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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Some numbers, and three more New Years Resolutions

In this post, I'll take a quick look at the EXIF data of the shots taken in 2010.

It's easy to do this kind of thing if you use Adobe Lightroom, which allows you to filter through all of your shots by criteria such as camera used, lens used, subject matter (using flags), settings used (aperture, ISO etc.), and capture date:

Firstly, I thought I'd check the shutter counts on my camera bodies to see how much I've used them:

D300 - 13924 shots in 2010 (total shutter count now about 40k)
D700 - 10193 shots in 2010 (total shutter count now about 30k)
D3100 - 3303 shots in 2010 (purchased in October 2010)

So that's a total of 27420 in 2011 - plenty :-)

I expect to use the D700 less in 2011, as a lot of my usage of that camera has been for photographing captive animals (e.g. at the British Wildlife Center), which I intend to do less of this year. The D300 will be sold at some time during the coming year, but I'm not sure when yet (probably at the the time the D400 is released though).

When processing my photos, I tend to do a lot of deleting of shots that I'm not happy with. I know that memory space is cheap, but I don't want fodder clogging up the hard drive on my computer. And as we're about to see, although I retain a lot, I delete way way more. Of the shots shown above, I've kept (i.e. not deleted) the following:

D300 - 536 (3.8%)
D700 - 414 (4.1%)
D3100 - 105 (3.2%)
Total - 1055 (3.8%)

So, I only keep about 1 shot in 25. Blimey. I do tend to take multiple shots of the same thing, using focus bracketing and exposure bracketing, and then pick the best one. But that's still quite a high ratio of shots being sent to the bin! It would be good if I could look back a year from now having taken say 15000 shots and kept about 10% of them. Following New Year Resolution #1 (see my previous blog post) should be a good start.

In terms of the shots I keep, they fall into the following subjects:

Birds - 58%
Mammals - 24%
Inverts - 13%
Reptiles/amphibians/fish - 5%
Total - 100%

I'm generally OK with this mix - I'd like to photograph more reptiles, but there are not many in the UK to be found. I did less invertebrate macros in 2010 than I had planned to. That's something that can easily be reversed in the coming year.

As for lens usage, the breakdown is as follows:

500mm f4 AF-S VR - 52.1%
300mm f4 AF-S  - 15.8%
200mm f4 AF D micro - 15.7%
70-200mm f2.8 AF-S G VRII - 16.1%
16-35mm f4 AF-S G VR - 0.3%

No real surprises here, but I'm glad to see roughly equal use between the 300mm, 70-200mm and 200mm, which are all lenses I bought during the year. This stuff is expensive - unless it's getting used, I really can't justify keeping it. The 16-35mm is a more recent addition, and I do think I could try to do more landscape work - the figure of 0.3% shows I'm doing virtually none at the moment.

So, to summarise, based on a review of the shots I took in 2010, my next few New Years Resolutions are:

1.     Never intentionally shoot in crap light.

2.     Take Less, Keep More.

3.     Do more macro work (inverts).

4.     Do more landscapes.

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