Keep or Delete?

sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
edited June 2014 in General Discussions
One the great advantages on Digital is " film" free
This means it is quite possible to shoot more pictures in a day than you might have shot in year
Hard drives are cheap
But do you keep everything you shoot?



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Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2014
    Answering my own question
    With unique events such as wedding yes I keep everything

    but yesterday I was shooting a bumble bee. I shot ~120 frames but deleted all of them, except the one I was happy with

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152073215840766&l=d8148d5a54
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    I have two "rules" for deleting photographs
    1. The ones that are technically flawed that can't be, or shouldn't be fixed in post
    2. Pictures that duplicate other pictures without adding anything unique technically or artistically.

    Other than that, I keep all the photographs I take, which compared to other photographers is not that much. I am not a "spray and pray" type of shooter. For me, a good day is going out for 3 hours and coming back with 20 pictures taken. :) I am a sloooow photographer. I used highspeed burst once on my camera -- I took two pictures quickly. LoL
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    +@ThomasHorton

    I used to keep everything.
    But last year I visited the archives from 2007 to present and deleted because Of the above.
    Same applies to recent D800 and DF Files.
    I am now just keeping the ones I'm happy with and would spend time editing now or in the future.
    I keep all of my kids excluding the above.
    For gigs I still apply the above and only try to keep the good ones that I will give to them.
  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 522Member
    I am going through 2-3 waves of deletion, first all technical flawed shots are deleted, second all pictures that don't tell me anything (no subject, background, story) are deleted, the lastly all sub-par lighted and composed pictures go out. I try to end up with 10-20% of the shots, but in many cases it is more. I often have pictures that pass all minimum criteria, but are still worse than the ones I pick, I am keeping those.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Answer: No I do not keep all my shots. I would say my keep rate is about 10-15% after all the images are examined and analyzed.

    I have a feeling at first most photographer new to the DSLR world will lean on keeping all their images, but after their skills improve and hone their skill during PP, they too will "tighten their belt."
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,209Member
    Sometimes I delete my photos, but for the most part I keep a large majority of them.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    edited June 2014

    I have a feeling at first most photographer new to the DSLR world will lean on keeping all their images, but after their skills improve and hone their skill during PP, they too will "tighten their belt."
    :(

    That's me. Spray, pray and horde. I must be an idiot as I shoot raw and jpg and have used the raw a handful of times. But I did delete a number of shots that were just snapshots and most of the raw files. In the dark ages of film, I've tossed negatives, why can't I do that with what just amounts to data.
    Post edited by michael66 on
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,307Member
    I'm getting much better at tossing them out. Sometimes I just get in that mood where I'm feeling really tired of just continuing to scroll through the "dreck", then I try to take advantage of that and give the delete button a workout.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,367Member
    I have kept a lot of what I've shot over the past few years. I do need to start tossing rejects though, because they are eating up HDD space (main and backups) needlessly.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I have every frame I have ever shot. When I fill up a HDD I buy a new one, and archive the old one on my closet shelf. Life is too short to spend time deleting. However, my spouse accuses me of being a hoarder and says when she dies the house will be stuffed full of crap in less than a year, so I may not be the best role model :))
  • HvalHval Posts: 110Member
    I have been deleting as I go along for the past couple of years. Having said that, I have countless years of digital mages to delete still, and about 100 years of paper and negatives to scan (thousands of photos).

    Cheers,

    Hval
    ____________________

    Owner of an extremely high quality Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,350Member
    Very similar to Tom and I quote: I have two "rules" for deleting photographs
    1. The ones that are technically flawed that can't be, or shouldn't be fixed in post
    2. Pictures that duplicate other pictures without adding anything unique technically or artistically.

    Over the past 2 years I delete lots more than I use to for the 2nd category. When I first went digital I kept way to many. My keeper rate is still too high but I am more active in using that "delete" button on both the camera and keyboard.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited June 2014
    The only RAW files I keep are those supporting the finished image of which nearly all are posted on Flickr. SO, about 3500 most from the D4 which has about 34,000, nearly new. This comes out to an overall keeper rate of less than 10%. The rest are gone for ever.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • HvalHval Posts: 110Member
    edited June 2014
    Msmoto,

    Out of the over 100 attempts at photographing swallows I am keeping about five. None are any good, but I shall be using them on here to ask for help.

    My wife was wetting herself with laughter as she watched me attempt to photographs swallows which were at one moment less than one metre away from me at nearly ground level and then at 20 metres or more away at a height of 15 metres.

    I was cursing saying "Damned birds", being eaten by midges, and swirling around like a somewhat large dervish waving my camera all over the place.

    Edit to correct a word
    Post edited by Hval on

    Cheers,

    Hval
    ____________________

    Owner of an extremely high quality Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth
  • FritzFritz Posts: 140Member
    Since I don't do a lot of post processing I tend to initially keep about 10% after selecting out the junk. If I'm working an event I'll probably shoot about 500 RAW, if I'm shooting a car maybe 50 and I'll keep about 30. If I have the time I'll wait a couple of weeks before I start to edit- its amazing how coming back to an image after some time changes my perception, Once a year I'll clean up the trash in Aperture 3 and I'll keep a number of images that I may have misjudged. I lost all of my 35mm slides to a house fire a number of years ago and almost all of my digital archive to a lightning strike 3 years ago. I now unplug my Mac and my hard drives and my Ham radios when not in use. A hard lesson to learn.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,430Moderator
    Lot of people taking my name in vain here... :P

    FWIW I have two standards: For my hobby shots I keep all but the rejects for about 6 months then go through and remove all but the best, for client shoots I still reject and delete all technically flawed shots but keep down to and including 'blink shots' archived.
    Always learning.
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    Lot of people taking my name in vain here... :P
    Just for the record, there is a difference between Spray and Pray and Spraynpray.

    One is a technique I don't like.
    The other is a poster I do like.

    :D
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    This week, I logged 7k images so far, and will do about that many by next week. I have binders of negatives, proof sheets, and slides that likely as not run into hundreds of thousands of images.

    I suppose I'm a hoarder. I've talked to several agencies about stock, but I've never felt very comfortable about it; they were always happy to take the work at a high commission after I organized it - which I would likely still be doing. Perhaps I should have done it- some of my images are selling now without my permission.

    The question is how much time it would take to catalog the content I have, when I'm still producing as much volume as I am (although I am better at cataloging the content now - much better with digital imaging).

    Adding to that what would it really be worth to pursue my rights to all my content? (Keeping in mind that I'm only concerned about my 'not for hire' shots - a minor portion of my body of work.

    But to the OP's question. I keep it all, but for the truly out-of-focus misfires.

    My best,

    Mike
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I am going through 2-3 waves of deletion, first all technical flawed shots are deleted, second all pictures that don't tell me anything (no subject, background, story) are deleted, the lastly all sub-par lighted and composed pictures go out. I try to end up with 10-20% of the shots, but in many cases it is more. I often have pictures that pass all minimum criteria, but are still worse than the ones I pick, I am keeping those.
    My workflow and dumping of images is almost the same as @Benji2005. I try to go back at the end of every month and clean out even more images that I will never use for anything. If you have too much garbage to sort through, you will never see the good images. For "work" images, I keep all delivered photos of course, and maybe a few others that may have potential but either time constraints or there were "better ones" but nothing else. I will usually keep set-up shots or shots that show the environment for future reference.

    I never shoot Raw+Jpeg - only Raw or Jpeg. I have never seen the need for duplicates. The way lightroom and other programs work, I never see the advantage. Some do, so it's there - it just ads another step or more in a workflow that I don't find useful.

    I just look at everything as why keep something you will never use.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,430Moderator
    I am going through 2-3 waves of deletion, first all technical flawed shots are deleted, second all pictures that don't tell me anything (no subject, background, story) are deleted, the lastly all sub-par lighted and composed pictures go out. I try to end up with 10-20% of the shots, but in many cases it is more. I often have pictures that pass all minimum criteria, but are still worse than the ones I pick, I am keeping those.
    I just look at everything as why keep something you will never use.
    That last statement is in the front of my mind too.
    Always learning.
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    keep, I delete picture rarely.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 973Member
    edited June 2014
    I have only been into photography for a few years. I have shot around 200,000 images and I have around 1000 in my Lightroom library. So, a typical half day of shooting birds I take 400-1000 images and keep 2-5 (if I work hard I can do all of the editing during the other half of the day). My criteria for keeping an image is that it brings something new (like a new species or a new behaviour) and/or is better than what I have.

    I agree with TaoTeJared that there is no reason to keep something you will never use. Also, if I search for "Common Rosefinch", I want my best photographs of that bird; I don't want 500 mostly crappy images that I have to go through once again.
    Post edited by snakebunk on
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    Different strokes... And as always, it depends.

    The eye of the beholder usually makes the decision as to what makes the photo pleasing, and in the case of sales, what is sales worthy. Art directors and compositors can and will take pieces of images and do something with them.

    Some of the images from contact sheets that weren't on my print list were the ones that were used as often as the 'money shots' that never saw publication.

    If one is in photography as a profession, keep it all. You'll never know what might be useful.

    My best,

    Mike
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2014
    Thanks for all your interesting replies

    This is the one that intrigues me
    Life is too short to spend time deleting.
    On my first day at work, I was taught " if you cant find it, it is not worth having"
    My view - life is too short, to spent hours, organizing, cataloging, rating, meta tagging and backing up, stuff you are never going to use. So if it rubbish, it goes in the trash can .

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • FritzFritz Posts: 140Member
    I don't think I've ever been entirely happy with any image I've taken. I can always find something I might have done differently in terms of exposure or composition and frankly, after I shoot something I lose interest in the image. So in any given year I might save 10 images. After I lost my digital archive I realized it didn't really bother me other than the loss of family candids. So now I get to re-shoot a whole lot that maybe might be "perfect". As far as the events and car shoots I do commercially, I keep the deliverable images for the season and delete after the first of the year.
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