Editing some old images – what to keep, what to toss

A young male brown bear walks up a salmon stream fishing for Sockeye salmon in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A young male brown bear walks up a salmon stream fishing for Sockeye salmon in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

So far this winter, I’ve spent a good bit of time editing old images from my hard drives. Mostly, cleaning up the hard drives and deleting images I don’t wish to keep. I’m trying to be a little┬álot more ruthless in my editing lately, and really have been cleaning up the storage space. I cleaned out over 50GB of space last week, and I’m still only a fraction of the way into that 1TB drive. I’ll probably cut it in half by the time I’m through.

It’s difficult to know exactly what to keep and what to drop some times.

Here’s a brown bear image I recently had a sale inquiry about, of a brown bear from Katmai National Park and Preserve. A beautiful bear, don’t you agree?

So when this bear came walking up the river towards our group, I shot a number of images. 22, in fact. Mostly, poorly frame photos where a branch disturbs the background, or the bears ears are back or he’s looking out of the frame or some such things that distract from the image. Maybe 3 or 4 are keepers from the sequence. I’ve processed and uploaded 2 to the website; here’s the other photo I uploaded to the site. The rest of the sequence really aren’t images I’m likely to sell.

So I got an inquiry about the image, and negotiated the sale, and then the creative director asked if I had another image with some more water around the bear; they wanted some more space and a little wider image. Her clients liked this particular image, and the intent and focus of the bear, but they needed something with a little more room around the bear.

Browsing through the rest of the images, I saw I’d kept a number that really weren’t “keepers” at all, but, in my present mode of ‘clearcutting’, they were definitely soon to be gone. I sent the director a screenshot of all the thumbnails from the gallery, and she asked if I could include a few of those trashcan-destined images so her editor could grab some of the water from the photo and use it to add to this one.

Sure enough, I included 3 more images in the upload for her, and they were able to make the image appear how they wanted it to for their purposes.

So the question remains; what to cut and what to keep. I guess storage is cheaper and cheaper, so maybe I shouldn’t cut anything at all. But that simply seems, to me, to be a crappy answer.

What do you folks think?



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2 thoughts on “Editing some old images – what to keep, what to toss

  1. Mark

    One thing I think about is this new camera shake thingy in PS CC. I wonder how many images I have already culled because of some camera shake, but otherwise OK, that could have been salvaged by technology?

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