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Too Many Keepers!
  
 
StarNut
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Too Many Keepers!


Hi,

I have many failings as a photographer, among which is a tendency to fall in love with my photos, making it difficult to delete them. For background, I am an avid, serious amateur. My photography centers around documenting our travels, and wildlife (which often overlap).

On the theory that film is cheap nowadays, when I'm shooting wildlife, I tend to take a LOT of photos, hoping to catch that fleeting perfect pose, as the beastie moves around.

I have no trouble deleting photos that aren't decent (e.g., poor focus; blurred with motion; head turned away from camera), which takes care of perhaps half of the typical shoot I do.

When all goes well, I will end up with, say, 20 photos of an animal, from which I will choose one for the album. But the other 19 are fine photos, and sometimes of animals I never will see again. So I'm reluctant merely to delete the ones I'm not using for my album.

Since one of my cameras costs me 60mb each time I hit the shutter release, this is causing storage issues. Particularly after a long trip, during which I may take as many as 10,000 photos.

I'm assuming I'm not the only one with this problem. How do others deal with this?

Thanks.

Mark



Aug 08, 2017 at 05:37 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Too Many Keepers!


StarNut wrote:
Hi,

I'm assuming I'm not the only one with this problem. How do others deal with this?

Thanks.

Mark



Buy more hard drives

seriously storage is cheap but it does have a cost . that cost at least doubles if you backup .(which you should)

also remember that all those 'near' keepers can actually get in the way of the real keepers .

if you don't have the heart and just can't hit the delete button (I know I can't) you can always convert all the near keepers to jpeg and delete the RAW . you will at least have the image .

for me I try to set up keeper collections in LR and have all my 'nears' still on the hard drive . when I get to the point I need another drive i'll add another drive. and will probably keep doing so .
as for backups , my image files and a lot of other stuff I now back up to Amazon cloud . not perfect and it does have a cost but it does at least save me 1 or 2 sets of drives . my 'keeper' collections are double backed up at home so I would at least be able to recover the important stuff



Aug 08, 2017 at 07:20 PM
chez
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Too Many Keepers!


Do you ever go back and look at those images that don't make it to your album? If not...why keep them around.

I have two categories of images:

1. Those that I'll print
2. Those that I'll show in a slideshow.

Everything else gets deleted.



Aug 08, 2017 at 07:23 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Too Many Keepers!


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
Buy more hard drives

seriously storage is cheap but it does have a cost . that cost at least doubles if you backup .(which you should)

also remember that all those 'near' keepers can actually get in the way of the real keepers .

if you don't have the heart and just can't hit the delete button (I know I can't) you can always convert all the near keepers to jpeg and delete the RAW . you will at least have the image .

for me I try to set up keeper collections in LR and have all my
...Show more

That is what I did. Storage is so cheap these days. I do cull and get rid of a lot of repeat shots but still lots of files. I have trouble getting rid of them.



Aug 08, 2017 at 08:50 PM
chez
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Too Many Keepers!


Zenon Char wrote:
That is what I did. Storage is so cheap these days. I do cull and get rid of a lot of repeat shots but still lots of files. I have trouble getting rid of them.


Even if storage is cheap, if you'll never use the image...what's the point of keeping it? Sounds like the digital version of herding.



Aug 09, 2017 at 12:56 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Too Many Keepers!


chez wrote:
Sounds like the digital version of herding.


Mmm, wildlife images. Brain. Witty response. Fail.




Aug 09, 2017 at 01:13 AM
chez
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Too Many Keepers!


Paul Mo wrote:
Mmm, wildlife images. Brain. Witty response. Fail.



You think so? Storage is cheap so rather than purge, just buy more storage...it's cheap. Like I said, if you can't identify how you will ever use the image...what's the use of storing it in that closet upstairs in that attic? Digital herding...yep.

Oh, by the way Paul, way to help out the OP with his question...maybe just stick to the thread huh.



Aug 09, 2017 at 01:34 AM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Too Many Keepers!


C'mon, chez. You know people are free to post what they like, even if it is just banter.


Aug 09, 2017 at 02:02 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Too Many Keepers!


Isn't it hoarding not herding


Aug 09, 2017 at 05:48 AM
StarNut
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Too Many Keepers!


Paul Mo wrote:
C'mon, chez. You know people are free to post what they like, even if it is just banter.


Which, of course, is why people are free to hide whoever they want....


Edited on Aug 09, 2017 at 01:52 PM · View previous versions



Aug 09, 2017 at 01:44 PM
 

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rstoddard11
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Too Many Keepers!


I tend to keep all my memory cards. Every few years or so I may go back through them from a particular trip and find one or two that didn't make my original "Top 50" captures from that trip etc.


Aug 09, 2017 at 01:46 PM
StarNut
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Too Many Keepers!


rstoddard11 wrote:
I tend to keep all my memory cards. Every few years or so I may go back through them from a particular trip and find one or two that didn't make my original "Top 50" captures from that trip etc.


Bingo! Every once in a while, I have cause to go back and look at the RAW files, and I sometimes find a photo I missed the first few times through.

I'm thinking that it would make sense just to archive the "keepers but not printers," since storage is so cheap.



Aug 09, 2017 at 01:54 PM
dmcphoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Too Many Keepers!


I've always gone by the premise that storage is cheap, or at least cheaper than the time to cull every image except the one that is absolutely the best in every way. Often one image is best from one standpoint (say, animal behavior) while another is best artistically, while another just shows some odd thing that you want to keep. Differentiating all of those "bests" from the second, third and fourth best takes a load of time, and time really does have value. On top of that I may not want to print any of them now, but I want the option of doing so later.

A year ago I put together a RAID 1 box with two 8TB drives. The two drives cost $570, which is less than nearly any lens, camera body, or photo trip. It will store more than 114,000 5DSR RAW files redundantly (once on each drive). The cost to store one image redundantly is half of a cent, or $0.005. If you have 20-something MP files you can store four redundantly for one cent.

Yes, that's not the entire story since you need to back up all of your storage and keep it offsite, but the point that storage is cheap remains. How much time would you spend on something for half of a penny?



Aug 09, 2017 at 05:48 PM
chez
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Too Many Keepers!


Unless you take the time upfront to label or keyword your images, once you achieve 100,000 images I venture to guess 99% of those images will never be looked at again.

My personal workflow is to cull and keyword my images as soon as possible in efforts to keep some order. Not doing so will result in endless waste of time when you want that image of the deer standing in the morning light and have no way of determining where it is within your 100,000 images.



Aug 09, 2017 at 07:42 PM
dmcphoto
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Too Many Keepers!


I have a simple folder system where images go into a folder based on the place and month/year they were captured. If I know that deer was photographed in Yellowstone in 2011 or 2012 I won't have trouble finding it. At least I never have. And I don't keep any LR or other image management databases, and I don't do keywording.

YMMV



Aug 09, 2017 at 08:17 PM
chez
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Too Many Keepers!


dmcphoto wrote:
I have a simple folder system where images go into a folder based on the place and month/year they were captured. If I know that deer was photographed in Yellowstone in 2011 or 2012 I won't have trouble finding it. At least I never have. And I don't keep any LR or other image management databases, and I don't do keywording.

YMMV


I guess whatever works for you is fine. I just can't see myself remembering where and when all those 100,000 plus images were taken.

I like the ability to call up all deer images from within those 100,000 and decide on which one(s) I need for the project. Takes a bit of upfront time to organize, but is very powerful when searching.



Aug 09, 2017 at 09:17 PM
butchM
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Too Many Keepers!


dmcphoto wrote:
I have a simple folder system where images go into a folder based on the place and month/year they were captured. If I know that deer was photographed in Yellowstone in 2011 or 2012 I won't have trouble finding it. At least I never have. And I don't keep any LR or other image management databases, and I don't do keywording.

YMMV


Yes, YMMV indeed. If you are seriously concerned about equating your time as something of value, then a bit of time building on your archive with some form of database can pay some very valuable dividends later on.

Sure, you may now recall rather easily that deer photo from 2011, though, will your powers of recall be as adept a decade from now when the years, the deer and the photos all meld together into a mountain of memories?

My archive is well over 400,000 images (and growing) ... that only covers the past 18 years of my 42 year career. If I didn't keyword, rate and label or otherwise prioritize my archive, I'm not sure any amount of folder based system would allow me to invest my time wisely when called upon to re-visit images taken in the past.

With a Lr database system I can filter my entire catalog down to a finite group of selects in seconds. I don't need to recall any data from personal memory. In fact, my staff need not know the first thing about the system other than to enter the keywords given and they can call up whatever they need for a client in very short order. And I assure you, their time is valuable to me since I am paying for it.

Any serious digital photographer, whether they be a pro, serious amateur or casual hobbyists can benefit greatly from a properly constructed and well maintained database driven archive. There is much, much more to consider than the insignificant cost per image to store those image file if you plan to future proof the effort.

To the OP: On your original question. Either invest the time to cull your images and be discriminatory in the process to reduce the size of your archive without sacrificing it's inherit value or be willing to invest the funds necessary to store and maintain the images. There really is no middle ground.



Aug 09, 2017 at 10:19 PM
rstoddard11
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Too Many Keepers!


I label my folders similar to "YOSEMITE 2017" etc, have my RAWs in there, cull the obvious bad ones in the camera before offloading onto the drive, then Lightroom exported folder and within that folder I have "Top" and "Resize for posting"

It has worked so far, but I imagine that over the years it may get a bit cluttered. I guess its similar to my dads old system of "having stacks of hundreds of slides on top of each other in boxes in the bookcase". I guess part of the fun is thumbing back through the oldies.



Aug 09, 2017 at 10:50 PM
dmcphoto
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Too Many Keepers!


rstoddard11 wrote:
I label my folders similar to "YOSEMITE 2017" etc, have my RAWs in there, cull the obvious bad ones in the camera before offloading onto the drive, then Lightroom exported folder and within that folder I have "Top" and "Resize for posting"

It has worked so far, but I imagine that over the years it may get a bit cluttered. I guess its similar to my dads old system of "having stacks of hundreds of slides on top of each other in boxes in the bookcase". I guess part of the fun is thumbing back through the oldies.


I do it a little differently. The parent folder for all of my RAW files is just named RAW. Subfolders do not contain anything except RAW files. Under that the next level folders are named [country][state]_[month][year]. You could have more granularity by adding a place within the state; [country][state][place]_[month][year]. I use abbreviations like USWY_102011 (US, Wyoming, October, 2011) or AUVI_052017 (Australia, Victoria, May, 2017). I download everything from the camera and do all of the culling on the computer. After that I rename the remaining files [country][state]_[month][year]_[sequential number]. That way if you have an image file like USWY_102011_0984 you know what folder it came from and where/when it was captured.

Any image file that ever gets processed (not necessarily printed) along with all of the resulting files (XMP, TIFFs, JPEGs) goes into an identical folder structure under a parent folder named "Processed". If there are, say, 10 RAW files of a certain thing that are the same or similar I do find the best of those before putting a copy under "Processed" so the best of the artistically best files end up there.

Other natural groupings, like client, job number, etc., could be used instead of country, state, etc.. I said YMMV in my previous post because this would obviously not work if anyone other than the person who shot the photos is looking at them or trying to find something. It would also not work if you were continually taking photos that do not fall into any natural grouping, or if you frequently have a need to find all photos of something like a deer or trees. It works for me because essentially all of my photos are taken during 3 or 4 trips per year and the ultimate use of the best ones is printing. I decide by looking at the capture whether it will get printed, posted, or whatever. I don't typically get requests from people for photos of a certain thing. When I have it's something like "herons" and I go through my processed files from somewhere like Florida with an image browser to find perhaps 4 of hundreds that I think are best.

Long ago I did the whole keywording thing using a very expensive (more than $1000 in the 1990s) image management program. This was in the days of film scans. All the program did was image management, it was pretty good, and I used it for years. Then digital cameras happened, and the program's maker did not update the software as fast as new cameras came around. I was often stuck with files that the program couldn't handle until perhaps 6 or 8 months after I started shooting with it. Eventually they went into other things, left the program languish and die. Countless hours building databases were down the drain. After that I started with another program that AFAIK is still around but simply didn't want to invest the enormous amount of time. The weeks, months, or years of cumulative time invested in building databases, not to mention the ability to find your images, rests with the fate of the program you're using. I decided to adopt a generic way of doing this that didn't require the investment of so much time culling, sorting, and keywording. I also wanted a system that would allow use of my files with only a RAID box plugged into any computer (Mac or PC) and essentially any image editor. All competent editors handle RAWs and layered TIFFs. I don't use LR or Bridge but I do use ACR and Photoshop. Any other RAW converter/image editor would work.

edit: I prefer BreezeBrowser as a very fast image browser. I use that along with Fast Raw Viewer to select the best image and optimal exposure (FRV uses the RAW file data for histograms, etc., not the embedded JPEG that all others use). BB can show 4 different images side by side, magnified as desired, for comparison. And it's incredibly fast. I'd probably like Photo Mechanic too, though I haven't had the need.

As always, YMMV.



Aug 10, 2017 at 11:36 AM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Too Many Keepers!


Storage is so unbelievably cheap that it simply doesn't matter IMHO. If you want to keep all your photos, go ahead.

$8/mo for unlimited storage on Blackblaze

Amazon prime is $99/yr and includes unlimited photo storage including RAW files

8TB hard drives are $150-180 or so

Photo websites like Smugmug allow unlimited storage for $4/mo but JPEG only.

Pick your method and go nuts

For me, really old photos I haven't looked at in years, I just keep the top 100 JPEGS or whatever from a trip I didn't really care about or something similar. For big trips or important events I just keep everything, the price of storage right now makes it a complete non-issue.



Aug 11, 2017 at 08:19 PM
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