Limiting Exposures

Digital photography suggests exposures are cheap. You don’t need to pay for film, and you can take plenty of shots and sort it out later. The problem is of course, later.

When it comes to processing the photos, having many shots on the card is expensive in several ways.

  • Time to sort through them. You need to choose which shots to keep and which to use. If you are like me this takes a long time. If your photo management system gets messed up, you might even need to do this again. (As I have had to do on several occasions.) This is very time consuming.
  • Transfer time: Copying files from memory cards and to backups takes much longer with more photos.
  • Processing time: You will probably need to wait longer for your photo management software to load or do anything if it has more photos to deal with.
  • Disk space: You could say disk is cheap, but RAW files use a lot of space and disks can fill up fast. This matters especially if you are travelling and don't want to carry around a bag of hard disks. You need at least two disks for redundancy. Uploading photos is also slow, so this is not an easy way out - you probably need to sort them first and only upload the ones you want to keep.

It’s also not totally free for the camera, because shutters have a limited lifespan measured in number of exposures.

I met someone who said she prefers to use film because it makes her think more carefully before taking a photo. I suppose this could encourage more careful composition.

I’m going to stick with digital photography, but will try to remember there is a cost for every exposure. I will try to get in right first time and not unnecessarily take further shots. I might also actually consider whether the photo would actually be interesting at all.