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The painfulness of deleting old vacation pics

Well, like many of us, I’ve got a lot of time on my hands. And I’ve got way too many pics on my phone, iPad, and iCloud.

So, it’s time to do a lot of chopping and that has to include a lot of vacation pics both USA and Europe, especially Europe.

It’s really hard, but it must be done. I’ve decided it’s important to remember the highlights of each trip in the digital era but not every last detail. The memories are still in my head. Some things are easy, I don’t need to know the departure gate or a mediocre meal I had on the plane. Hotel pictures are also getting chopped unless they’re memorable. One pic is fine, ten is overkill.

Anyone else taking this time to thin your pics out?

Posted by
1150 posts

Why delete photos? Put them on an hard disk and keep them - not forever, just the time till the hard disk fails - so strategic photos should be put on 2 hard disks with backups every now and then.

Posted by
5235 posts

Something to add to my to-do list. I find I take multiples of the same thing ... and then forget to delete the not-quite-good ones.

Posted by
6 posts

I do make myself get rid of not-so-good-redundant photos sometimes, but have 2 computers, 2 external hard drives, Picasa 3, and a subscription to SmugMug - thousands and thousands that I can't bring myself to delete - not only my lifetime memories with a big family (I am one of 8), but recently I went through my Grandmothers old house and found photos dating back in the 1940's of my Dad (one of 7) and his family. If we get banned from work, I'll have plenty of time to edit! (And boxes of "real" photos and negatives from the olden pre-digital days.

Posted by
3079 posts

Happy editing! It’s nice to go back thru photos just for the memories, even if the purpose is to clean them out or free up storage. The puzzling situations where a burst of 10 pictures somehow got taken by the phone, when only one was wanted, is especially when shots can be deleted, to make things right. Get rid of “superflugraphs” and life’s fractionally simpler.

Hitting “delete,” though, is a lot faster (and less painful) than tearing up or throwing away a physical, paper photograph from the old days. That’s when a careful decision had to be made whether to take a shot, and use up one of the 24 or 36 possible on a roll of film, since only so many total pictures could be taken on that roll. And it wasn’t until after the roll was developed, and prints made, before you knew how well the photo came out. So there was a kind-of big investment in every shutter click. Some “bad” pictures have been kept, because they’re the only ones from that moment on that trip.

Posted by
2297 posts

I always thought I'd be looking at my travel photos and enjoying my memories when I was in the nursing home. That time came a lot quicker than I expected. I'm even looking at my charge bill from last month and remembering when I could go OUT to eat with friends and family.

Posted by
9388 posts

I edit quite rigorously in the weeks after a trip, but I do not store on my phone or point-and-shoot (which I prefer to the phone) long term at all. Everything is downloaded to my laptop in folder by year and trip and within then trip, by location so something like

  • 2019
  • Fall Trip
  • Lauterbrunnen
  • Ortisei

And so on.

I have them backed up to Carbonite as well a a local external drive. I have a selection of about 1400 photos that I turned into a slide show that we can put on our TV using our FIRE TV stick, which is a fun background when we want visuals, for company, etc. I also use the last trip as a screen saver on my laptop so right now, Maui is playing on the laptop, a place we returned from just as the COVID19 problem became one.

Posted by
6061 posts

I have to edit after every trip. I take thousands of photos (no joke, because it's a major hobby of mine and has been even when I was in high school when I processed my own photos). It was a giant project for me to organize (as in e-file folders), clean up, edit, and back up about (I'm guessing here) 40-60 GB of photos going back to whatever year I got my first digital camera. I now have my life photos backed up on an external hard drive. I still have old family albums with hard photos as well.

Posted by
1377 posts

The memories are still in my head.

You are fortunate! My Mom remembers our trips much better than I do. My Dad can still tell me the details of trips we took. I have to go back and look at my pictures.

So I take my photos in a bit of a documentary style - starting with a photo of the sign for a museum, and my entry ticket, for example, so that I remember where I was. I take photos that tell the story of that trip, as well as favorite images from it.

I'm figuring that in my old age, I'll take those trips again ...for the first time, insofar as my memory might be concerned.

Posted by
1615 posts

There’s a drawer in the bedroom dresser that has hundreds of photos just sort of smashed into it. When we got the computer and digital camera, he said “You do know...this is the new dresser drawer.” Prescient indeed.
I have multiple multiples and still have trouble deleting. Problem is, I like taking the pictures more than looking at them. It’s actually shocking how rarely we even see them. Be well, everyone!

Posted by
2213 posts

To me, deleting photos is non-intuitive, it just doesn't feel right-and sure, I do delete some here and there for technical reasons.
I pay $9.99 per month for 2 Terabytes in Apple Cloud, and run a backup drive as well. Worth it.

Posted by
902 posts

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited photo storing. Just download the Amazon Photos app, log in and photos will automatically be uploaded.

Posted by
77 posts

If you are not aware, google photos has free unlimited backup of photos as long as you are willing to have them saved down to 16MP (the size of most smartphone cameras). Then you don't have to delete anything if you don't want to.

Posted by
1029 posts

I thought I’d clarify that while I’m not running out of storage space, my intent is simply to be able to look at vacation pics and happily (for the most part) enjoy the times. I’ve found it’s easier with a few highlights of every day. Think of it as the difference between a relaxing 250 page novel and a textbook of 1500 pages.

And I’m doing the same thing for all of my photos. For my office day at the Cubs game, I cut from 25 pics to 3. I’m not an archivist.

To each their own, I’ve just found this an effective method for me.

Posted by
2655 posts

I usually delete about 60% , either duds or duplicates, immediately after returning.

I follow Laurel's system and even put the names of the people in photos from left to right. As everyone I know gets older, it does allow me to quickly find photos of recently deceased for funeral receptions, grim but handy.

I find that photos refresh memories, which fade and twist in odd directions. I can be sure of a year or a place we met people, but looking through the photos I see what actually happened and when.

Posted by
13904 posts

The memories are still in my head. Mine are too, but they apparently are buried very deep. Looking at the pics brings them to my conscious brain. I make it a point to take a bunch of photos of every hotel room. Then when someone asks for a recommendation - or I'm planning a return trip - I look at them and remember the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly.

I never have the patience to edit photos when I get back from a trip - I'm usually focused on my next trip - but when I go back to look at photos that are a couple years (or 5 or 10) old, it's a lot easier to delete. I upload from my memory cards to my desktop and periodically back-up to an external hard drive.

Maybe if the lock-down continues as long as some people are forecasting (at least another 2 months here but many say that is ridiculously optimistic)

Posted by
1029 posts

For hotel rooms, I do take a lot of photos but they get uploaded for reviews as soon as possible. Many people find traveler photos invaluable for Europe and even for chains, the rooms can vary from location to location a lot more than the USA. But in generally don’t keep the pics for long unless there were some special memories associated.

And, especially after all this, we’re going to emerge into a very different travel world.

Posted by
679 posts

I delete the ones I no longer need, put them on a flash drive. I insert my flash drive into my rotating picture frame which sits next to my TV. That way I just sit and watch a change of scenery every 5-10 seconds. I get a smile out of the pictures daily.

Posted by
9388 posts

Tom_MN, I am going to copy you in identifying people. Brilliant!

Now if I can figure out how to best “bequeath” this golden electronic archives to the next generation. Not my travel photos but the family ones.