Sunday, 7 December 2008

To Delete or Not to Delete Digital Photographs

In part one, we talked about whether “To Print or not to Print” your images, or simply keep them on file. As we continue to embrace digital photography technology, we’re also increasing the number of images we take. So, what do you do with the less than perfect images? Do you keep or do you delete?

Well, I think you fall into one of two categories – the minimalists and the hoarders. Now me, I’m a hoarder. I simply can’t bear to delete an image, no matter how cruddy. There is nothing more calamitous than – gasp – deleting in-camera! Argh! How can you do that?! I recently spent some time with a sports photographer who was happily deleting images in-camera while showing me the images – what if there was a lapse in concentration and he deleted the wrong image? Argh! Obviously, he’s a minimalist as he felt more than comfortable deleting any image that wasn’t up to scratch.

Being the image hoarder that I am, I very rarely delete images, and certainly none in-camera. Rather, I categorise them in various files. As I also like to create image with multiple textured layers, this is where having a collection of images to use as a stock library, comes in handy.

In fact, take this image as an example.

Stock Image by Adriana Glackin

It’s less than crisp, fairly mundane and certainly not the type of fine art photography you hang on your wall. Now, my minimalist friend would have deleted it in-camera (mind you, he probably wouldn’t have shot it to begin with). But with some clever and creative alterations using editing programs such as Photoshop, this mundane image has been transformed quite dramatically into a piece that can be used as wall art and even a greeting card. Why buy someone else’s stock images when you can create your own stock images by simply keeping the less than perfect images on file.

Take a look at the examples to see some clever variations. For even more variations, visit the Grunge Art Photographic Gallery and A Photographer’s Craft and see for yourself why you too should be an image hoarder and not a minimalist!

Ode to Banksy by Adrian Rachele

A Semblance of Yearning by Karri Klawiter

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