The Agony of Delete

A Unique View of East Central University Football Practice
A unique view of East Central University football practice; deleted from the gallery

One thing I stress to my photo students is the value of editing. Specifically, I tell them that no one wants to see 1200 photos of anything, and that no matter who shot those 1200 photos, only a tiny fraction of them are any good. (I cite 1200 based on a gallery of someone I knew years ago who simply uploaded the entire contents of his camera to his gallery after his vacations.) Editing is more critical than ever in the information age, since viewers of the internet look at hundreds or even thousands of images a day, and very few of them have any real value.

Of course, I make myself edit, too, and it’s never easy. As I write this, I am in the process of creating a web page of my photojournalism from 2009. I am building two pages, one of sports, and one of news. Since I shoot a lot more sports, I have more images for that page. News rounded out at about 40 images, and I felt it would be smart to make my sports page have the same number of images. I had to delete a lot of images I thought were pretty cool. But in the end, I don’t imagine page viewers are going to want to see hundreds of images.

It’s not easy, but editing is an essential tool in the box of great photographers.

Miss Oklahoma 2009/Miss Ada 2006 Taylor Treat; Deleted from the Gallery
Miss Oklahoma 2009/Miss Ada 2006 Taylor Treat; deleted from the gallery
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1 Comment

  1. Isn’t that the truth! (And I’m certainly guilty of keeping and displaying too many images…)

    Into the mind of Wil:
    When I get home from vacation/event/game, I immediately delete…
    1) all the images that are blurred, out of focus, too dark, too light
    2) the “duplicates” (Do I have 20 of the same relative/player/statue? Get rid of 18 of them)
    3) any photos where someone is blinking, grimacing, looking stupid (unless it’s really funny to me)

    And so on. Most people would make me happy just by doing the above *first*.

    For people like you and I, who shoot far too much, have to take further steps to cull out the extra images, and that’s where I’ve failed. 🙂

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