I have the too many pictures blues

Found a great new photo site, blue pixel, which I'm adding to my sidebar. This advice from the May 14 post, Sketching, really struck me. The title of the post refers to the fact that painters often go out and make sketches to work through an idea:

And more often than not those sketches get thrown away. That's an important lesson to learn as a photographer. You don't have to make a great picture every time you go out with your camera. But you certainly won't make any great pictures unless you go out and shoot.

I recently went to one of the beaches in Marblehead to take some photos. In fact, I took a lot of photos. This one little forlorn row-boat with peeling paint--laying upside down way at the back of the boat yard-- caught me eye. The light wasn't great (midday and sunny) so I went back a couple of days later, on an overcast morning and took another dozen or so photos of it. I even cracked out the tripod.

I've been looking at those photos for a few days now. I keep going back to them, running through them in full-screen view on my laptop. And you know what? I just don't like them. So I'm going to save my hard drive the space (and my mind the obsession) and just delete them.

This is a big step for me, especially after spending so much time and effort to try to get a good shot of that little rowboat. I'm a definite hanger-on-er when it comes to photos, even the ones I don't like. Sure, I delete anything that's out of focus or has other problems that can't be fixed in Photoshop. But I usually keep even the pictures that are technically fine but that just don't sing. The truth is, you're lucky (or I am, at least) if one shot out of 40 is a keeper.

All of which adds up to a LOT of photo files on my computer. It's not that I can't back them up (my new laptop has a CD burner), but it can be overwhelming going through all the photos I've taken, trying to find the ones that are worth printing or uploading to Flickr. And I don't neccessarily want to waste time making backups of photos I don't like and will probably never print or post or show to anyone, for that matter.

I think, going forward at least, I'm going to try to be more ruthless.

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