Be Ruthless – Cull The Duds

As a landscape photographer, I come home from each shoot with very few keepers. If I have one image I love from an evening or mornings shoot, I’ve done really well. However, It has recently dawned on me that I have far too many files on my system. I am sure all photographers are guilty of keeping those images we don’t need for far longer than we need to….

I’ve gotten into bad habits. There was a time when I would cull the really bad captures. These were deleted from the camera and never made it near the computer. Somewhere along the line, I got lazy and started to transfer everything from the card to the hard drive. Why – I’m not sure why.

What If

I’ve always maintained that if the house went on fire, the only possession I’d try to take was the hard-drive. Not because my landscapes are that important to me, but my family photos are irreplaceable. The thoughts of loosing them are unthinkable. Each and every single image I have automatically backs up onto a duplicate mirror drive the second it hits my computer. I still wasn’t happy that I was future proofed from a safety perspective. I’ve recently signed up to a cloud back-up service called Backblaze that will protect my images should I ever have a major computer malfunction. It works out the same price as one cup of coffee per month, why wouldn’t I.

The Small Print

The initial upload process has been painfully slow due to the amount of images I have on file and my upload speeds. I contacted my service provider (Net1) and they were kind enough to help me out with up-load speeds. The images were not up-loading any faster so I dug a little deeper. It turn’s out Bacblaze limit the data you can upload to 30gb’s per day.

Plan B – Cull

I decided to try and speed the process up a little more via a cull of unwanted images taking up extra, unneeded space. This is when it hit me. I keep far, far too much rubbish. I’ve been able to almost half the space on my drives. Removing unwanted landscape photos was simple, family images of which I had far too many was a much harder affair.

Waves thunder in around me as I risk life and limb to get the long exposure landscape photo I have in mind. Dark, moody with tonnes and drama – just the way I like my work.


New beginnings

I made a vow to myself that from here on I will process only what I deem the very best and not loose any time trying to fix images that won’t see the light of day. 50% of landscape images will be deleted immediately after the initial inspection. Less time at the computer, less storage requirement, quicker back-ups. It all makes sense.

The test

The Giants Causeway was calling me. Weather forecasts were not great but there was a chance of a break at sunset so I took it. On arrival, winds were brisk and whipping large dangerous waves up. Two compositions were attempted on the night, both involving a similar style of shooting. I stood well back and let large waves roll in around me. As they receeded, I fired the shutter at varying speeds until I got that beautiful washing pattern that I pre-visualized in my mind. I was happy with the end result from both scenes but they took a large number of failed attempts.

The 1st Cull

From 64 frames captured on the night, there are 2 keepers and a maybe. The rest are now digital history. I hope you enjoy them – I got soaked in their creation….  

best Irish Seascape Photography

Huge waves attack the Giants Causeway on the north coast of Ireland making for a demanding seascape photo shoot



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  1. Euan May 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

    I’ve been using Backblaze for over 2 years now and for $5 a month find it invaluable as a further safety measure for my files and photography.

    • admin May 6, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

      Thanks Euan – it certainly gives me peace of mind knowing everything can recovered if needed

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