ranked these in any specific sort of order, but from my own experiences, these are the vendors that deliver a stable, high quality product with a good focus on QA:

If you get your media from them, by and large, you will probably be happy with the results.  I’ve heard stories of amazing success and durability anecdotes ranging from going through the clothes washer, to getting pounded by a 2000 pound vehicle.  One of the most amazing ones I read was someone who took a swim in the ocean, sweated in a sauna, and cooled off at a pool bar before realizing the media card wallet was in his swim trunks pocket – and all survived!  So, you can really pick and choose from the above and likely get quality results.  For my own tastes, I have used all of the above, but will say that I’ve noticed Lexar cards can be found for slightly less, either through promotions or sales for equivalent capacities.  Of course in the interests of full disclosure, they have also contributed to the contest giveaway series here, so that in and of itself could introduce some subjective bias on my part again.

So, there you have it!  On On Monday I looked at capacity considerations in Megabytes vs Megapixels, then later an article looked at speed transfer rates in How Fast Can You Shoot, and today, the last in this series of articles – the vendor portion of the equation.  There are, of course, other factors that could go into any buying decision, but this wasn’t about being exhaustive, rather being informative and sharing my own thoughts, insights, and experiences with media cards in photography.

Just a couple final reminders as we go into the weekend:

First up, the LDP Contest Series is underway, and I’ve added a 70-200 Special Edition from the folks at Photojojo to the giveaway.  Expect a review forthcoming shortly!  Make sure you enter for your chance to win.  Already in the prize list is a license for Photo Rescue software.  Enter here!

A new newsletter is forthcoming shortly, as is a new eBook!  This time it’s free, but only going to subscribers, so be sure to get signed up before that is released!  Special promos and discounts may also be in the newsletter for other products too, so if not signed up, you can get in on the action here.

Have a great weekend everyone, happy shooting, and we’ll catch up again next week….”on the flip side”!