I’m guilty of being one of those photographers who head out, camera in hand and an empty SD card, not worrying baout how many shots I take. I often hit the shutter, ‘oh over exposed’, ‘out of focus’, ‘ framing not right’. And 12 shots later get one I’m really happy with. And there is probably nothing wrong with that, especially if you delete the shots that are terrible. But I don’t. I just dump the SD card and fill up my hard drive.

And lets be honest. It’s not good practice. I am well and truly invested in this bad habbit, and I need to break it. So I had a thought, on my short walk today, can I take 3 photos I am really happy with, but with only 10 clicks of the shutter. Some people may say this is still too many attempts, but it’s a start.

This challenge was great, because once I was out there on a short walk around the village, not only was I thinking about by settings, but also the filters, where the sun was, framing and everything else. One thing that really stood out to me was how much I thought about the subject, putting the camera to my eye, and not closing the shutter unless I was really happy. Where as normally I would take 3 photos and use none of them.

Well here is the results of this first habit breaker.

Fairy Houses

Definitely my favourite of the 3, not only because of the photo, but just because I was not expecting to see this. They magically appeared overnight on a path right next to my house.

This was the 2nd photo I took here, the first photo I had the aperture slightly more open and thought it could be better. I chucked on an ND filter, dropped the aperture to 1.8 and boom, 2 shots, and both were actually usable. the second just had that extra bokeh.


So the second photo might not seem as interesting as fairy houses, but I started to tell a story in my head of the village. The canal here is empty, with no water but yet the towpaths are always full.

I spent a while framing this one through my eyepiece and I still don’t think I am 100% happy. I took three shots of this, all moving the sign around the frame, needing to see them on a bigger screen. I liked this one as it appears the towpath starts from the sign and disappears into the distance.


Ironically, I think I became a victim of my own success. I headed round my usual route, with the pushchair in one hand and stopping frequently to frame up a picture. It was only when I was nearly hope that I realised id only used 5 of my shots and only got two pictures. So I had to quickly rearrange my route to get a 3rd shot.

Again thinking about the village I headed into one of the fields to see if there was any spring flowers coming through and there was nothing.

I stumbled on these berries, and although its I’ve done a thousand times, what I liked about this one was the remnants of the snow that hasn’t melted. Then the bright green of the field in the background.

I’m sure there were better shots to take on the day, but that was not the challenge. I had succeeded in slowing myself down, thinking about settings and my subject matter. And to get 3 photos I am pretty happy with with only 8 clicks of the shutter, I’d say it was a success.