To keep or to delete?

My husband reminded me recently he has not seen too many images from Old Threshers Reunion, so I went back and took a second look at them. I was working on another one, when its neighbor drew my attention and I decided to go with it. It has simple composition, two similar round elements, one in focus, one slightly behind and a bit out of focus. Some doding and burning, and I was done.

Going through the catalog to get to those images, I was surprised to see many good images not shown on blog yet. I got busy towards the end of the summer, and new images from another adventure were added on top of each other, never really edited. I started to feel a bit like hoarder ;). There is 10609 photos in my Lightroom catalog today. And I just started this catalog in January, when it got close to impossible to use the previous one, with over 50000 images. That’s about right, 12000 images a year (November only started ;). It doesn’t also mean I shoot this much, it only means this is how much gets archived. However, my philosophy is to delete minimally. I delete only photographs with obvious flaws, unsharp mostly, badly over or underexposed. Everything else stays, hoping it will be needed some day for something. Most often, I am never coming back to old images.

It was interesting to think about my deleting habits in the context of those two articles I read in just few days span. The first one, by Brooks Jensen (editor of my favorite photography magazine LensWork) seems to be sharing my workflow with deleting only images beyond “repair”. On the other hand, there is philosophy presented by Russell Masters in the post on Digital Photography School blog, suggesting ruthless editing down the imported files– if it is not perfect, then it is gone…

How about you? To which way of doing things you subscribe? Do you think there is another way, somewhere in between those two?

Click on the poll or leave the comment to tell us more!