Culling Years of Photos

posted in: Blog, Musings, Photography | 6

A few weeks ago our computer warned, “Your space is very low, you only have 10MB left”. Considering our hard drive has the capacity for 500GB something was swallowing up space. Turning to my resident computer expert, he (PC) informed me it was time to cull my photos.

I hadn’t culled photos in any consistency at all, well make that never, since the advent of our first digital camera in 2006.  That made for alot of work over the past few weeks, I have literally spent hours and hours, clicking through and deciding what to keep and what not too.  I have deleted thousands of photos.

What have I learnt as I have scrolled through thousands of photos, deciding what to keep and what not?

Where I Began
  • Back in 2006 I was a completely terrible photographer, whilst the digital allowed me to progress to keeping heads were on, I was lucky to find photos that weren’t blurry and weren’t too dark. 
  • My photographs improved noticeably in 2011 when we purchased a new (and my current) camera.
Blogging & Practice
  • I am so glad I began blogging, I really didn’t take many photos prior to blogging and therefore would’t have captured many of the memories I did without my blogging incentive. 
  • My photography skills show definite improvement once I began taking more photos. ‘Practice, practice, practice’ is indeed true.
Children & Photography
  • Our children watched intermittently as I deleted and they cried out “You’re deleting our memories!” “Child, it’s totally blurry and dark”.  “Our memories” they’re photo hoarders!
  • Our children like to take photos of birds, I found plenty of  blurry ones, and their Lego, K’nex and block creations, of which I was only allowed to delete a few, please let me cull 20 down to 2. 
  • I found many food photos from our special Celebrations throughout the year. St Barbara’s chocolate tower, our giant Easter egg making, there was a  big chocolate theme running through the years. Also found many photos of  our pavlova making, every year there were more, what’s with that? I deleted them all, bake another if you want to enjoy a pav.  
Memories
  • Photos do capture memories, they remind us of moments, emotions, our ‘family history and culture’ and I regret that I didn’t pick up the camera more often. I should have taken many, many more than I did.
  • I’ve taken many indoor photos of the children playing the computers, reading, playing cards but I need to get outdoors more often and take plenty of active ones.
  • My weight around the middle isn’t a new problem, I deleted the truly unflattering though I’m aware that doesn’t really fix the issue;)
  • Since we began building I’ve taken many photos of us building and I found it hard to choose which ones to delete from the hundreds, I could probably still delete more.
  • Clicking through building photos I realised anew our children have contributed enormously to building our home, they’re hard workers. Proud of them. 
A New Awareness
  • Angling the camera, filling the frame are fantastic ideas, a pity I didn’t know these tips in the earlier years, I see so much clutter in the background, highlights what a terrible housekeeper I was when we only had littles. 
  • The internal of a half built house doesn’t always make for a pretty backdrop in photos, you can only angle the camera sometimes.
Photography Course
  • Since I began my photography course in September 2014, my photography skills have improved dramatically and I can see further growth as I’ve progressed through the lessons. 
  • My indoor photography is one area that has definitely benefited from undertaking the course, I still have a way to improve but tips such as; have the light behind you, don’t aim your camera towards the window, increase your iso, change your white balance definitely make a difference. I wouldn’t have even known what the later two were prior to.
  • Undertaking the course helped me analyse and more more aware of  ‘the good, the bad and the ugly.’ Using this knowledge I was able to let go of photo hoarding and delete the blurry, the too dark, the nah, nothing boring photos. 
Photo Storage & Display
  • Back up your photos! Somehow along the way through various desktops and laptops we’ve lost the first couple of years of one of our children’s life:(  Later on another whole year is missing from our annals too. 
  • It is such a wonderful feeling to know our ‘photo albums’ are tidied, though I could probably cull a few more in a couple of areas I’ve achieved a massive goal!
  • I’m now planning on creating and printing photo books. Admittedly I’m a bit nervous. Any recommendations, tips? 
Resolutions
  • Take photos, lots and lots, practice, practice, practice. 
  • Capture those memories!!
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6 Responses

  1. I too thank blogging for my fat photo drive on my computer.. because I sucked at taking photos before I began a blog and whilst my photos arent all that crash hot, at least I have them to capture the memories and with the added bonus of roasting the children at their 21sts haha xx

    • Yes thank goodness for blogging! Ah all the photos that we say, "This will be good for your 21st!"

  2. Cleaning out the photos is on my list to do. So easy to take many photos in this digital age isn't it .

    • Encouraging you, break up the job into years-months, makes it doable. Now it's all done, I hereby resolve to cull as I upload.

  3. I just realised that I had 20,000 to go through and sort out. I also need to make some photo books for the last few years I'm a couple of years out of date – lots on the to do list! I'm sure it was nice though for you to have a trip through memory lane.

    • Vicki
      Isn't it daunting!! PC tells me I sorted through 27000 and deleted 7000, sure felt like more! Cheering you on though, such a relief when done. Who did you use for photo books? Are you in Australia? Love to know your recommendations and your advise.

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