Photography tip no.03 Photoarchive – Don’t delete your digital images
WHY_THERE IS ONLY BLACK AND WHITE STILL IMAGE OF BILL CLINTON AND MONICA LEWINSKY?
Is it because only black and white photographer have shot them together? Do you think that among all those staff digital photographers only BW photographer shot them together? Accordingly to a lecture I had at London College of Printing there were many staff digital photographers who’ve shot almost every White House worker together with Bill Clinton, but digital photographers charged their $20 dollars for the picture and then erased it, while BW photographer charged $20 dollars and kept his negative.
Reasons not to delete digital images:
1) You can never know what picture will became really interesting in the future
2) Deleting pictures takes effort and time
3) Digital media cariers have never been cheaper
4) You’re erasing history
To keep a control over my archive I use two separete archive. One is my “Contact sheet archive “and second is a “Vintage archive” of selected images.
“Contact sheet archive”
As I described earlier I rename my files and prepare them in folder to be burned on DVDs. I burn every image I’ve shot on DVD. If I have time I fill in IPTC information for images, but usually I don’t have time to do that. I burned them all!!!
Then I do a selection of images and that selected image I save on my harddrive in HIres jpg format and fill in all IPTC information needed.
In this way I keep all the images on my DVDs, ready that new Monicas Lewinsky will emerge from it and on the otherside my photoarchive of selected images is small enough to keep it on my harddrive.
OK, sometimes I do erase some completly crap photos, but I stoped doing that since I got a crazy idea. How my pictures would look like if I would shot them unplanned, by accident? Hm… Art critics are all about concepts and artistic credos, what if I would exhibit failed pictures? Pictures that happend by accident when I was changing lens? UAU! Maybe that’s my Monica from my archiving. If not it’s definetly very good lesson to be learned. In Fabrica we had a workshop with Paul Graham, where we had to photograph in a way to make as crappy images as we could. The lesson was to escape all knowledge that we’re filled all the time and take a look of completly blurry image in a way as it is a masterpiece.
Here are few images that were taken by mistake from the shoot for a calendar. Do you understand? If I would erase this crappy images, I would never think of them as exploration of new aesthetic. Hm, it’s potential might lead me to the best work as I will ever do and because you never know, do not erase history!