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09-08-2014, 10:04 AM   #1
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what do you do about soreness?

yesterday, i shot 300+ kids in a soccer league. for hours afterward, i felt something like muscle spasms in my left eye. when i woke up this morning, it was sealed shut (is it weird that that felt really nice?). if i'm gonna keep doing these endurance shoots, i'll have to figure out some other way of operating, so i figured i'd ask advice -- what do y'all do to avoid or to remedy eye strain and soreness on a long day of shooting?

09-08-2014, 10:18 AM - 1 Like   #2
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There are many over the counter eye drops to help with tired eyes during the day. Visine comes to mind but there are many good ones. As for waking to an eye "sealed shut," that sounds like rather common dry eye syndrome. I get that regularly from some medications I take. The solution for me is to keep a bottle of plain "artificial tears" by my bedside and put a drop or two in each eye when I wake up with sticky or sandy eyes. Works like a champ and the generic store brand drops are pretty inexpensive.
09-08-2014, 12:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by spinach Quote
i felt something like muscle spasms in my left eye
Learn to shoot both eyes open, no strain at all then just like any normal day, it's also much safer when around fast moving objects.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 09-08-2014 at 02:40 PM.
09-08-2014, 01:41 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Ive heard of people doing 1000 or 2000 shots in a day.


Photography is not about quantity its about quality. Newspaper photographers on an assignment would come back with 2 exposed images in the 1950s, but those 2 images were both usable. I had a 1 in 2 hit rate with medium format, I had a 1 in 6 hit rate with 35mm, that's 1 good useable image in 6. I still have that 1 in 6 hit rate, yet I see digital photographers who seemingly have a 1 in 1000 hit rate.


A days film shooting used to be 24 or 36 for most amateurs and they would have 6 or 7 useable images in that 36.


Consider this, a digital camera reaches the end of its useful life after 50,000 to 80,000 images despite the claims that a shutter lasts 100,000. That's 160 days use at 300 a day. At 2000 a day the camera will last just 25 days. Doesn't that suggest something is very wrong with these "marathon" shoots. This hobby becomes very expensive when you have to buy 12 cameras a year at 1000 dollars a pop because you are wearing out the equipment prematurely on "marathon" shoots.


I don't wish to suggest you are wrong to shoot 300 in a day, but I will ask you, how many keepers out of that 300 did you get. If you can justify shooting 300 a day by having 250 keepers or more then by all means continue, but if your making yourself ill shooting 300 and most are deleted anyway or never used for anything because theyr not up to snuff then maybe you need a reappraisal.


Rather than trying to find a way of shooting 300 or 600 in a day, maybe it would be better to limit the shots before taking them and maybe shoot 50 high quality keepers.


A publication might use 2 or 3 shots. A sports group similar. Why is 300 shots of one event a good idea. Apologies if I am out of touch here.


I have worked for pay, so I used to be in touch, Jobbing pros get in, take several quality shots, and then leaves to the next job. With 6 jobs a day and a dozen images at each job we have maybe 80 images, and no medical problems.


Im not saying your wrong, im just trying to suggest you might like to rethink your strategy and maybe take fewer better shots, especially if your making yourself ill and wearing out your gear.


I take far fewer images as an amateur I take 6 or 12 maximum on an outing I reject most before pressing the shutter, so I don't have to delete them and I cant understand taking so many. Im just presenting another perspective here.


My experience is after a while rejecting poor shots becomes easier if you choose to go down that route.

09-08-2014, 02:13 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I read the OP as saying that he shot individual portraits of 300 kids at a sporting event, kind of like a school photographer might do the same for an entire elementary school in a day or two. If that was the case, he might not have the option to only pick the one or two dozen best looking kids to shoot.

On the other hand, if he was just shooting the action at the event, I would agree. Being a bit more discriminating might help with the physical problems.
09-08-2014, 02:24 PM   #6
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I shoot bike races or other all day events sometimes and have shot over 1000 photos in a day on those jobs.
The hit rate varies with conditions and subject matter but I try not to just spray and pray, but compose and get a good shot. In fact when I use a flash (often with cycling) I don't have the luxury of grabbing a burst because the flash is too slow to recycle. I have felt that eye strain but have never woken up with an eye sealed shut from it.
To reduce it when shooting I'll try to alternate eyes which is tough (normally I'm just a right eye shooter). Also like someone said, keeping both eyes open helps too.
You can also just build up your eye muscles over time from shooting a lot of photos. My eye fatigues much less now than it did a couple of years ago.
09-08-2014, 02:36 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by abmj Quote
I read the OP as saying that he shot individual portraits of 300 kids at a sporting event, kind of like a school photographer might do the same for an entire elementary school in a day or two. If that was the case, he might not have the option to only pick the one or two dozen best looking kids to shoot.
exactly. it's not action shots or journalism. it's also not spray and pray -- unless something is glaringly, obviously wrong, it's two shots a kid.

09-08-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
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! Abstinence
09-08-2014, 03:16 PM   #9
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As suggested previously learn to keep both eyes open. It helps to determine which is your "dominant eye". To find out if you are "right" or "left" eyed, focus your eyes on an object across the room and quickly point a finger at that object. Then without moving your aim, close one eye keeping the other open and then switch. The view through your dominant eye should still have the finger aimed at the object. The view from your non-dominant eye the aim should be shifted off to the side. Of course a few people don't have eye dominance and the view through either eye would be on target.

Using your dominant eye on the viewfinder may make it easier to concentrate on the viewfinder when both eyes open.

Astronomers who spend hours gazing through a single eyepiece learn this technique very early on.
09-08-2014, 03:17 PM   #10
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thanks for the tips, y'all! i figured that maybe my eye would get more used to it after a few more days like this, but man, it's a lot. it's an aspect that nobody warned me about. during the week, i guess i'll practice shooting with both eyes open and switching off so i'm ready for the next job this coming weekend.

---------- Post added 09-08-14 at 03:18 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by digital029art Quote
! Abstinence
ha! that is great
09-08-2014, 03:36 PM   #11
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I wear soft contacts and my eyes sometimes get dry. And sometimes when I stare through the viewfinder it's like I can't see anything at all. Anyhow I've learned to switch it up occasionally and switch which eye goes to the viewfinder.
09-08-2014, 03:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
As suggested previously learn to keep both eyes open. It helps to determine which is your "dominant eye". To find out if you are "right" or "left" eyed, focus your eyes on an object across the room and quickly point a finger at that object. Then without moving your aim, close one eye keeping the other open and then switch. The view through your dominant eye should still have the finger aimed at the object. The view from your non-dominant eye the aim should be shifted off to the side. Of course a few people don't have eye dominance and the view through either eye would be on target.

Using your dominant eye on the viewfinder may make it easier to concentrate on the viewfinder when both eyes open.

Astronomers who spend hours gazing through a single eyepiece learn this technique very early on.
When I point with my dominant right hand, the test above says I'm right eye dominant. If I point with my left hand, though, I align with my left eye. It makes sense; subconciously minimizing finger motion plus allowing the far eye to keep seeing the object instead of being blocked by the pointing hand.

I wonder if my approach is usual?
09-08-2014, 04:21 PM   #13
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yeah, that happens with me, too
09-08-2014, 04:25 PM   #14
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If you are right handed and use your left hand, both are often off target but one eye is usually closer on target than the other. That is usually your dominant eye. Your right hand is better at most tasks including aiming. If you practice enough with your left hand you can get almost as good as the right.

Remember to aim quickly, like "Wow, look at that!"

Last edited by Not a Number; 09-08-2014 at 04:45 PM.
09-08-2014, 04:49 PM   #15
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When have you most recently had a professional eye examination? While I don't know your age or age bracket, most folks' eyes start degenerating sometime in their 20s and by 40, your warranty has expired. So I'd recommend an eye exam.

If you've recently been there and done that, you may very well consider entertaining the unpleasant thought that your body just cannot handle the stress of this kind of shooting. There are a lot of things I used to do that I cannot do now physically or psychologically.


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