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Keep or Delete?
If one of my photos triggers a memory I keep it, good or bad.
(No one else will ever see it if it's bad).
Otherwise, I have a similar process to what others have said (technical quality, duplication, no subject, etc.)
A few years back I bought some new hard drives and stopped deleting all together. Now those drives have about 10 GB of space on them and the Great Purge is coming.
It will take me a lot of time, but sometimes it's easier to sort images long after their taken, as any emotional attachment will be clearly evident, and whatever conceptual ideas I had at the time are lonnnng gone.
D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...
... And no time to use them.
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I was in Sicily once, on vacation (I highly recommend it btw, beautiful island), and I noticed in the hotel I was staying at that there was a particularly beautiful sunrise between two mountains every morning, so, I decided to go and see if I could get a good shot. I went there every day for about four days, and would shoot for about 30-40 mins. I got about 100 shots a day, because I obviously wasn’t sure when the best point in time would be, so I had to maximize.
A few days later, I was on a fishing boat with just my camera (and some food and water, obviously), when I saw a large cliff, which the water would hit with great fierceness, creating truly enormous crests. I have a friend back home who really enjoys waves and the sea, so I decided to bring him a small memory of my visit that I was sure to enjoy. The problem was, shooting from a swaying fishing boat is not easy, so, I had to, once again, take a great deal of shots in a very short amount of time.
The point I’m getting at is this – my image library is too large for me to save everything I shoot, so, I really do need to get rid of a lot of my images. The issue that arises is how.
If you would like a suggestion, I recently found a program called FastRawViewer - since I photograph almost entirely in RAW, I need a program that can quickly and easily open RAW files, and FastStone just doesn't cut it.
FRV lets me open images at a tremendous speed - it takes me (on my travel notebook) less than half a second to open a single RAW file taken with D800, and smaller RAW files open at a speed of hundredths of seconds, PLUS, the program lets me view the RAW histogram and has a focus peaking feature, which lets me see much better if the image is good or not - if it's actually savable, or if it's destined for the trash bin.
Where I'm going with this is, if you have a massive pile of images that you don't want to slog through or that you don't know which are good or bad or which you have an emotional attachment to, you can use this program to quickly and easily view your entire RAW library in a single sitting, and get an understanding of which images you like and which you don't, sort them, and get rid of those you definitely don't want to keep.
FRV is currently in Beta mode, and thus free, and I would highly suggest checking it out – it completely changed my workflow, and now, I can take much more risks when shooting, because I know that I can just immediately take a look at the image, and get rid of it if I don't like it.
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