Photographers Should Delete Files More Often

Fire ravaged landscape, Wilsons Promontory National Park, Australia

I like deleting files. As well as clearing the decks and making room on my computer’s hard drive the exercise helps me reorganize assets in a way that makes more sense. File organization is, after all, an organic process and, over time, we all likely find new ways to organize our files so that they can be more easily accessed.

Surround Yourself With Your Best Images

When it comes to digital images the act of deleting files is particularly important. Adobe Lightroom is the platform from which my image organization and basic processing is conducted.

One thing I've found, over the years, is that your photography will improve more quickly when you surround yourself with what you do well.

Unless you have a strong emotional attachment to a technically poor particular image that’s not up to scratch and you don’t believe you’ll be able to improve it with new skills and/or technology down the road aways, it might be best to delete it.

How To Make Better Photos

If you surround yourself with your best images you'll begin to absorb the way you approached the making of those images, both technically and compositionally, into your current workflow when making new pictures.

This approach should deliver more interesting images, more often. Without wanting to labor the point may I suggest that the best way to make boring images, more often, is to surround yourself with similarly boring images.

The Solution

My advice is to get those boring and technically poor images out of Lightroom, by which I mean delete them.

At the very least, use a star rating system (e.g., 1 or 2 star) to signify that these images have been marked for, though not yet sent to, the Trash can.

You can then instruct Lightroom to display only the images you've rated as 3 stars and above. The other images haven't gone, they're just hidden from view. And, of course, you can re-rate any of these images at any time.

Rainy Days and Sundays

I try to reorganize large amounts of folders and files on my computer several times a year and I use Lightroom to reorganize my photos.

It's amazing what I find in the process. The above photo was made, some time ago, on the slopes of Mount Oberon, in Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria, Australia.

Not long before a fire had run its way through the park with devastating effect to both landscape and the native wildlife.

I was still a film-based photographer back then, but was loaned a Canon 20D for the trip. Yep! it's that long ago. Not all that long after I purchased my first digital camera, a Canon 5D.

While I have very found memories of film, darkrooms and analogue cameras I much prefer working with digital images. And managing digital files on the computer is so much easier than the 30 or more 3-ring binders I have full of negatives and slides.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru