Three Shots

I take too many pictures. In general, I’m pretty good about it. My iPhone 5 is only 16GB and has a limited amount of available space so that constraint helps there. But, when I go on vacation and have my good camera with me, with the large storage card, I just fire away because I can.

Once back home, I connect it up to import those shots to iPhoto (yes, I still use iPhoto too). I’m pretty good about cleaning things up right then and there; deleting bad shots or choosing between similar ones. That’s how I know I take too many. I end up deleting well over half.

Even then, out of those, how many do I end up printing to hang on a wall or use in a photo book? Out of any given day, that number is rarely more than three. So, that had me asking myself throughout this last trip out west to see a few of our (under-appreciated and phenomenal) National Parks, why do I bother to take more than three in the first place?

Now, I know part of the answer is the idea that, by taking a lot of photos I can more easily guarantee I’ll find at least three that I really love.

But, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if I had the constraint of only being able to take three to begin with. How would that help fuel my creative process? What memories would I choose to capture and which would I just have to be content with my memory of them. How would I choose what three photos would tell the story of the day?

Then I realized I actually had a way to answer some of these questions — answers found in the past photobooks I’ve built and shots I’ve printed… The truth is, many of those photos were taken with the camera that had the most built in constraints — my iPhone 5.

So, I’m going to do what I can to temper my happy shutter finger the next time. I’m going to pretend that I only have three shots available to me. Three shots to tell the story I’m trying to tell and help me remember the three most important moments. I’d like to see what effect that has not only on my photography but also on my presence in the experience.

I’ll be sure to report my results.

And, yes, all three photos in this post were shot with my iPhone 5.