Friday, October 1, 2010

Shoot it? Keep it? Delete it?

Just some quick thoughts here...since almost everyone shoots digital nowadays, and it's easy to snap, snap, snap away all the time like a little jackrabbit, let me ask you this: What do you do with all those pictures?

If you're like me, you probably just put them on the computer and look at them once, maybe send them out to friends in an online gallery or facebook, and that's it. Well I guess I should clarify...I used to do that--not anymore. The amount of files just became ridiculous to manage. Hundreds of pictures of otherwise mundane events clogging up my hard drive. When I wanted to look at a specific picture I could never find it amongst the sea of crappola.

I fixed the problem a few different ways. I shoot a little more selectively now. I try not to just take pictures for the sake of taking them, which thankfully leads to less pictures of nonsense, and less pictures of virtually the exact same scene taken in rapid succession. Part of this comes with time, and becoming comfortable that you nailed it and don't need to keep shooting more frames "just in case."

But what if you still want to shoot rapid-fire style AKA the "spray-and-pray" approach? Well, you have two more opportunities to cull out all the crappy pictures before they become a permanent part of your hard drive. Try to get into the habit of deleting obviously bad pictures right in the camera, before they ever make it to your computer. You know the shots...too dark, blurry, blinkers, etc. Just trash 'em! Five almost-identical pictures of your niece doing something really cute? Pick the best one and junk the rest!

Your last chance happens as soon as you put them on your computer. Delete all the junk as soon as you look at the pictures the first time. If you use any good photo management program it will let you select all the "rejects" and then delete them all in one keystroke (in Lightroom just hit the "X" key"). Do this ASAP. If you wait too long, that days shots will just get lost in the stream of constant digital pictures that keep coming and coming, and then you will soon ask yourself "where the hell did my 500 GB hard drive go?"

I took all the pictures in this post a few months ago one day in Riverside park...probably shot 50 pics, deleted maybe 15 in camera, and then deleted about 20 as soon as I saw them on the computer. Out of the rest, these are the best three. Well not really the best three, but the other pictures are of my wife, and I bet she is pretty tired of seeing herself on this blog ;)

1 comment:

  1. My systems is pretty similar to yours. I always review the picture in camera after taking it and junk the obviously bad shots. The rest get loaded onto the computer and reviewed. If there are any I am iffy about or just know I won't use they get junked right away as well.

    It's interesting how we can easily go and spend a day shooting all kinds of stuff, come home with 200+ shot, and in the end maybe 10% of those are really worth while. It's what makes photography so much fun and yet frustrating all at the same time!


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