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Archive 2012 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!
  
 
JohnTh
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p.1 #1 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


Hi,

I'm a photojournalist which I shoot mainly in dim/low light with my subjects moving. Sometimes, I shoot burst shoots but these bursts are rather at a low rate (~3 fps) - rather I'm trying to have shots which are different enough from a moment which I consider interesting.

Also, besides concrete assignments, my work is to build an historic archive of events at which I'm taking part so I/we don't now on what purpose the photos will be used in the future.

The question is: Aside the clearly missed shots it is worth it to delete the photos which I think that are not "good" or rather use stack/version features to group them together?

My opinion now is that is way better to not delete them because it takes time to see if the photos are "good" and to keep only the best one, and anyway what means "good'? - I think that "good" can be very related to the purpose: sometimes a picture is "good" because the main subject has an impressive expression or is "good" just because is has in the background a famous personality which isn't supposed to be there. That's why I'm rather reserved to delete photos. But I'm open on contrary, rational, opinions.

Any opinions? Comments?



Jul 09, 2012 at 06:43 AM
hidden_Markov
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p.1 #2 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


If you have the resources and desire to keep up on storage and assocaited backup solution space, if you want to keep the iffy ones I would not see an issue.

Not a pro shooter so take for whats its worth. But for me shots not so good but capture something of import to me I tend ot keep around. While a lackluster shot technical wise, the spirit or moment the photo captures has me keep it. Would I post in constructive critique, hell no. BUt to me photography is about capturing moments first and foremost. While I'd wish every shot was a work of technical excellence, I jsut don't get that all the time.

Now if the shot is jsut really horrendous....I am not that nice and away it goes. I shoot raw, if I was that nice I'd have major storage issues in time lol.



Jul 09, 2012 at 07:29 AM
Kittyk
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p.1 #3 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


from assignment shoots i would archive everything,
from private shoots, you just keep what you like or might potentially like.

though i never delete anything. i backup even raws of pavement shots as camera fires bouncing on my side.



Jul 09, 2012 at 08:06 AM
Gregory Edge
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p.1 #4 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


I import all my shots. Then I go through them and delete all the bad stuff, test shots, out of focus, exposure, bad poses, etc. Then I go through them a second time and all the great shots get a 5 star rating, the rest I just leave alone. I see no reason to trash something that might be useful someday as hard drive space is cheap. However if it is real bad why keep it?


Jul 09, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Kittyk
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p.1 #5 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


Gregory Edge wrote:
However if it is real bad why keep it?


because percentage is too low and i did not cut unexposed frame from developed stock either




Jul 09, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #6 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


It may be different for a photojournalist who shoots 100,000 frames a year, but I personally keep everything that isn't out of focus, horribly exposed, or obviously completely worthless.

Every year or so, I will go back through old pictures again with a fresh eye, and there have been several instances where a photo I originally passed over completely ends up being one of my favorites from a trip.

Aside from that, I also have gone back through shoots from my travels in Europe (when I lived in Germany for three years and traveled quite a bit), and have been going through all the images with an eye for black and white conversion. Since some images work much better in B&W than color, it's been a really interesting experience, and I've usually come out with 4 or 5 shots per trip that don't work in color, so I never really did anything with them, but they make for great B&W shots.

Plus, post processing tools continue to improve, so those shots that may have minor camera shake or something may be able to be completely saved by future postprocessing tools a few years from now, just as noise control in RAW conversion is way better than it was 8 years ago.



Jul 09, 2012 at 02:00 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


"unexposed frame" ... WOW, I'm having flashbacks.

If re-shoot is an option ... they get trashed. If I can't, I keep about 30% of the "eh" shots for those "just in case" & future re-visit / new tools. I'm hedging my bets that I won't ever want or need the "eh" shots, but also hedging the possibilities a little bit ... striving to stay more focused on what is "good" to safeguard.

That being said ... PJ is a different animal where the future value of an image can be unknown. Image shooting some little band in Liverpool and tossing all but one or two pics. But, if they are really "dupes" because of the burst shooting, you've already got "the pic" so I'd think you're pretty safe here by tossing "burst dupes" and retaining the best of the rest.



Jul 09, 2012 at 02:03 PM
JohnTh
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p.1 #8 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


Image shooting some little band in Liverpool and tossing all but one or two pics.

Beatles?

...yes it happens. And it happened. <grumble>

...on a constructive plane, there are problems with "burst dupes". Yes, I clearly understand your logic to keep "the pic", but enough times there simply isn't such a thing just because:

- the dancer is in a marvelous position but someone from background scratches his head or (pardon) his nose

- the body position of the football player is perfect but he has his tongue out / eyes closed (or both)

- everything is perfect, just that exactly "the shot" (and the 3 near to it) is tilted <slap on the forehead>

...aso. aso. aso.

I think that while we must not reject deleting as possibility we must be very careful in doing it.



Jul 10, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #9 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


Stacking frames in a program such as Lightroom may let you avoid having to deal with surplus shots and then you are free to keep all but the total rubbish, just in case. You would only have to spend time on them if something has made them candidates for spending such time.

Poor shots, even test shots or practise shots, can be quite insignificant until some day you find that you want to know about something that is no longer in the house or no longer available and there it is in one of those shots. As already mentioned by others, priorities and motivations change.

I think it pays to apply sufficient key wording that you can find these shots. Not in super detail, because that takes too much time, but something that includes location, etc.




Jul 10, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #10 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


I rarely delete anything except horrible shots. Data storage is cheap...


Jul 27, 2012 at 07:54 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #11 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


My base archives contain all of the files except pure test shots that would not be relevant.

EBH



Jul 28, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #12 · To delete or not to delete. Thats the question!


Mark Metternich wrote:
I rarely delete anything except horrible shots. Data storage is cheap...


+1



Jul 28, 2012 at 06:11 AM





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