I enjoyed reading Cedric’s post, The Parsimonious Photographer. Hopefully, he won’t mind me quoting him here:
Instead of shooting with mindfulness, I shot mindlessly.
Reading his post, it took me back to the time when I got my first digital camera. I think that possibly all former film photographers go through this phase when they cross over into digital. They really become point-and-shoot photographers, not intentionally, but it is sort of a liberation to not have to think about how many frames that you have left, or perhaps how much it is costing you per shot. It seems free and freeing, liberating. After a time, one tends to throttle back and perhaps go back to old ways, being more conscious/contemplative in their shots.
I was looking in my bag, yesterday. I have exactly 3 CF cards for my Nikon D700, all of them 2 GB in size. I see that SanDisk has a 128 GB CF card. Holy crap!!! I know that my 2 GB cards can hold approximately 130, or so, compressed raw files, depending on the scene. The camera always starts out saying that I can shoot 98 shots, but that’s an estimate. I’ve found that I generally shoot about 50 – 75 shots when I’m out for a couple of hours. I pick my battles, so to speak. I might find myself looking around for a bit before taking a shot or two, where as previously, I had experiences similar to Cedric; I’d attack from all angles. That, in truth, did yield a number of keepers, but it increased the editing time, too. In looking at ‘the numbers’, from this year, I see that I’m averaging about 43 shots per outing. Of course, this means little. I take a lot more shots when carrying around the Olympus OM-D, my traveling camera, than I do with the D700, my tripod camera. It’s a matter of convenience, I think. However, overall, there is no longer the Machine Gun Kelly mentality.
What’s changed? I think that my goal has changed. No longer is the goal to go out and get the keepers, the goal is more towards going out and seeing interesting things, I suppose. After all, there are only so many photos that I can share, and for me, that’s what it’s all about, the sharing, the experiences, recognizing the beauty/interest in everyday things. I find that now there are long pauses between shots where I am simply enjoying whatever it is that I’m photographing, not shooting. Now, it’s not always about hearing the shutter fire, though I still enjoy that sound immensely.