High frame rates can be a curse in modern digital cameras. Being able to keep the shutter button depressed at over 10 frames per second can mean you end up with literally hundreds of pictures of a sighting – most of which will look almost identical – and you end up having to sort through and delete 90% of them, a process which takes up far too much time and can be quite tricky as you decide which to keep and which to get rid of.
I often find it so tedious going through all the photos I don’t want to keep, that I simply leave them on my hard drive. I can guarantee that by far the majority of photographs I have saved I could discard and I’d never miss them. What ends up happening with what is essentially junk media, is when I scroll back through my archives, I end up skipping past sightings in which I can see massive repetition. I can’t bring myself to stop and slowly work through which image (if any) is a keeper; which has both the leopard’s ears facing forward? which one has a sparkle in the eye? which one has the least grass? etc.Thankfully, living out here, we can afford to be a bit more picky.
Anyway, what generally catches my eye these days – in any archive – is when there are only a few photos of a sighting; I’m talking less than 10. Then I’m interested. Then I can go through them quickly and pick and choose, or just get a better idea of what was happening. If a picture really can tell a thousand words, it’s not necessary to be repeating chapters, if that makes sense.
I came across a few photos recently of a sighting of a giraffe drinking at a small pan. Anyone who has seen a giraffe drink will know what an awkward action it is, and it’s always fun to try and convey it in a photo.
I tend to get greedy in photography, and I keep taking the same shot in a sighting even though I know I’ve already captured it, but for some reason I had limited it to four simple shots this time, taken from three different angles, each of which told the story in its own way:
These were literally the only four photos of the sighting. Ok there were one or two more of the head-flick, but the one that came out best was the one I used above, and I deleted the other three.
For some reason I was being a bit more sparing with my photos (I was probably running out of space on my card!), but when I came across the series, it was a great reminder of how totally different stories can be told of the same scene, simply by changing the angle and changing the zoom. Elements can be included or excluded depending on what you want to convey to the viewer, so I guess the take-away message is to pay far more emphasis on looking to see what shot you want to get and then executing, rather than just keeping your shutter button depressed and then picking the best shot that came out!