Keeping original photos

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Joltinjess, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Joltinjess

    Joltinjess Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Port Moody, BC
    Real Name:
    I'm wondering if people keep there original images after they have edited them. I shoot jpg 95% of the time, edit in GIMP and overwrite the file. Usually the editing in GIMP involves cropping. Recently I've wanted to print some photos and realized that I've needed to crop some more to get the proper proportions. Then I wish I had the original uncropped image. I'm a total photo trasher and can't stand clutter. Does anyone have a clever solution? I've thought about shooting LF + RAW then moving the RAW files from the photos I keep to online storage.
  2. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I don't know how GIMP works, but I use Lightroom and I think its solution is brilliant - it just records changes you make to file but original file remains unchanged.
  3. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Real Name:
    Hi Jesse!

    Like Steven, I normally use LR4. However sometimes I use other software and I always work on a copy, never the original file.

    I keep two identical sets (one on a laptop, one on a desktop) and copies of all files are backed up to a network drive. I've not yet moved to online storage. I keep the folder structure tidy to avoid clutter.


  4. deejayvee

    deejayvee Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    Sydney, Australia
    Real Name:
    I keep multiple copies of everything, even out-of-focus and wrongly exposed shots. No particular reason, I think I just have a bit of a hoarder personality. :smile:
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    There have been several incidents where I have lost the original (by accident or not) and have regretted it. I'm rigorous about preserving my originals in RAW nowadays if I'm using a photo at all.
  6. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    You never know when you, or perhaps some else, might need the original.

    I still have ALL of my 35mm negatives, slides etc. going back 35 years. Between my sisters and I we have all my fathers 35mm and 6 x 6 shots going back even further.

    My wife does a lot of genealogy and following one or two recent bereavements in our extended families we have gone through some of these negatives to look for images of specific individuals on behalf of others.

    You would not believe what an out of focus, poorly exposed, grainy picture of someone can mean to a family at times when it's perhaps the only picture of the individual ( or the only one with their wife/husband/daughter/son etc. etc.).

    Because of my father always keeping his negatives when my sisters and I took up photography we did the same perhaps without really thinking about it. On the switch to digital I have shot RAW and JPEG and so far had kept all my RAW files.

    I was considering not doing this going forward and perhaps going through my old negs to reduce the storage space a bit but, as outlined above, recent events have made me re- think this and now I don't think I could ever now delete a RAW file or destroy a negative "just in case".

    Again recently some local historians have been going through old photographs to try and piece together what parts of the town looked like at various times. They were more interested in the background of the photographs rather than the subjects and technical merit or good composition made little difference to their project.

    As before " you just never know".