Yuvi Analyzes My Camera Usage Stats Over at the StatBot

Statbot Analyzes My Photography

Statbot comes back from the Dead – Thomas Hawk’s Camera usage stats | The StatBot Yuvi’s Statbot is one of the greatest sites out there. For the stats junkie in you, Yuvi has analyzed many of the major sites and blogs out there and always comes up with an interesting angle on applying stats to practice.

I think this is my favorite post he’s done yet, personally speaking. This go around Yuvi’s analyzed my camera usage by using the Flickr API and looking at over 14,000 of my photographs posted online.

Yuvi’s findings?

I’ve used my Canon 5Dmore than any other camera to shoot with. My favorite lens (Canon’s 135 f/2 L series prime) dominates in my choice of lenses. Followed by my 24mm prime and then my 100mm EF 100 macro.

Interestingly enough, Yuvi points out that the vast majority of my photos are taken in Program Mode, with Aperture Priority coming in a very distant second. A lot of photographers that I talk to are always surprised when I tell them that I shoot so often in Program mode vs. Aperture Priority or Manual Mode. The reason for this is pretty simple actually. Part of my style is to take many, many, many photos every day. I’m trying to publish one million photographs before I die and as I only keep about 10-15% of what I shoot, this means taking a *ton* of photographs every single day. Unless I’m going for a very specific look (i.e. I want to control depth of field with Aperture priority, or the automatic settings aren’t exposing as I’d like them to, etc.) most of the time it’s just faster to stay on Program Mode and shoot from there.

When I was up in Seattle the week before last I took over 3,000 photos on a single day. If I had to manually compose each shot individually there is no way that I could get that kind of output out of my day. Every so often though Program Mode won’t give me the look I need so I’ll switch to manual settings to get exactly what I need.

Also because I always shoot in RAW (which is much more forgiving than JPG) I have a lot of flexibility after the fact if Program Mode doesn’t give me exactly what I was after.

Usually if I’m in aperture priority mode it’s because I want to control depth of field. Take this photo for example. I was trying to get the Space Needle (which was far away) lined up with a sculpture. For a shot like this you have to use a small aperture (high number) to get as much of the close up object in focus along with the far away object. Shooting this shot with a big aperture (low number) would have had the Space Needle out of focus and the shot would not have come off as intended.

Yuvi also points out that I use ISO 1600 far more than any other ISO. Part of this is that I do a lot of indoor and night shooting where I have less than available light to get my shots. The Canon 5D does a *spectacular* job with 1600 iso. Where a lot of cameras will produce a lot of noise at 1600 iso, the 5D is super clean and so I feel very comfortable shooting even at that high iso. Sometimes I’ll even use iso expansion and shoot at 3,200 on the 5D, but I do begin to notice undesireable noise when using iso expansion. My guess is that when the new 5D comes out in Sept (I’m speculating on that date, that’s when photokina takes place in Germany) that the new 5D will do even better at higher isos in line with Nikon’s most recent offerings.

Yuvi also analyzes that I rarely use flash. I do have a Canon Speedlite 580EX but in general I far prefer natural light than having to use my flash. Every so often I’ll use the flash, but rarely. I do need to begin thinking about more creative ways to work with flash and will likely use flash more in the future than I do today.

In terms of software that I use to process, Adobe dominates here. I’m not sure why Yuvi’s statistics show that over 5,000 of my photos show “no software used” as I’ve processed almost every shot I’ve ever posted. My guess is that something went wrong with the EXIF data on those shots for some reason. It seems like Adobe Photoshop CS3 for the Mac is underrepresented on the section analyzing my processing software as I use CS3 on the Mac to process more of my photos than any other software.

I did try Aperture a few years back, but back then Aperture couldn’t handle vignetting control and so that was a deal killer for me. I understand that Aperture handles vignetting control now, but at this point I don’t see really any value to using Aperture over Adobe products and since I already know Adobe products I haven’t really ever gone back to Aperture to give it another go around.

By the way, if you’d like this kind of detailed analysis done on your own photostream Yuvi is making similar reports available for between $5 and $20 depending on the size of your stream. Yuvi is a high school student on his way to college and looking to buy a laptop, so your money goes to good use. :)

Awesome work as always Yuvi and thanks for providing me more information on my photography and for helping to share the statistics of my photos with everyone else.