Assuming one is trying to improve, getting more reps gives more opportunity to critique, adjust, and re-try.  The trick is being able to properly observe the reps, and evaluate how each one went, so some sort of event recording is in order.  Thus the wonderfulness of digital cameras: reps are essentially free, since they don’t charge by the roll anymore.  It had been this way with video cameras (vhs, betamax, MiniDV) for years before the widespread advent of digital photography, but even on the video side the digital revolution has significantly reduced recurring cost.  As an aside, I’m back on the wagon with lifting, having hit my weight-loss goal (another post coming soon), and am shooting video of every session so that I can check my own form.  “That felt terrible” >> “That looks terrible” >> “I need to do X to fix it” >> Better. Reps.

Spiraling backward to a previous post, the solitary carpenter bee which had been staking out a spot by our front door returned, but with a flight of his brethren/sistren.  In examining my shots from last time, I realized that I had NOT maxed out the zoom on the 70-200 (x2 with teleconverter), but instead had taken shots in the 250-287mm range… well shy of max magnification.  Critique – Adjust – Re-try.  With some good sunlight and the camera set on manual exposure to ensure 1/2500s exposures at max aperture, I grabbed the following:

I took about 30 shots again, so I’m still at a ~10% keeper rate.  There were a couple of other shots as good as last time, but these three stood out as better.  This iteration had the same general ‘idea’, in that I was trying to capture an in-focus, frozen-in-air shot of a bee.  But locking down exposure variables and making sure to max out the zoom this time gave me an incrementally better set of shots.

Hint: This concept applies to everything in life.  The stress > recovery > adaptation cycle applies to pretty much everything we do.  As long as we’re programming the stresses appropriately (work on X and make it better than last time, add 5lbs to the bar, etc.), and then minding the recovery period, we can move mountains.

“The years went past and Andy brought his wall out to the exercise yard cupful by cupful.” – Steven King

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