What is your keeper rate?

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,502
5,165
Well, it's clear that you bird photographers are truly an obsessive bunch. Even more unfortunately, I am one of you, comparing miniscule details of successive shots to find the best one and searching for that perfect pose in perfect light with perfect background and impeccable sharpness. Don, of course, is the exception to prove the rule.
 

peterzuehlke

EOS 80D
Oct 1, 2015
106
19
I mostly shoot performance (music and dance) under stage lighting. Typically shoot 300 to 500 frames and deliver about 40, about 1 in 10. And some of that is not technically great. . .
 

tpatana

EOS 6D MK II
Nov 1, 2012
1,324
106
Don Haines said:
I have a 100 percent keeper rate.... seriously......

I dump EVERYTHING to a hard drive......

Of those 100 percent keepers, only about one in ten is worth looking at, and perhaps one in a hundred worth showing....

I would say that focus and exposure is good on about 80% of shots (on average) but with things like birds in flight and the hyperactive kitten from hell, it drops down to under 10 percent.
That's almost identical to my answer, although I dump EVERYTHING to TWO hard drives.
 

tpatana

EOS 6D MK II
Nov 1, 2012
1,324
106
At my typical sport-shoot -day, I take between 3000-5000 pics. In focus (etc) usually ~95%, give or take. I post usually ~100-150, so I guess the keeper rate is about 3%.

At runway show, I'm usually around 600-1000, or up to 2000 if big show. In focus ~95%, of those maybe 50% have bad body position or eyes closed. Then choose the best of the remaining, and post ~60-100, or 200 for big ones. So in this case the keeper rate is ~10%.
 

rfdesigner

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 12, 2014
876
0
New Forest, UK
sites.google.com
tpatana said:
At my typical sport-shoot -day, I take between 3000-5000 pics. In focus (etc) usually ~95%, give or take. I post usually ~100-150, so I guess the keeper rate is about 3%.

At runway show, I'm usually around 600-1000, or up to 2000 if big show. In focus ~95%, of those maybe 50% have bad body position or eyes closed. Then choose the best of the remaining, and post ~60-100, or 200 for big ones. So in this case the keeper rate is ~10%.
what's a runway show?
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,421
334
53
Isle of Wight
Hi rfdesigner.
I take a runway show to be a fashion shoot with a platform or 'runway' for the victims ::) models to strut out in to the audience.

Cheers, Graham.

rfdesigner said:
tpatana said:
At my typical sport-shoot -day, I take between 3000-5000 pics. In focus (etc) usually ~95%, give or take. I post usually ~100-150, so I guess the keeper rate is about 3%.

At runway show, I'm usually around 600-1000, or up to 2000 if big show. In focus ~95%, of those maybe 50% have bad body position or eyes closed. Then choose the best of the remaining, and post ~60-100, or 200 for big ones. So in this case the keeper rate is ~10%.
what's a runway show?
 

rfdesigner

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 12, 2014
876
0
New Forest, UK
sites.google.com
Valvebounce said:
Hi rfdesigner.
I take a runway show to be a fashion shoot with a platform or 'runway' for the victims ::) models to strut out in to the audience.

Cheers, Graham.

rfdesigner said:
tpatana said:
At my typical sport-shoot -day, I take between 3000-5000 pics. In focus (etc) usually ~95%, give or take. I post usually ~100-150, so I guess the keeper rate is about 3%.

At runway show, I'm usually around 600-1000, or up to 2000 if big show. In focus ~95%, of those maybe 50% have bad body position or eyes closed. Then choose the best of the remaining, and post ~60-100, or 200 for big ones. So in this case the keeper rate is ~10%.
what's a runway show?
ah!.. At first I thought is was aircraft.. but they don't have eyes. :eek:

The fashion industry has a lot to answer for.. the one place you never see anyone running is called..... ::)
 

Steve Dmark2

EOS T7i
Mar 30, 2016
77
6
32
Germany
Hey Everyone,

i don't keep track.
To me photography is the best way of being outdoors and showing the beauty of nature and the world.
In my eyes "keeper rate" is just another way of saying: "I am the best." or "I have the best gear" or "I make the best pictures"

Be greatfull for amazing pictures and situations and share them with others ;)
Cheers 8)
 

awair

EOS T7i
Jan 3, 2013
95
8
photo.awair.net
Hi Steve,
Steve Dmark2 said:
In my eyes "keeper rate" is just another way of saying: "I am the best." or "I have the best gear" or "I make the best pictures"
Not sure, respectfully, that I really agree with you here - if anything it is the opposite!
I have some great kit (paid for by my 'other' job) - I'm more interested to know whether I have wasted my money, I'm in over my head, or whether I'm on the right track, and I'm sure others are asking for the same reason.

At the moment, there is a definite lack of familiarity when I shoot anything other than swimming. There's plenty of room for improvement, which goes beyond the 'scatter-gun' approach of burst mode on the 7D/7D2 or 1DX. The intricacies of the various AF modes are still way beyond me.

However, I will agree 100% with your subsequent advice.

Steve Dmark2 said:
Be greatfull for amazing pictures and situations and share them with others ;)
Cheers 8)
Possibly we're talking about completely different aspects of the Art? I can appreciate that in many cases, 'keeper rate' is not even a consideration.

However, sports, birds & air shows, all seem like a challenge to capture anything at all, let alone images of the quality produced by @KeithBreazeal.

I'm inspired by many of the results I see here on this forum. Sure, having better gear can offer greater opportunities. But ideas & better technique will normally tip the balance.

I believe this thread is for many of us who wonder:
Was it worth getting the extra 2 fps, the extra focus points, or the 'L' lens? Can you really see a difference, can anyone?

The answer for the purist, is yes, you can see a difference; for the businessman, can you see enough of a difference?

As you said earlier - Enjoy 8)
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
8,263
1,921
Canada
tpatana said:
tiggy@mac.com said:
I'll take 250,000 shots in a month.
How many bodies (/shutters) you go through a year?
I have had to do intervalomerer work too. One image every ten seconds for a month is 250,000 shots. We used a GoPro to survive the weather, so no focusing or shutter issues.....
 

KeithBreazeal

EOS 6D MK II
Jan 16, 2014
1,290
186
www.kbvp.com
DominoDude said:
My worst keepers, are far worse than some of the shots that I toss.
With some birds you take what you get, because it is the first and only occurrence, and perhaps the only shot I will ever make of it.
I have a shot of a Lesser scaup, that really sucks, it was in a lake shot through branches in crap light, but I couldn't get closer and the branches were too far away to be moved, and the bird did not cooperate.
Also have a Black-faced bunting, shot from a distance of 140-150meters with a 400mm lens - it sucks so much.... The bird is perhaps 50pixels across. If I tried to get any nearer, I would probably have scared the bird away, and then I would have been beaten to a pulp with tripods by 60 angry birders.
To me those are "documenting shots" - they prove I was there at the same time as the bird. Photographically and technically I'm not proud of them.

Out of roughly 30 000 shots, I could perhaps pull half a dozen to a dozen I'm truly content with.
"50 pixels across" - I feel the pain.
I enjoy shooting the old warbirds at airshows. With the distance the planes fly, panning, and prop blur, if I can't get rivet detail and lettering, it's almost a waste of time. If it's my first time shooting a particular aircraft, like your Lesser Scaup, I will work the photo to death.

I tried shooting the International Space Station with a 7D + 400mm + 1.4X. There is really no way to focus on the darn thing, so I have to manually "bracket the focus" while panning and firing massive bursts.
I got 32 pixels - that's like shooting a football game in San Francisco from Reno, Nevada!(I ran the numbers)
I did a series of crops and resizing using the tiff format. It's really interesting how the pixels behaved.
I haven't tried this method on a long bird shot to see if there is any feather detail, but it should work to a certain extent. Noise is the only major factor to work around.

before / after - click on the photo for full size.

ISS photo editing process © Keith Breazeal by Keith Breazeal, on Flickr
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
1,115
390
ethanzentz.com
Great question. I ask myself this a lot. Over the years it has probably stayed between 2-10% (depending on the subject of course). As I've gotten better gear and skill wise, I don't think the rate has changed, just the images that I keep are better. I've also become pickier with the images I select as keepers. 5-10 years ago what I considered a keeper may not qualify as one today!
 

Jopa

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 11, 2015
1,056
0
I recently realized the subj depends on a camera. If I shoot with the 5dsr, I usually take ~300 pics per session, and I can take 1000+ pics easy with the 1dx2. I select ~5-10 pics max. Due to 14fps the 1dx2 allows to catch the best moment or best facial expression easier, less relying on luck (more on the hardware :) ).
 

dhr90

EOS RP
Aug 1, 2013
305
0
Interesting to read everyones thoughts, processes, definitions and just how much they shoot! I guess to define keeper, a photo you are happy with yourself and would want/be happy to share with others, whether because you have nailed that perfect swimming shot, simply recorded a rare bird, created that look in a portrait etc. I don't really print any of my shots out right now, mainly do to not having space to display or store them, hope for that to change soon.

The areas I shoot most, motorsport and airshows here in the uk have a 6-7 month season, I certainly find I am a bit rusty in march/april after a few months not panning and trying to get shutter speeds ever lower, so my keeper rate does change through the year too. Would like to explore other areas, like people, street, architecture more, get out of my comfort zone and see how I develop ( ;D) as a photographer.

If I spend a weekend at a race track, I will expect to take around 1000-2000 shots (I try to sit back and enjoy the action and watch a bit as well as take photos), If I get 50-100 from that weekedn I am happy to put on flickr and share here then I'm fairly happy. Usually I'll only keep one shot from a sequence burst.
 

AlanF

Stay alert, control the camera, save photos
Aug 16, 2012
6,502
5,165
At the end of each holiday (bird watch trip), I print off an A4 book from one of the sites, CeWe is my favourite now, always high quality, representing about 5% of my shots. The stuff left on the computer doesn't get looked at, but the books do. And, at that size, the IQ demands aren't great.
 

scyrene

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 4, 2013
2,654
635
UK
www.flickr.com
Steve Dmark2 said:
Hey Everyone,

i don't keep track.
To me photography is the best way of being outdoors and showing the beauty of nature and the world.
In my eyes "keeper rate" is just another way of saying: "I am the best." or "I have the best gear" or "I make the best pictures"

Be greatfull for amazing pictures and situations and share them with others ;)
Cheers 8)
Not really, it's just the ratio of shots taken to shots kept. It implies nothing beyond - you don't keep every shot you take.
 

mtam

EOS M50
Jul 8, 2016
31
0
Don Haines said:
If your standards are low enough, every shot can be a keeper.....
This! Memory is so cheap as well as hard drive. It really doesn't hurt it keep it all and keep clicking. The only downside I find is having to go through all of them while in post. But even then with a fast computer its a non issue.
 

Sabaki

EOS 6D MK II
Dec 4, 2012
800
0
45
Cape Town, South Africa
Depends on which genre is my focus at the time.

If I shoot insects with my macro lens, I can have a very low keeper rate. With my 100mm L IS, maybe 10% and with my MP-E65, less than 5%. My criteria for my macro photography is clean backgrounds, sharp insect eye and no cutoff of subject.

If I shoot landscapes, my keeper rate can increase to 25%. Most of my throwaways here has less to do with correct sharpness and exposure but more to do with poor comp, lack of oomph or if I settle on one particular composition over similar ones of the same scene.

Shooting people can dramatically increase my keeper rate, as I have control of exposure, sharpness and subject to a far higher degree than other genres. so I can get in excess of 60% or more
 

rfdesigner

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 12, 2014
876
0
New Forest, UK
sites.google.com
dhr90 said:
As a shooter primarily of motorsports and airshows, and a determination to push shuttter speeds as lower as I possibly can, I'm used to having an average of 10-25% keeper rate. Variations on subject, weather, backgrounds all play a part. I find myself happy if I do get a 25% keeper rate. Sometimes shoot landscapes and the odd portrait, where I might have 75-90% of shots I am happy with.

Just curious as to how other amateur and pro photographers feel about their keeper rate and if they feel it is high or low?

:)
For the record I shot a parkrun for the first time a couple of weeks ago.. lots of runners, mainly using my 6D+100F2.0.

Keeper rate was about 90%. I was amazed.