To Delete or Not Delete

Gary Kessler

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Hi. I am struggling with sorting through my photos in LR. Specifically, I am looking for advice on when to delete a photo. I know I should delete blurry or otherwise "bad" photos, but what about photos that are in a sequence, or the same of similar to others? For example, if you take several portraits of a pose and decide which is "best." Do you delete the others if they are not obvious deletion candidates (blurry, etc.)? Or if you are shooting a sporting event and have a dozen or dozens of photos of essentially the same thing (i.e. a tennis player's forehand ground stroke). After choosing the best one or best few, do you keep the rest of them or delete them? FYI,my question is about time management and efficiency (keeping my sanity ;)) and not storage space limits.

Thanks!
 
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Welcome to the forum.
In LR, you can reject a photo (X) with out deleting. Then you can filter your view to not see the rejected photos. This narrows down the visual information that you need to digest at anyone time. What to keep and what to toss is an ongoing dilemma. Ultimately, it is what is important to you.

I toss images at three different points in my workflow.
  1. On Import. As soon as the first images appear, I begin selecting and rejecting this OOF and otherwise missed shots. Later, I will delete these rejected images.
  2. During post processing develop, I find more images that simply did not process well. These I reject. Sometimes I have 3-10 images of the same subject. I try to narrow this down to One image per subject/view. and then i mark the remainder for deletion.
  3. To save space on my primary disk drive, I move images (using LR) to an EHD after post processing is complete and I won't be likely accessing the image except for prints or publishing. I review these and usually find images that I loved 3 months ago aren't so important to me now. These I delete before I move the images.
 

Ad Astra

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Hi. I am struggling with sorting through my photos in LR. Specifically, I am looking for advice on when to delete a photo. I know I should delete blurry or otherwise "bad" photos, but what about photos that are in a sequence, or the same of similar to others?
Thanks!

Hi

I am in the do not delete camp. My philosophy is that I do not have much time to do photography so do not want to spend time agonising if I should delete a photo or not. I do delete obvious errors like a totally black photo of a lens cap, but the rest I keep. Maybe one day I would want an out of focus photo to use in a presentation for demonstrating something. Storage is cheap, time is in short supply so hence I keep everything and use the colour labels and star ratings to manage my work flow.
 
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FYI,my question is about time management and efficiency (keeping my sanity ;)) and not storage space limits.

I share your pain, especially as the FPS on some cameras is approaching 10+. I delete what are obviously clunkers that I will never use, but I keep the series and choose later when I actually need to print or use the image. Storage is indeed cheap. Having said that, culling is an art, and a good skill to refine whenever possible.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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Ian.B

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I don't believe in keeping much more the better files. If you are flicking back and forth between 3-5 files trying to decide which is best or better than they are all likely to be OK or very similar so hit the ~ key to add a flag to one or two and X the rest . Or move the rejects to another "just in case" folder; but I bet you never need them
Don't get bogged down deciding if it's a 2 or 3 star image ; it's in or out. Do you REALLY want 2nd or 3rd grade photos. Yep; storage is cheap but why bang up the system up with 3rd or 4th grade photos
Another tip I read about and I use myself>>it's easier to delete files later than right now. Go through your photos at say the end of the month and you will find files that no long make the grade or means as much to you. So get rid of them. Do it again in 12 months .

I delete a lot but I still have 100s or 1000s of just in case files that will never see the light of the monitor screen again. I'm always looking for better photos than I have already have taken; old stuff is just that ; "old stuff" .

IMO ; we only need the best of the best so bugga the rest

Another tip: don't take sooooo many photos in the 1st place ; we all need the few just in case files and the more the subject moves the more just in case files we need for insurance . I very seldom have rapid fire set and rely on mostly one click at a time; even with birds! There is nothing worse than importing 10-30-50 files of the one thing. To me it just more time wasted sorting the damn things out.
 

Gary Kessler

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Thanks to everyone for the ideas. I am going to try using reject (X), and then deleting these photos from LR (not the disk). This way I can always use the Synchronize Folder option if I ever want to look for another photo from a series, day, etc.
 
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Thanks to everyone for the ideas. I am going to try using reject (X), and then deleting these photos from LR (not the disk). This way I can always use the Synchronize Folder option if I ever want to look for another photo from a series, day, etc.
If you decide later that these photos that are no longer in LR should be deleted, the Synchronize Folder option will identify them. They can be imported into LR again just to delete from the disk.
 

Gnits

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The Synch Folder option is great when I know that there are one or a few images in a folder that I want to import to lightroom (eg a few different psd versions of images), but I would hate every time I do a synch to have to recognise/decide what images are really unwanted and which ones I want to import.
 

tspear

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I have a multi stage process:
1. Cull in the camera some shots I do not like (e.g. people not smiling)
2. Cull at import, ones I missed in the camera
3. Cull bad shots, bad exposures which are unrecoverable, out of focus, ones I know my wife will not like
4. Ignore rest until disk space is a problem
5. Get angry that I am short of disk space AGAIN
6. I try and bargain with my wife to spend more money on computer equipment
7. I get depressed about going through the images and try to find ones to delete. Often laughing at how bad my photography skills are. This just makes me more depressed.
8. Come to acceptance and Go through completed images, turn on autostack based on capture time. Any stack with no stars, I delete all but one chosen randomly. Others with a star in the sequence, I generally keep the first, last and any marked as potential (one star or more).

Tim
 
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umm; sounds messy ;)
Yes. it is messy if you remove images from LR and then leave them hiding in the folders managed by LR. Reimporting to delete them is the quickest way to isolate these images to delete properly. The then show up in the "Previous Import" Special collection where they can be deleted properly.
 
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