In my next-to-last post, I showed you the 12 monthly images deemed worthy in my mind to hold a special place. They were the watershed moments, flashes of insight and fortuitous circumstances that melded into an image of unique meaning to me and perhaps, me alone.
You can view them here.
I also like to look at my image metadata to glean simple wisdoms about the photographer that grew into the 2011 iteration of myself. The data help me answer questions when I am teaching about things to which I don’t give a thought during the heat of the capture. Namely, “What settings are you using? Which lens do you have on?” Though I likely know where I am set without looking, it is less important to what I am doing. But, because people insist upon knowing, I thought I would give you a glimpse into my settings-for what they are worth.
Here are some statistics of those images worthy of hard drive space from my 2011 year’s shooting:
- Raw – 30737
- JPEG – 6875
- Canon 5D MKII – 24135
- Canon 40D – 8615
- Canon 5D – 4148
- Canon G10 – 943
- iPhone 4 – 252
- Canon 20D –32
- Droid – 35
- EF 24-105 F4L – 23177
- EF 300 F4L – 6313
- EF 70-200 F2.8L – 5591
- EF 17-40 F4L – 1230
- EF 100 F2.8 Macro – 1134
- EF 15 F2.8 – 734
- EF50 F1.8 - 506
- Various Borrowed/Rented Lenses: 213
- Studio Flash – 11508
- On-Camera Flash – 5206
- No Flash - 21381
- Up To 200 – 25822
- 201-800 – 12299
- 801 and Up – 321
- More Open than F5.6 – 6738
- F5.6 – F11 – 30365
- F11 or more Closed – 1099
This was the data I found interesting as it showed me more about my evolution as a photographer. Key points my data taught or reminded me.
- In 2011 JPEG found an increased role in my photography. 1 in 6 photos was a JPEG due to a variety of circumstance. I shot more JPEG this past year than the past three years before.
- Studio Flash/Off Camera Flash is now 1/3 of my image making.
- My newest lens is my workhorse. In two years, I have shot more images with it than my previous workhorse lens shot in six years.
- Full-frame still rules. 4 out of 5 captures is on a full-frame sensor.
- I stick closer to F8 than I used to. I am not sure what to make of this but it must be significant. 1/3 of my images are captured at F8.
- I am still leery of higher ISO’s. While my ISO crept above the long-time average of just under ISO 160, I didn’t go crazy. ISO did find it’s way to the faster side of 160 in 2011. ISO 320 became my new 200 and 640 my new 400.
What does it all mean to you?
When I am teaching a workshop in the field one of the most basic (and less useful) questions I am asked by my students is: “What are your camera settings? What are you shooting?” If you look at my statistics, you can tell that – unless there is a special circumstance – I am shooting:
A Canon 5DMKII with a 24-105 MM F4L IS lens at F8. My ISO is at 160 and I am shooting Raw. If there is a flash connected, I am in Manual mode-if not, likely I am in Aperture Priority.
Whether that helps you or not, it answers your question.
Remember, a camera’s settings are only the beginning. A golfer selects a club, lines up his shot and swings building on talent, practice and experience to make a successful shot under the given conditions. Likewise, your camera/lens/setting choice is like pulling the club out of the bag-the rest is talent, practice and experience.
Swing away in the New Year!
Rikk Flohr © 2012