Click. Shift. Drag. Trash.
Judgement day starts today. I will be letting go probably around 60% of my stored shots since 2008. Click. Shift. Drag. Trash. No remorse. Adios. I have been contemplating about this since start of this year. And now here I am moving on. Half of what will be left will mostly be family pictures and the ones that I consider worth keeping. It is a necessary painful process.
Why the need to throw away shots? Answer: Disk space. I need to clear some space. I am not going to buy another external hard drive and just let the shots sit in there for nobody knows when. This is where most newbie enthusiast are guilty of. We shoot. A lot. We shoot like crazy using up all the memory card. And we store everything like we are the next best stock images company. Not that it is a wrong thing. Actually it is needed. We are in the process of learning. We are discovering new techniques and analyzing even the simplest of shots. Then after that, we sit. Down. We say our shots are not good enough. We go to work. The following week we spend some time playing basketball or just some night out with friends. Another week comes and so on and so forth.
Of course, there are a few who are elated with their shots and post them instantaneously on social media sites. Flickr first. Check. Facebook. Check. Finally, announce it on Twitter. Bravo. You are a dynamo.
I was at the middle. Some days dynamic. Most of the time procrastinating. Until the time that my external hard drive was barely breathing with around 30+ Gb left. But still no action. I was saving files on the desktop. Well, probably you know what happened next. So, I need to clear a lot of disk space.
Who to bear in mind in situations like these? Answer: Ansel Adams. He needs no introduction. Anyone who holds a camera in his hand knows him. And we also know that he talked about having 12 keepers for a year. Twelve. That's the discipline.
It is not a rule. To cut myself some slack, in a folder of 496 shots I would probably save 1/3 of it. Then develop more editing mojo and see which is which that is worth presenting. And probably will round it up to maybe less than 50 shots. Someday I will have a portfolio and be able to select one best shot in all those 50 shots. I know it is a long way ahead. But with this in mind. It gives the focus needed to take and keep the shots that are really worth it.
What if you threw one that is worth keeping? Answer: Nothing is an accident. This is my lesson in elimination. I may not be adept in editing at this point but every decision, as brief as yes or no it may be, is a well thought out decision. For sure I will be making mistakes. Lord forbid that I will be making a lot. After all the walls in our house could only hold 50 frames max. If and when I have thrown an exceptional shot, then what is done is done. No point in crying over spilled milk. It was destined to be deleted.
So there it is. A lot of shots will be gone. Forever (maybe not, with file recovery and all). In all of this I can not help but wonder and compare yesterday with what we are experiencing today. During film days, you are only limited to 36 (at most) quality shots. Of course in some events working photographers carry lots of these roll films. Say 10. Today, an 8Gb SD card produces 484 RAW or 381 RAW + JPG L (superfine) or 1802 JPG L (superfine). Process that! Do we really need that number of images? The RAW + JPG option is a more reasonable number with 10 roll films. But 1802 is superfluous.
Looks like I have said a lot. I know there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. But I have to attend to the task at hand now. Time to unload. Time to… Click. Shift. Drag. Trash.