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culling photos
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Aug 10, 2018 07:08:09   #
mborn (a regular here)
 
Bultaco wrote:
Same here.


I agree I also revisit older images and reprocessing them as newer tools become available

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Aug 10, 2018 07:15:23   #
billnikon (a regular here)
 
steve49 wrote:
What does everyone do when it comes to thinning out the photos that they shoot?
Do you save everything cause storage is cheap or
do you delete photos for good once you have sorted the " keepers"?

It is so easy to build a huge library with the ease of shooting digitally and I guess I wonder
how often I will revisit old material.

I travel a lot and generally sort by trip but do have a hard time picking what to save and what to chop.
Lately I find myself keeping the best and deleting the rest...

Anyone else wrestle with this?
What does everyone do when it comes to thinning ou... (show quote)


After my morning shoots in Florida I do a quickie, bad exposure, out of focus, nothing going for it, etc. etc.
On Sunday afternoon while football is on I do a comprehensive review of the week. My best shots for the week go on a best of flash drive.
Once a month I go over the flash drive, same procedure, you would be surprised at what you once thought was good and you see it again and it's not quite that good anymore, anyway these get weeded out. After six month's I have about 140-180 good shots.
After my winter in Florida I have six months of BEST OF on my flash drive. THEN the real test begins, I have five reviewers, they rate the BEST OF on a point system, the judges, my wife, my son and his wife the graphic designers, and my two old professional photographers. The top ten in points get printed into show prints. And that my friends is how I roll.

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Aug 10, 2018 07:23:34   #
wteffey
 
My standards for keeping sentimental or historical photos are much lower than my artsy photos. I keep almost everything of pets, friends, family etc, but all others are fall into the "knockout" group. Hand someone a photo book of 30 images and watch how long it takes them to go from first to last. Unless they are incredibly bored, or the collection includes some pretty nudes, they will graze through the collection at a rate of three seconds each, more or less, until they hit something of special interest. Even then, five seconds later on they go again. All of my artsy photos must score a top ten in their group (birds, flowers, lizards etc) or out they go. I show only the best.

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Aug 10, 2018 07:38:49   #
jerryc41 (a regular here)
 
steve49 wrote:
What does everyone do when it comes to thinning out the photos that they shoot?
Do you save everything cause storage is cheap or
do you delete photos for good once you have sorted the " keepers"?

It is so easy to build a huge library with the ease of shooting digitally and I guess I wonder
how often I will revisit old material.

I travel a lot and generally sort by trip but do have a hard time picking what to save and what to chop.
Lately I find myself keeping the best and deleting the rest...

Anyone else wrestle with this?
What does everyone do when it comes to thinning ou... (show quote)


I must have thousands of pictures I should delete, but it takes time - and decisions. As for "cheap storage," that's a cop-out. It's not the expense that's important, it's filling up a perfectly good hard drive with junk. You don't want your 4TB drive filled 99% with junk. When I have time to kill, I go through a couple of folders and delete what I think I'll never need - pictures, documents, whatever.

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Aug 10, 2018 07:40:46   #
johneccles
 
I am actually sorting mine initially by date-subject, I have been doing this for a week or so now. When I come across any that may need deleting I add (del) after the date-subject so I can go back to them later and decide whether to or not. I only do the cataloguing for an hour or so as I find it quite tiring after a couple of hours and easy to make mistakes. I find the effort very rewarding and in each session there is always a photo file turns up which I thought I'd lost.

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Aug 10, 2018 08:03:01   #
hj
 
Let's face it. It's much easier to cull with each shoot rather than end up with a library of 50,000 + images. With that many, you will never get around to culling the mediocre images and I dare say you will likely not even look at 50% of them again. Putting off trashing the mediocre will make it a daunting if not impossible task for the future.

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Aug 10, 2018 08:27:14   #
Flyerace
 
I used to shoot lots and lots of photos, but I no longer do that. I treat my camera (digital) as if it is a film camera. I make sure I'm in the best position I can be, at the right time, and make one or two pictures. When necessary, I might take more, but seldom of the exact same thing. I'm not working so this is a hobby. I really hate to go through thousands of photos to find just a few. Dumping all out of focus, or heaven forbid, photos where a person's head is missing, need to permanently be deleted. I have more storage space than I will use, but it doesn't mean I want to waste it with junk. Besides making it impossible to go through to find the shot you need, it extends the amount of time it takes to scan for Malware, Viruses and do backups.

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Aug 10, 2018 08:32:09   #
joer (a regular here)
 
steve49 wrote:
What does everyone do when it comes to thinning out the photos that they shoot?
Do you save everything cause storage is cheap or
do you delete photos for good once you have sorted the " keepers"?

It is so easy to build a huge library with the ease of shooting digitally and I guess I wonder
how often I will revisit old material.

I travel a lot and generally sort by trip but do have a hard time picking what to save and what to chop.
Lately I find myself keeping the best and deleting the rest...

Anyone else wrestle with this?
What does everyone do when it comes to thinning ou... (show quote)


Not at all. Delete, delete, delete...save only the best.

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Aug 10, 2018 08:37:47   #
wds0410
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
Hey Steve, you beat me to a topic I've been collecting notes, ref: culling, from a recent multi-day trip. I came home from 7-days in Oshkosh, WI with 8830 RAW images using 215 GB. This morning, on hopefully my final day of part-time editing, I'm down to 439 images. I'd set a mental goal of 25 keepers per day from 6- to 12-hours of shooting each day. Obviously, I've missed my daily keeper goal (7x25=175).

I believe in ruthless culling. I have the same planes from different days from a 7-day airshow. The exposure and sharpness may be equally strong, but one day had better light or better background clouds. I've been using the Lightroom compare tool to pit two against each other side by side and getting rid of the version(s) I won't keep / don't need. I don't need the inferior versions from other days. Even if two were "perfect", I don't need two virtually identical versions.

Culling is necessary to improve your photography. If you can't determine your best image from a small sequence, ask for someone to view them and help you decide. But, you need to develop the skill to make the delete decision yourself as well as the discipline to make and perform the culling effort. There's lots of different tools and approaches based on colors, ratings, sorting, filters, etc. The process is less important than the end-result of finding, editing, keeping the best and deleting all the rest, permanently.

You mention revisiting older material. Here's where the ruthlessness has it's benefits. I only want finished images and I only want the best. If I quickly need an image for a new purpose, I don't have time to edit that image from scratch. I didn't go looking for work / rework, beyond maybe a new crop relative to the new purpose. I hate when I find my former self didn't make the 'which is best decision' and I'm presented with culling decisions that should already have been made. Remember the adage: you're only as good as the weakest image you share. Your best images show your improvement, everything else does not.
Hey Steve, you beat me to a topic I've been collec... (show quote)


This actually made me smile. Now I know you are a professional and I'm just an amateur and this trip of yours was action shooting versus what I like to do which is landscape photos but I don't think I've shot 8000 photos in 5 years let alone in a week! Anyhow, what I do is delete the bland, out of focus, poorly composed, crappy light, etc. and keep the rest. Went to AZ and Utah this past spring for 10 days, took about 700 images, kept about 100 and out of those maybe 30 are nice the rest are just for memories sake. Occasionally, I'll see a tip about post processing and revisit a raw file but that is really rare.

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Aug 10, 2018 08:41:46   #
AutoGal
 
Now at my age, I want to be kind to my kids. So I am culling big time what I have in storage.

Will they want landscapes of my many trips that did not make the Shutterfly album of that country? And once album made, I did not get rid of the rest....

Will they want photos of folks they hardly know? And parties they were not at?

Will they want the zillion flower and bird photos I took/take? Thinking of making an album of those...

I remember having to go through the zillions of black and whites and color photos my parents kept...

Kept only the photos of them that were not blurry, they were not in landscapes, were recognizable, and not wth folks I did not know, and those where I was with them through the years.

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Aug 10, 2018 08:57:13   #
stogieboy
 
I keep everything from vacations, the kid, important events. Unless they are a wreck (the camera moved, out of focus, etc). Storage is so cheap, I see no reason to spend time deciding which versions of a photo to keep or toss, regardless of the number of shots of the same subject. I will likely never revisit many of my backed up photos, but I have them just in case. I'd rather spend my time shooting more, and pp my good shots that I'm proud of.

I will buy external hard drives when I see them on a really sale at Amazon or B&H and the like. I have drives still shrink wrapped because I haven't put them in the rotation yet..

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Aug 10, 2018 09:04:26   #
DirtFarmer (a regular here)
 
hj wrote:
Let's face it. It's much easier to cull with each shoot rather than end up with a library of 50,000 + images. With that many, you will never get around to culling the mediocre images and I dare say you will likely not even look at 50% of them again. Putting off trashing the mediocre will make it a daunting if not impossible task for the future.


I agree. Cull when the files are first downloaded. That will save a lot of hassle later.

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Aug 10, 2018 09:07:56   #
mallen1330
 
In my business, architectural and real estate photography, I average 12,000 images per year. I have not deleted any of the un-processed SOOC or the final processed images delivered to clients. All are backed up in several ways. When I was shooting film, I similarly never destroyed any negatives.

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Aug 10, 2018 09:22:46   #
steve49
 
Thanks for all the replies.
My take from all this is that the delete key is important, use it.
next step is go through a trip at a time and cull approx 1/2 what is left.

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Aug 10, 2018 09:35:21   #
wmcy
 
brucewells wrote:
I configured Lightroom to make a copy of all the raw (NEF) files on the card to a predetermined location, then import into LR as DNG files. As I cull, I delete the rejects as I know I have the original NEF to fall back on should I need to.


Bruce,

For my own education, what is the advantage of importing your shots as DNG vs NEF?

Thanks.

Wm.

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