I’ve taken so many photos over the last five to six years that my computer and I are overwhelmed. I don’t know exactly how many photos I’ve taken, but more than 20,000 with my newest camera and probably a similar number with my previous camera. In fact there are so many photos that it’s hard for me to find the good ones amongst the multitudes of ordinary ones and downright poor ones.
I’ve set myself a goal of deleting 100 photos every day. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a start (as long as I don’t keep adding 100 photos every day!). Deleting 100 photos takes quite a lot of time. I have to look at each photo to decide whether it’s a keeper or not.
I find as I go through my photos, I become more ruthless. It’s like packing when you’re moving house: at first you don’t want to throw out anything, then you throw out a few things, then you throw out a lot of things, then you feel a compulsion to just throw out everything.
One thing I’ve noticed is how much my photography has improved (although I usually get about 5% good photos and 95% ordinary photos on a given outing). But a lot of my ordinary photos now would have been my personal best photos a few years ago.
Take the White-bellied Sea-Eagle photo above or the Whistling Kite photo below, for example.
Three years ago would have been thrilled to get any image of these magnificent birds of prey. At that time I was just starting to notice and be captivated by the birds of prey in my area.
I didn’t see swamp harriers very often, so I would have been thrilled to get the image below.
I saw some excellent flight photos on bird photography forums and wondered how the photographers could have got them. I found tracking birds in flight particularly difficult and frustrating, hence the new camera. It’s easier now, but definitely not easy. The birds are still usually too far away, like this Little Falcon.
I’m going to delete all these photos, which shows me how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. When I look at my good photos, I realise how much I’ve learnt about finding and photographing birds of prey. And when I look at my ordinary photos, I realise how much time I need to put in in the future (what a pity!) to increase my % good photos.