Hello, Cloud. And Why I Cull My Photos.

"Saying Hi" Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/6.4, 1/950 sec, ISO400
“Saying Hi” Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは!Hello, how’s it going?

Well, I didn’t expect to take another cloud photo for today’s snapshot, but as I was doing the dishes this evening, this beautiful cumulus specimen appeared over the trees to say hello. I couldn’t pass up the chance, so I shut off the water, grabbed my camera which was in the other room, then came back to the kitchen to take four photos of the cloud. I liked this one the best, and deleted the other three.

I am a big proponent of only keeping the best version of a series of photos if possible. In this case, the other three were simply different views of the same scene, some farther away from the window, and some closer. The photo above was the image that I felt was framed the best by the window, so it became the “keeper” and the other three got the “X” (marked for deletion).

I’ve heard people say that you should never delete any of your photos. Storage is cheap, after all. It doesn’t cost anything extra to keep every single photo you take, right? While this may be true, I personally found that I was paying the price in speed. The large amount of images was bloating my Lightroom catalog and slowing things down.

Conversely, by only keeping one photo from a series of images, my Lightroom catalog is lighter and more responsive. Plus there’s less visual clutter when I scroll through the catalog, or when I browse my images online at photos.google.com. I can scan quickly. I don’t have to wade though a bunch of mediocre versions of the same subject (and believe me when I say that I capture a TON of mediocre images!).

For me, it’s important to cull the photos soon after Iimport them into Lightroom or copy them to my computer. (I even try to delete photos before that in-camera) The quicker I get rid of those photos, the less time they have to make an imprint in my mind. I believe everything takes a portion of the brain’s attention, even a tiny bit of my subconscious. So, once the photos cease to exist, it frees that part of my brain’s hard drive, as well as my computer’s hard drive. At least that is what I believe. 😌

When I first began culling my photos, it wasn’t easy to delete photos. Yes, I was a digital hoarder at the time! But one thing that helped me was to imagine that my Lightroom catalog was a slideshow that I would be presenting to an audience. Would I want to show them 4 pictures of the same cloud? No way. They would get bored (and annoyed) quickly. I would pick the best photo to show them, and respect their time and attention. So why wouldn’t I treat myself with the same respect?

Once I got comfortable with culling quickly, it became easy, and it actually became fun! Making decisions and not looking back or regretting my actions gave me a sense of control. It won’t change the world, but it did affect the way I felt. Plus, once you start decluttering, it just snowballs and it feels great!

Okay, I seem to have rambled on a bit (again). So, back to the photo at hand…

For the Lightroom edit, it was similar to my previous post’s photo, with the addition of selective white balance. I gave the cloud a warmer tone, and the sky a cooler tone. That’s it! I’d estimate that I spent about 4 minutes in Lightroom before exporting.

I hope you had a nice day today. Let’s have a great Friday to close out the work week!

As always, if you have a comment or question, let me know.

おやすみなさい! – B Barron Fujimoto

One thought on “Hello, Cloud. And Why I Cull My Photos.

  1. Nice capture. Like how you framed it, and that it adds to place and time of what you were doing. With knowing that you were doing to the dishes, the whole picture makes me wonder and feel that you where dreaming you were doing something else

    I to try to delete a lot of the pictures that didn’t make the “cut”. I don’t know why I should have 10 pictures of the same thing or person with just small variations, as you say it just clutters up disk space and minde. But if I want to have them, Instead of deleting I just remove them from the LR collection.

    Hope you will have an awesome day!

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