one reason not to delete photos
I was at a talk at Charles Hartman’s gallery a few months back with Julia Dolan, curator of Photography at the Portland Museum of Art. The discussion turned to what to do with photos after your death and some photographers in the audience were of the mind to “burn the negatives” so no more prints could ever be made. Dolan suggested the importance of them being willed to a photographic preservation trust with the instructions to be used only for academic study, because it’s very interesting for researchers to see the process by which a photographer works. Do you shoot a wide establishing shot, then pace around from different angles, only to end up shooting the flower from underneath? or was it the first shot you saw that was the winner?
So just in case you become famous, buy another 3TB hard drive and save those “good” “adequate” and maybe the terrible ones too. Drive space is cheap and it often costs more time to dither about which to delete than it does to deal with storing more files. Or just clean everything out, make history think you only ever took great shots and make it easy to find those great shots. Not that you’ll care as you’ll finally be catching up on sleep after a lifetime of photographing sunrises :)