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FORUMS General Gear Talk Data Storage, Memory Cards & Backup
Thread started 04 Sep 2017 (Monday) 20:16
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Keeping every photo vs just the selects?

 
Moose408
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Joined Jan 2006
San Jose, CA
Sep 04, 2017 20:16 |  #1

I have been in the camp of keeping every photo I've every taken. The result is I have over 500K photos taking up about 11Tb of storage. My backup strategy is a mess because of the amount of data. So I'm considering reducing the number of photos, only keeping the ones I've selected from the shoot.

For a typical shoot I will take 1500 photos, then come home and narrow it down to 100-125 keepers, and then further narrow that down to 1-10 that get edited and published. So there are a lot of photos there that will probably never get looked at again.

Logically I can reason that I should just delete them and reduce my storage needs to only 10% of what I currently require. But that is so against my nature that I'm having a really hard time making that leap.

So what do you do? Keep everything? Or delete the majority and just keep a few?


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gjl711
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Sep 04, 2017 20:27 |  #2

WOW!!! I moved out of the "keep every photo" like day 3 of having a digital camera. I also shoot way less then you do. I'll take maybe 500 to 1000 for a wedding but otherwise if I come home with 100 pics, it's a lot. From those 1/2 pretty much get deleted right away and I'll process just a handful from the rest. I've done a lot of cleanup over the past couple of weeks and got everything to fit on a 1tb drive.


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Alveric
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Sep 04, 2017 21:05 |  #3

I do cull my photos. Why keep something that's blurry, badly exposed, or useless? Even those images that have sentimental value get culled.

That being said, I still end up keeping more than just the 'keepers'. Some images can be used as alternates or backups (not data backups) or examples for future reference.


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Archibald
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Sep 04, 2017 21:36 |  #4

My practice is evolving over the years. Currently I cull down to about one in four, on average, right after the shoot (usually the evening of the same day). It is not a rule or anything, it is just what works with the amount I shoot and how I shoot.

The 1 in four that I keep is really still too much, but I want alternative shots just in case.

Not too long ago I decided to go back to previous years to come to terms with forgotten folders to see what I still need. And i have been amazed at the crap I was saving. I usually manage to delete another three quarters of what is there. I also usually discover a small number of gems that were overlooked before that are worth spending some time on.

The reason for going back to zap unnecessary files is that it takes more effort to manage a bigger body of files. They take more time and space to back up, and it becomes harder and harder to find things.


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Moose408
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Sep 04, 2017 21:37 |  #5

Alveric wrote in post #18444663 (external link)
I do cull my photos. Why keep something that's blurry, badly exposed, or useless? Even those images that have sentimental value get culled.

That being said, I still end up keeping more than just the 'keepers'. Some images can be used as alternates or backups (not data backups) or examples for future reference.

I do delete blurry, bad exposed, etc. But if it is otherwise a well exposed/composed photo then I keep it.


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MalVeauX
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Sep 04, 2017 21:40 |  #6

After each session, I rate the ones I wish to look at again in the initial sweep. I cull anything that doesn't make the initial cut then. Then through the 2nd pass, I again rate the ones I want to actually potentially process and potentially share. I then cull the rest. I end up keeping a handful of images from a session. If you keep up with it as you create it, it's easier, than going back months later and going through thousands. I don't worry about 'going back to edit again in the future' kind of thing. I keep the RAWs of my definite keepers though.

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Naturalist
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Sep 04, 2017 22:28 |  #7

Cull your images and if they do not meet the cut, get rid of them.

Your intention should be to show your best, not show everything you took, for better or worse.


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Alveric
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Sep 04, 2017 23:32 |  #8

Moose408 wrote in post #18444685 (external link)
I do delete blurry, bad exposed, etc. But if it is otherwise a well exposed/composed photo then I keep it.

Other images I delete are those that look so similar that can count as repeats—hand of subject in a slightly different position, slightly different facial expression, car passing by, &c.

Other than that, you just learn to live with thousands of images; and backing them up religiously.

Culling is sometimes a process some might tend to postpone, and this sometimes interferes with backups ("I'll back them up after I've gone through them and culled them, don't wanna back up rejects, then I'll have to hunt them down in the backup unit and kill them too..." or something like that goes the thought and reasoning). Don't let this happen to you. I recently had one of my photo drives take a nose dive and I'm still going back and forth with the data recovery lab trying to salvage years of files.


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
Why 'The Histogram' Sux (external link)

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tdlavigne
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Joined Mar 2015
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 05, 2017 01:08 |  #9

I just keep the selects, no point in keeping things that don't pass muster. I usually have about 25 or so from a shoot. Every once in a while I'll keep a sub-folder of raws (I call em B-Sides) that could've possibly made the cut, just in case I ever want to revisit the set. Even then there's at most 40 images per shoot. For client work, I'm not a storage service...and I advise them all to back up their files. That stuff is deleted after 90 days...no need to keep 1000 raws from an ecom shoot, at least not for me.




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tim
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Wellington, New Zealand
Sep 05, 2017 13:12 |  #10

I think you've identified what you need to do - only keep the photos that you will print, or maybe one step out from that, the photos you are sure you'll want to see again. That should reduce your storage by 90%.

One strategy I use sometimes is if I'm not sure I convert my RAW to medium jpeg, 2000 pixel Q8. I can still print it, process it, see it, but storage is 80% less than a RAW. I process all images before I convert though, because RAWs have more processing latitude.


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f8andBeThere
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Memphis
Sep 24, 2017 17:20 as a reply to tim's post |  #11

I'm mainly an event shooter. I shoot everything RAW+jpg; I've been keeping RAW files only of keepers, but I keep the all the jpgs. As my archive grows, I've realized I may need to get more ruthless, but so far this works for me.


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MarcoEos
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Netherlands, Utrecht
Sep 25, 2017 02:18 |  #12

I keep only the keepers ;)


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Wilt
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Post has been last edited 22 days ago by Wilt. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 25, 2017 08:56 |  #13

Alveric wrote in post #18444663 (external link)
I do cull my photos. Why keep something that's blurry, badly exposed, or useless? Even those images that have sentimental value get culled.

That being said, I still end up keeping more than just the 'keepers'. Some images can be used as alternates or backups (not data backups) or examples for future reference.

^
I cull immediately those shots that are out of focus, or exposed clearly beyond rescue of RAW recovery effort.
I keep 'alternative' shots because sometimes someone has better expression in that shot, even if they did not look so great in the 'chosen' shot...you never know if there will be a need for that alternative later. Since I usually do not shoot in multishot mode, I don't have 3 to 5 of every shot taken!

But the general methodology does vary dependent upon the type of subject...product shots vs. architectural vs. portraiture vs. events, for example.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Sep 25, 2017 09:15 |  #14

Moose408 wrote in post #18444627 (external link)
Logically I can reason that I should just delete them and reduce my storage needs to only 10% of what I currently require. But that is so against my nature that I'm having a really hard time making that leap.

the thought of going back over half a million photos makes me sick to my stomach.

This is much more reasonable:

tim wrote in post #18445154 (external link)
One strategy I use sometimes is if I'm not sure I convert my RAW to medium jpeg, 2000 pixel Q8. I can still print it, process it, see it, but storage is 80% less than a RAW. I process all images before I convert though, because RAWs have more processing latitude.

Just set up a batch processing action and start processing thousands of images at a time. Once the images are processed into smaller files and backed up in a proper manner, delete the originals. This will also give you the opportunity to reorganize the archive/backups as you go along.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Formerly he's gone before apostrophe-gate | Not in gear database: Canon 70-210 3.5-4.5, Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 2x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

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airfrogusmc
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Joined May 2007
Oak Park, Illinois
Sep 25, 2017 11:42 |  #15

I keep all my raw files for my personal work. For clients I keep all of the processed files and raws for 2 years.




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Keeping every photo vs just the selects?
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