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Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-04-2007, 02:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I know the answer is quality but..... ...I'm curious as to how most of you guys go about shooting during your sessions. Are you more apt to set up your lights, shoot one or two shots, reposition the lights and / or adjust the model's pose and shoot a different shot
OR do you set up the lights and shoot numerous shots before trying a different pose or light adjustment?
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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-04-2007, 11:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I take about a hundred images of each outfit. Why? Because CF cards are cheap ... and I typically don't shoot with very experienced models ... and because what I capture during a shoot is often better than what I see in my head before a shoot. Rather than posing a model like a manniquine, I find that there's a better chance of getting a great image if I try to "capture something" while she's changing her poses and expressions. I call out directions, make the model laugh, make her look serious, make her move around, dance to my music, whatever I can do to motivate a look or pose that I think would make for a great images. During each outfit I shoot, I take wide shots, closeups, different angles, move the lights around, maybe change up the background ... all to find that handful of images that make the model look great. I'm not saying this is how everyone should do it ... but it works for me.
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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-04-2007, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Marty. It's often the "in-between" shots that show best. If I only took the few tightly controlled frames that I usually start with, I'd probably end up with a bunch of images of really stiff looking models. Plus, in any shoot, I figure that about 20% will be outtakes (blinks, moves,etc),50% will be mediocre, 20% will be good, and 10% will be very good. I got this strategy from Peter Krogh whose book on digital asset management has really helped my workflow.

While I would like the percentage of very good shots to be higher (and expect it each time I open the shutter - I like to start out optimistic), it hasn't happened that way for me yet But I am always trying. Brian
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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-04-2007, 06:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. Being somewhat inexperienced with glamour photography, I find myself sifting through tons of photos after I do a shoot. I used to shoot only automobiles and eventually got to where I cut my number of shots I had to take, to get a few great shots, by half. But like I said..right now I take about 70+ shots and only find 5 or so that I really like.
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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-04-2007, 07:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cars don't blink, lick their grills, get distracted, or all the other things models sometimes do during a shoot. I typically get about 25% to 30% good shots during any model shoot -- although I remember a few exceptional models giving me 50% good images. Add a second model to a shoot and the percentage of good images goes way down because when one looks good, the other might not.

Bottom line ... how many good images do you need? One from each outfit? Two? Five? Let's say I take 100 shots of a model. I typically get 25 -30 good images. Many of those good images are slight variations in pose or expression. So, how many of these very similar images would you post process and give to the model (or put in your porfolio)? I might post three or four, but ultimately all you (or the model) need is ... one great image!
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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-04-2007, 07:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Photomart View Post
Cars don't blink, lick their grills, get distracted, or all the other things models sometimes do during a shoot. I typically get about 25% to 30% good shots during any model shoot -- although I remember a few exceptional models giving me 50% good images. Add a second model to a shoot and the percentage of good images goes way down because when one looks good, the other might not.

Bottom line ... how many good images do you need? One from each outfit? Two? Five? Let's say I take 100 shots of a model. I typically get 25 -30 good images. Many of those good images are slight variations in pose or expression. So, how many of these very similar images would you post process and give to the model (or put in your porfolio)? I might post three or four, but ultimately all you (or the model) need is ... one great image!
Yeah..with cars the hardest part is to keep moving them in the right light or make sure nothing distracting is behind them. I'm not yet to the point where I get 25% of images that I really like with glamour portraits. Thanks for the response...I'm going to keep at it and try to develop a good eye.
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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-04-2007, 07:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Marty, I just checked out your website and you have spectatcular images. I really like the one you posted on here a while back that is now on your homepage (the one that you did while the other photographers were setting up).
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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-04-2007, 09:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've become an electron Mizer. If I can't get 'the' shot in 25 to 30 clicks, I'm not going to get it. In the past I've shot 200-300 shots per session, but the keeper ratio was horrible. I strive for 5 good shots per look. Neither the model or I are going to actually going to use more, so why shoot or post process them?

My last headshot shoot with this lovely MUA was 29 images. I honestly could have chosen any of 15 or more, but we both decided on 4. Here's my favorite:

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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-05-2007, 12:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, this seems to be the ever popular issue of how many shots should it take... and frankly, I am not going to answer since I've been down this road many times before.

I will just comment that in reading a recent article about a well paid pro, he mentioned that a typical shoot yielded around 2 gigabytes of images (using a DSLR). Now to me, that sounds like a LOT of images, even shooting at max resolution. But he's paid to produce an image... no winner, no paycheck.

Although, frequently disparaged here, the "spray and pray" technique does have it's advocates. And let's be honest, if you are doing more than 10 shots of a given setup, you are probably "spraying" a bit...

Then there is the group I like to call the Adams bunch (a minor tribute to Ansel). They spend hours meticulously setting up a shot and take 1 picture... so they claim... and call it a day.

Who's technique is right? Whatever floats your boat is my reply.

I don't think there is a "correct" answer, too many variables involved. But the argument about it has been going on for years...
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Re: Quality or Quantity?
Old 03-05-2007, 12:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin@rsp View Post
IAre you more apt to set up your lights, shoot one or two shots, reposition the lights and / or adjust the model's pose and shoot a different shot
OR do you set up the lights and shoot numerous shots before trying a different pose or light adjustment?
It's recognizing quality, not how you get there. I talk about this all the time.

There are so many approaches. I can connect with a model on the first shot and have the rest be less than that. I can spend 100 shots and have the 99th shot be the one. What's important is understanding when you have quality.

Spraying and praying might work but that's a lot of post editing work and many times a huge disappointment in the shoot. Photographers get so excited to shoot an fail to shoot for the image.

Technical only comes into play from the start. Once you discover the technical part of photography, it might take a series of shots. It might take one depending on, and probably the most important hidden foundation of model photography, EMOTION.

Unless it's a storyboard, It's about an image and not about photographs. How you get to that quality image might take a building up process of 1000 shots or it might take one. That's why it's called SHOOTING.

So many don't get it. We can show you lighting techniques after lighting techniques and poses after poses. You have to understand the technical because you have to get there first, but what is so hard for photographers and models to get it, is simply EMOTION. And those who get it, get it and understand what is QUALITY.

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