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This is very interesting! In film production, it is also a common rule of thumb that you film about 10 times more footage than you end up using.



There's also a similar rule of thumb in journalism: "A good journalist makes use of 10 percent of his source material; a bad journalist makes use of 110 percent."


Yeah, someone told me the secret to good photography is just taking a lot of pictures. Stop wasting time trying to manufacture perfect, just be ready when it happens.

And I think it comes back to the principles of Slack. By shooting more than you need, you have room to cut. Hopefully, you'll have to wind up cutting good stuff because you have too much good stuff.


> Yeah, someone told me the secret to good photography is just taking a lot of pictures.

I've gone down this road and I don't think that it's good advice any more. The secret to good photography is having a good editor, someone who can tell you which photos you have are good and bad, and why. Someone you can have a discussion with over a dozen 11x14" prints. Continuous improvement. Develop your eye and shoot neither too many nor too few photos. Every time you go through the review process you get a better sense of what you should be looking for in your photos.

It's so easy to fill up an SD card with nothing but garbage. I've done that. I've gone through bulk rolls (100' of 35mm film) and filled them with garbage I just don't want to see any more. By shooting more than you need, you can easily fall into the trap that because the photo will probably get cut during editing, there's no point to putting any special amount of effort into it. So there's no point in shooting more pictures if you're not putting enough effort into each one that it could be good. When I was at college I remember having discussions where we thought that there was not really any point to going through more than a single bulk roll per academic quarter (18 rolls in 10 weeks, or ~65 exposures per week). People who shot less than that much weren't showing as much improvement, and people who shot more than that were just ending up going through the process a bit too mechanically. That was just a rule of thumb for the classes at that particular place and time.

There are good, great, and amazing photographers who shoot such a small number of photos it would probably shock you, and others who shoot so much it makes you wonder how quickly they must go through equipment.


Personally, I've found that taking a lot of pictures worked for me, in that comparison of the multiple shots I took gradually taught me what made for better photos.

The downside is that I'm usually lazy/reluctant to delete the extras, especially when there's a tossup as to which is the "best", so I end up with tons of photos I don't want in my library.


This is heavily dependent on your subject.

As a side gig, I take photos of domestic animals (primarily dogs). Some of the animals can be posed like little dolls. Others can't sit still to save their lives. I also take action photos of them. I have to spend time manufacturing perfect, because I often can't make very many on-the-fly changes. But to capture that perfect, I have to take a lot of photos.

As a hobby, I practice general photography, and my usual method is to lock some variables, and take several photographs while floating other variables.

Also as a hobby I practice astrophotography, and here you absolutely have to manufacture perfect, because you only take a lot of pictures in order to stack them. A single photo can take hours to produce, so you do what you can to get it right in the first place.


When I'm taking photos of food and cocktails for my side gig, I generally have a shot setup in my head prior to food arriving at the table. I'll choose places with natural light, near large windows to diffuse, or some interesting backgrounds and pretty lights. But once the food arrives, it's very much shoot as much as possible from various angles. Even a single angle, I shoot at high fps. That guarantees you at least once of the shots is the sharpest, and even slight variations of positions will work better than the other. Trying to be perfect just leads to missing shots. Some dishes deteriorate quickly as they cool off. Shoot lots, and choose what works best with your style. Often times, you'll get something unexpected that you didn't see with your eyes initially.


Taking a lot helps, but you also want to be directed. Directed practice has been discussed on HN numerous times at this point. For photography I would go to a location and take a lot of pics of the same thing using auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, and then full manual. Most of these would get thrown away, but I can see how each came out and use that to further improve.

This method of practicing and improving used to be expensive with film, but with digital the process is now free.

The other thing you learn is your camera shortcuts so that when you do run into a photographic moment you can quickly take a bunch of shots with different settings.


Presumably having some taste helps so you know what to cut and what to keep.


Quantity / volume helps in cultivating that taste. Though get better at preselecting what people might like.


Also with writing music. For many years I've repeatedly said, word for word, "you have to write about 10 songs for each really good one you end up with."


I'm surprised that I haven't run into someone using Git for EDL's.


I'm really surprised that this isn't builtin to more NLEs. I've tried this in the past, but using SVN (long long ago). At CG/post houses with custom pipeline tools, they have an easy way to version up builtin. With NLEs, it's all up to the editor duplicating timelines. However, with literal EDLs, it's hard with modern editing as so much has to be simplified to satisfy the EDL. I think AE has a version up tool (memory is fuzzy). Even tried using Time Machine backups to roll back to prior versions. All sorts of hacks that I really feel should be built in to software that is known for multiple revisions.




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