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Thread: Shot Success Ratio

  1. #1

    Default Shot Success Ratio

    I remember when I used to shoot film, the uncertainty of capturing a shot had to be balanced between taking another and then the cost of development. This, of course during the "film" stage of learning meant that if I got 1-2 shots that I really liked out of a roll of film, I felt myself lucky.

    Now of course I shoot digital, and thanks to some PP the success rate is slightly higher. For example, at the zoo this past weekend I think I conservatively shot about 1200 frames, and then reduced this to 200 or so when I got home to make up a group of photos I liked. Then with further editing and PP further reduced this to about 40.

    Mathematically, its a ratio of about 1:6 for photos I like, or that I would have kept in the days of film. And for the ones I further edited, and would post, it leaves me with a ratio of about 1:30 or about the same as I had with film.

    So what is your ratio of success? Is there a number you consider that makes a shoot a great success? Is there a number you aim for? OR have you even noticed an improvement in number? Or do you get more selective over time and so the number stays about the same?
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  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    you shot 1200 images and finalize it to 40 image to keep, and and you call it 1:6??











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    Last edited by catchlights; 27th October 2008 at 11:33 AM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Dood, he mentioned 1:30. Imho I find myself left with 1/3 fotoz that are usable, well aesthetically pleasing at least. For the killer shots, I'd be happy if I got 1-2 for each shoot.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    It depends on what you are taking and your definition of "success".

    I'm into the business of taking photos of buildings. When you are taking something stationery, you'll spend more time in composing your photos. This is especially so when you are making a living out of it. In this instance, the success rate should be 100%. Most of the time, you need to get more than one shot of the building from different angles and because each shot takes time to set up, you've got to make everyone of them count.

    If you are into other genres like sports, reportage, etc, you'll find that you need to work with elements that can be beyond your control and that your success rate might fall.

    I'm never too concerned about numbers in photography. All it really matters is if you achieve your onjectives in the end. That said; if you were to make an effort to exercise some thinking process before you hit the shutter, your rates will only improve with time. If you were getting 2 shots out of a roll of film before and 40 shots out 1200 clicks now, maybe you should start thinking about how you use the camera. If you exercise some self discipline, it doesn't matter if its film or digital. Your success rates will be more or less the same, if not better.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    sometimes when i am in a studio, i only keep 10% of what i have taken.

    sometimes when i shoot events, i only keep 1% of what i have taken.

    sometimes when i am walking around, i keep none of what i have taken.

    it depends, it really depends on a lot of things. "success" is subjective.
    cameras are not made of tofu

  6. #6

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    Dood, he mentioned 1:30. Imho I find myself left with 1/3 fotoz that are usable, well aesthetically pleasing at least. For the killer shots, I'd be happy if I got 1-2 for each shoot.
    1. I would say success rate 95%, killer shots 20% for a normal lens.
    2. For a wide angle lens, success rate goes up to 98% and killer shots goes dramatically up to 40%.
    3. For a telephoto in low light, success rate drops to around 80%. But I would say killer shots goes up again.

    Killer shots always come at the opposite ends of the focal length spectrum.

    Again, though, I must say that I do this as a job and if my success rate isn't so high I'm in deep **** so I am "forced" to produce the photos, it may not be a fair comparison with others.
    Sorting out the photos after taking them is a pain!

  7. #7
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    only the image matters,
    no one cares how many shots you have to take to get "the" shot

  8. #8

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    If you were getting 2 shots out of a roll of film before and 40 shots out 1200 clicks now, maybe you should start thinking about how you use the camera. If you exercise some self discipline, it doesn't matter if its film or digital. Your success rates will be more or less the same, if not better.
    That's a very valid comment. If I use the example of the 1200 which was at the Zoo, photos taken of the more "slow" targets probably had a higher success, or rather a higher likelihood of returning a shot I was happy to keep. This might have been a result of deliberation or that the target didn't really move much and so framing became so much easier (much like your buildings)

    Whereas when I was shot the primates, their frolicsome nature meant panning for "action" and therefore a little harder to capture in just a single or even fewer frames.

    I also concur that "success" is a very relative term, but I was curious about what type of ratios others seem to get? Or is it that we do get a lot more selective? Or is that just my picky nature?
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Heh!! If you are picky in nature, make sure you are picky before you take the shot, not just after!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Well it really depends if you're doing it for commercial purposes or just for keepsake. I really treasure the nice photos that i've nailed for keepsake, as 10 yrs down the road when you look back at it you would probly say- THATS A FKING GOOD SHOT YO
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  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    when I shot weddings with film many years ago, customers expect to see 36 photos from each roll of film, and so I deliver 36 photos from each roll of film. not sure how would you call that?
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    Well it really depends if you're doing it for commercial purposes or just for keepsake. I really treasure the nice photos that i've nailed for keepsake, as 10 yrs down the road when you look back at it you would probly say- THATS A FKING GOOD SHOT YO
    I think that's what I am looking/wondering at...the shots that you nail and they just last. Though if I have found out one thing, it's a lot cheaper to find those shots when you don't have to pay for developing costs.
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    when I shot weddings with film many years ago, customers expect to see 36 photos from each roll of film, and so I deliver 36 photos from each roll of film. not sure how would you call that?
    Well I guess I would call that 100%.

    But it is client led, not photographer led. How many of those 36 per roll would you have delivered if they just asked for you to chose the very best photos?
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by Kit View Post
    Heh!! If you are picky in nature, make sure you are picky before you take the shot, not just after!
    Maybe But as you said, you shoot buildings, they don't tend to jump around like a monkey does
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    if i can get 2 good shots per year, that's more than good enough for me.
    i'm not that productive to get that killer shot in a consistent manner.
    Last edited by Simon_84; 31st October 2008 at 04:38 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    To me,
    ~20% pics I will keep and back up.
    ~5% I will spend time to tune in PS and/or show to others.
    >95% are direct JPEG.>50% chance shutter@burst mode
    I donot look for something I can cherish for years and years, except moments of family members---which I will feel successful as long as I have captured.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    Quote Originally Posted by notone View Post
    To me,
    ~20% pics I will keep and back up.
    ~5% I will spend time to tune in PS and/or show to others.
    >95% are direct JPEG.>50% chance shutter@burst mode
    I donot look for something I can cherish for years and years, except moments of family members---which I will feel successful as long as I have captured.
    I think when it comes to family and friends all rules of thumb don't apply. Since in these situations the people, the event and the emotional memory are far more important than the photo itself.
    Canon 400D + BG-E3 . EF-S 17-85mm 4-5.6 IS . EF 75-300mm 4-5.6 IS
    http://aselley.zenfolio.com/

  18. #18

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    The difference with film is that you have an incentive to improve your ratio over time.

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    I remember when I used to shoot film, the uncertainty of capturing a shot had to be balanced between taking another and then the cost of development. This, of course during the "film" stage of learning meant that if I got 1-2 shots that I really liked out of a roll of film, I felt myself lucky.

    Now of course I shoot digital, and thanks to some PP the success rate is slightly higher. For example, at the zoo this past weekend I think I conservatively shot about 1200 frames, and then reduced this to 200 or so when I got home to make up a group of photos I liked. Then with further editing and PP further reduced this to about 40.

    Mathematically, its a ratio of about 1:6 for photos I like, or that I would have kept in the days of film. And for the ones I further edited, and would post, it leaves me with a ratio of about 1:30 or about the same as I had with film.

    So what is your ratio of success? Is there a number you consider that makes a shoot a great success? Is there a number you aim for? OR have you even noticed an improvement in number? Or do you get more selective over time and so the number stays about the same?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    All I can say is, YMMV so be it digital or film.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Shot Success Ratio

    For me, roughly I keep about ~80% of my shots, PP roughly about ~10-20%.

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