Save Your Photos, Don’t Delete | Digital Photography Tutorial
One of the key things I have learnt over the last couple of years of shooting digital is that you should never delete anything you take. Well, OK, maybe you can delete the odd one or two that are very obviously out of focus or have the exposure completely wrong when viewed on the LCD screen on the back of your camera, but you should try and keep as many as you can.
Why Save All Your Photos?
There are number of reasons why you shouldn’t get ‘delete happy’ when viewing your photos in the LCD screen on the back of your camera.
LCD screen can be misleading
The LCD screen itself isn’t that accurate at showing you whats good and whats bad, and unless you are zomming in on each image you look at, the standard preview doesn’t give you a good enough indication of whether a photos is sharp or not. It may also misrepresent the exposure of the photograph. Use the histogram function (if your camera has one) to ensure exposure rather than the preview in the LCD.
Memory Card Storage is Cheap
Storage is cheap. While you may argue that not reviewing and deleting photos throughout a shoot takes up vital memory card space, the fact that memory cards can be bought at a fraction of their cost even twelve months ago means that you should have a plentiful supply of of storage to use during a shoot.
Not only is it cheap to store and retain photographs during a shoot on your memory cards, but harddrive space and DVD storage back at home on your PC is also now at a point where you can backup all your photos, including ones that are not that good without it costing the earth.
Photographs Can Become Useable After Post Processing
You never know when that slightly out of focus shot, or not quite so well composed photo will actually become useful. Sometimes you will learn a technique in post processing that can actually be used to recover what you previously thought was a duff photo.
Before I understood the principles of dodge and burn, there were plenty of incorrectly exposed photos that I deleted thinking they were unusable. Now I know that those photos could have been fixed in post processing quite easily with a little dodge and burn and some simple layer masks.
Review Photos On Your PC, Not In The Field
If you don’t want to keep everything you have shot during a session, you are much better off reviewing them on a proper computer monitor and deciding whether to keep them at that point than out in the field.
Time wise, I find it much quicker to shoot and keep everything and then review back at home on the PC. This removes the element of risk of either deleting something thats actually good by accident out in the field, and also remvoes the risk of missing a great shot because I’m too busy looking down at my camera looking and reviewing previous shots.