The Keepers

The more you photograph, the better you become, right? 

And, yet, I notice that as I shoot more pictures, I classify fewer of them as being “good.”  My standards have gone up so high that I wonder if I’m not nit-picking the pictures.  I don’t want to show all of the “good” ones, because they’re never good enough.  The lighting wasn’t right, or the composition was off by a bit, or it’s a shot that’s too similar to a shot I’ve shown before but just a hair better.

I did a quick count with Lightroom the other day.  In the first 10,000 pictures I’ve taken with my Canon 60D, I’ve kept 8500.  Right there, I’m only eliminating 15% at first glance.  I would have guessed 25% – 30%. Why am I keeping the rest? 

Often, there are bursts of photos that all look similar, but I can’t get myself to commit to which one is the best one.  Maybe the pic where my daughter is looking away from the camera to the left will be better looking to me next year than the one where she’s looking off-camera up in the next?  Why delete it?  Is that change in direction a good enough reason to keep it?  If I deleted the one I like less now, will I ever remember that I had it, and thus miss it?  Probably not.

Yes, storage space is cheaper than ever, but it’s still more money to spend.  And it’s more disks to keep track of.  Why can’t I talk myself into killing more of these pictures for good?  Nothing will ever come of them.

Am I alone with this problem?

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