What To Do With All These Pixels?


DrOrloff

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 17:53
I have amassed a fair few digital photos since I started this lark three or four years ago, way too many.

The most (only) important ones (regardless of artistic merit) are the family album images, those will be all be carefully archived and the best of them (but not too many) will be arranged into digital and traditional album media for future generations to do as they wish with them.

I don't have anything else that I think could really be regarded as having any particular value to anyone else. The few photos that I think are quite good will be retained (with the original RAW files). I will also retain images that do not stand up in their own right but might have potential to be used in compositing or the like. Of the rest I shall permanently delete those images I thought were alright at the time but now realise are not and therefore serve no further purpose. These number a couple of thousand. I shall initially retain a few hundred but continue to purge those that no longer live up to my standards as I would rather have a small, easily navigable and hopefully higher quality collection.

What do others do?
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined

johnriley

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 18:07
The very thought makes me cringe with horror. I never, ever throw anything away. You just never know when it might be useful or significant in some way previously unpredicted. Perhaps you've shot something that next week will be demolished, perhaps you've captured someone unknown who is about to become famous. Who knows?

And you have only a couple of thousand?

No, I don't think it's a problem by any means and you should keep the lot.
Best regards, John

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 18:08
Dump them in a folder on my hard drive and forget them! Sometimes I have a half hearted go at removing duplicates and totally rubbish shots, but generally, I'm a hoarder. Very very occasionally I'll spot an old shot that had potential but was overlooked at the time. So I am reluctant to be too brutal deleting old shots (plus it's very time consuming!)
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

Russ

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 18:27
As above for me too. I try clearing out duplicates, bracketing shots, obvious rubbish shots but its pretty soul destroying. So I bought a 1Tb drive a few months back, on offer for 39 from Currys. At the moment everything is going on there and 4500 photos has barely scratched it.

Smeggypants

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 18:34
johnriley wrote:
The very thought makes me cringe with horror. I never, ever throw anything away. You just never know when it might be useful or significant in some way previously unpredicted. Perhaps you've shot something that next week will be demolished, perhaps you've captured someone unknown who is about to become famous. Who knows?

And you have only a couple of thousand?

No, I don't think it's a problem by any means and you should keep the lot.

What John says.

I also cringe with horror when people throw photos away.

I'm currently searching out old photos from Dubai and Abu Dhabi that were taken prior to 1980 and I've come across some amazing old Photos that photographers of the day would have dumped as being badly composed, OOF or simply not exciting. How they are of immense historical value.

Keep them! and leave them in your will to a museum so that historians a hundred years from now can garner value from them.


[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

swarf

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 18:55
Russ wrote:
As above for me too. I try clearing out duplicates, bracketing shots, obvious rubbish shots but its pretty soul destroying. So I bought a 1Tb drive a few months back, on offer for 39 from Currys. At the moment everything is going on there and 4500 photos has barely scratched it.

I agree with Russ - I (try!!) to clear out duplicates and the obvious rubbish, the rest I keep. Storage is so cheap, and as both John and Smeggy infer - you never know what will be valuable one day; and it's amazing the value that historians get from yesterday's rubbish!
K-5iiS; K-r; ME Super; ME; DA* 16-50 f2.8; DA 18-135 WR; DA 55-300 WR; HD DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited; FA 50mm f1.4; A50mm f1.7; DAL 18-55mm; M40mm f2.8; + assorted non-Pentax lenses

My Flikr Page link

tyronet2000

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 22:51
I set up an old computer as an NAS unit, unfortunately I need bigger drives or to be more selective.
Regards
Stan

PPG

simonkit

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 23:15
I think it depends on the subject matter but I'm increasingly selective on what I keep, no point clogging up hard-drive space with images you're not happy with.. I'm mainly talking about landscapes though which don't change too much and don't have potential movie stars in them

Simon
My website http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com

My Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/landscapephotographyuk

Find me on Google+ link

CMW

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 23:35
I haven't (yet) reached a storage crisis, but the shots do mount up and I can see the sense in trying to forestall one. I find I'm becoming much more selective in what I keep. I generally load everything into Lightroom and then delete a large percentage from disk after viewing. As I climb up photography's learning curve, I'd anticipate jettisoning an increasingly lower (but still substantial) percentage.

With rare exceptions, I don't think we need worry too greatly about historians' need of our photographs in the future.
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography

Smeggypants

Link Posted 26/07/2013 - 23:57
CMW wrote:


With rare exceptions, I don't think we need worry too greatly about historians' need of our photographs in the future.

Why not?


The problem is, it's that attitude that causes the rarity of photographs in the future simply because for too many people haven't the foresight to see how their mundane badly composed efforts can change into something of enormous historical interest.

Even the most mundane street shot, which has really no value today can be of enormous interest in a few decades. Here's an example... A street shot of Dubai from the mid 1970s which I've recently cleaned up for a friend of mine... a scan off an old manky print. Peeps wouldn't think twice about deleting this shot if it was taken in 2013.





I bet there were thousands of mundane street shots taken back in the days of yore which have been thrown away. I damn well wish they hadn't.

The world changes so quickly. There are no time machines. Please keep your stuff
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283
Last Edited by Smeggypants on 26/07/2013 - 23:59

davidstorm

Link Posted 27/07/2013 - 00:05
I think you are being very hard on yourself Dr O when you say "I don't have anything else that I think could really be regarded as having any particular value to anyone else".

I think you are wrong. I think a lot of people would find value in your images as they are of high quality and artistic merit. Don't delete them, you never know when someone may want them.

Regards
David
Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

bettyswolloks

Link Posted 27/07/2013 - 00:40
Smeggypants wrote:

The problem is, it's that attitude that causes the rarity of photographs in the future

Even the most mundane street shot from the IIs, which has really no value today can be of enormous interest in a few decades. Here's an example... A street shot of Dubai from the mid 1970s which I've recently cleaned up for a friend of mine... a scan off an old manky print. Peeps wouldn't think twice about deleting this shot if it was taken in 2013.





I bet there were thousands of mundane street shots taken back in the days of yore which have been thrown away. I damn well wish they hadn't.

The world changes so quickly. There are no time machines. Please keep your stuff

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 27/07/2013 - 06:32
I think you're probably right, Doc. I know it's hard to guess what may be of value to anyone in the future but where personal shots are concerned, I'm coming to the conclusion that less may well be more.

Just how many more pictures of bugs, birds, flowers, tractors, architecture and landcspe does the world need?

I'm inclined to agree with the views about street photography, special events and people shots: they clearly have lasting and historical value.

I don't actively cull as much as I should, but a combination of stolen lap-tops and permanently crashed hard-drives have done the deed for me in the recent past.
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website: http://www.ephotozine.com/user/bwlchmawr-199050 http://s927.photobucket.com/home/ADC3440/index
https://www.flickr.com/photos/78898196@N05

JohnX

Link Posted 27/07/2013 - 08:14
Not only do I not throw any of my digital originals away, I'm actively trying to add to them by digitising my collection of film/prints and slides, some of which go back 50 years or so, and all of which have something of interest in them, however badly taken or exposed.

Shots of places I've been over the years - how they've changed; my Dad's 35mm slides - now I know where my bad photographer genes came from; the kids - were they ever so small/cute; the house and garden since we moved in - why did we change that?, etc, etc.

All my stuff is backed up over three external disks for safety, one of which is off-site at my sisters and swapped on a weekly basis.

CMW

Link Posted 27/07/2013 - 09:22
Smeggypants wrote:
CMW wrote:


With rare exceptions, I don't think we need worry too greatly about historians' need of our photographs in the future.

Why not?


The problem is, it's that attitude that causes the rarity of photographs in the future simply because for too many people haven't the foresight to see how their mundane badly composed efforts can change into something of enormous historical interest.

This is hyperbole in the digital age (and even in the age of mass-produced film emulsions, come to that), where the problem is one of over-abundance, not of rarity. The shot in Dubai may have an antiquarian interest - no dispute there - but historical interest? I don't think so.
Regards, Christopher

ChristopherWheelerPhotography
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.