Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Downsizing - The Downside of Digital

Last evening and for all of this morning so far, I have been moving digital photos into the trash. The score for this morning is almost 400 photos gone forever. ( I am emptying the trash bin regularly, lest I regret and retrieve.) This is my New Year's Resolution for 2012: I resolve to stop keeping every last raw image that I have. It may take me all year to implement this seemingly simple decision.

Unless you are far more organized than I, you probably take a batch of photos, look through them, pick a few to use right away and leave the rest to be disposed of later. Alas that, for me, 'later' seldom if ever arrives. Even worse, I frequently sort through a 'raw' batch of photos, pick some out to edit, copy them and put them in another folder. Now I have two raw images and the edits (often several) of the same thing. Since I save all my photos in large format, I will shrink them to email them or post them and then I have raw images, edits and small versions, all of the same thing. I didn't realize just how messy this was until I started to use Picassa 3 and it sorted faces. Some shots of my daughters and granddaughter appear up to six times in the People Gallery. Oy.

This is not a new messy habit. I have boxes and albums of film and slides from the Time Before Digital and even more boxes of prints, mine, my mother's and my grandmother's. All stored away for a rainy day.  In duplicate and triplicate and worse. From the time I started to use digital cameras, I stored all the images on disks and have a very large album of these with cryptic comments on them. Dating them would have been just too easy.

I am going to sort all of this out this year.

With tears and sobs she sorted out those of the largest size,
Holding her pocket handkerchief before her streaming eyes.

And gaining a great deal of space on her hard drive in the process. Not to mention a glow of virtue and the ability to find a photo that she wants inside three hours.

Wish me luck.


  1. Good for you! This has been on my to do list for years, too.

  2. a painful worthwhile endeavor. Mr. J has been threatening me as well--I think I'll join you in the clean-up

  3. My laptop has run out of hard drive space in recent months, and I have had to clean house. The real culprits are the short movies I have made of my children, which I can't bear to delete. However, I also have thousands of photos taking up space, probably a good quarter of which are taking up space needlessly. Every time I need to, for example, work on a large file for work or install a software update, I have been spending an hour or so going through my photo library and deleting. I have done this many, many evenings. It's actually fairly satisfying to see the available space reappear on my hard drive...

    I have also tried to get in the habit of deleting some photos after I download them onto my laptop. I aim to delete about a quarter of each batch as I first sort through them. It helps somewhat. But I take a LOT of photos...

  4. Mea Culpa. And I also have many old slides to sort.

  5. I need to do this on my PHONE. (How pathetic am I?)

    How did you ever get back into Blogger's good graces? I've been awaiting a followup.