I was asked recently on Twitter on how many photos I take and of those how many I end up keeping. It’s not something I usually keep a track of but I did for the three days I was at RIAT.
In those three days I shot a total of 2164 photos (48.61GB of RAW files).
My first pass through the photos is to remove the ones where I had cropped off part of the aircraft (very low with air show shooting due to the distance), photos that weren’t sharp and duplicates (I tend to shoot a few extra each time and choose the best later). This reduced the 2164 down to 494 photos.
Next I will keyword the photos and rate them. 1 star for reference use only, 2 stars for photos with some aspect that isn’t up to scratch, 3 stars for photos good enough to be used on the web, 4 stars for photos that can be used for A2 printing and 5 stars for something exceptional.
If I have a lot of shots of the same aircraft I will remove the lower quality ones. This tends to happen at airshows where you will see the same aircraft perform over a number of days and you will shoot it a lot. To me there doesn’t seem to be any point in having 10 photos of a particular aircraft that all look very similar regardless of how high the quality.
This brought the number down to 255 of which 121 were shot on the show day, the rest of the two practice and arrival days. The breakdown of those was…
5* – 2 photos
4* – 17 photos
3* – 51 photos
2* – 43 photos
1* – 8 photos
I have no idea how this compares to other photographers as it’s not something I keep track or have discussed with other people but for an air show a keeper rate of 1 in 9 doesn’t sound unusual to me.