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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Best method for sorting out 35,000 photos
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12/16/2021 02:50:19 PM · #1
It's been a while, and good to see it's still going strong in here!

So my question. I have 35,000 family photos taken over the past 20 years spread across multiple sub-folders, and I want an easy way to eliminate photos I don't need anymore.

I've let MS Photos do its face recognition thing and tagged only people I recognise, in the hope of moving this bunch of photos somewhere else and making my mass-deletion easier. But MS Photos is stubborn. I can create and upload albums, but it won't allow me to do any real operations on the actual file locations, like moving or even copying.

So any recommendations on an approach, preferably using AI tagging to help me out? - I've tried Magix, Bridge and MS Photos, but I'm open to suggestions from the pros!
12/16/2021 03:41:52 PM · #2
Well, one way to do this would be to import them all at their current location into Lightroom Classic. After importing, I would use the grid view to rapidly move through them and cull what I don't need. Break it up into an hour of work a day; you should be able to get through a couple thousand photos in that time. Done in half a month or so.
An alternative is to ask, "what is the total storage requirement I am talking about here, and how much does that amount of storage cost?" Once you have an answer to that, compare to the labor involved in the culling process, and if the cost of the storage is less, just buy the storage and forget culling.
12/16/2021 04:16:15 PM · #3
Originally posted by kirbic:

An alternative is to ask, "what is the total storage requirement I am talking about here, and how much does that amount of storage cost?" Once you have an answer to that, compare to the labor involved in the culling process, and if the cost of the storage is less, just buy the storage and forget culling.

I like your way of thinking. We're talking about 500Gb here, so cloud backup would be 5-10 euro/month, and external 1TB SSD would be about 150 euro these days.

I suppose what I'm really trying to achieve is some way of finding and preserving the 'good' family photos, maybe 500 of them in a printed photobook or something. Otherwise the whole 35,000 will be left sitting in the cloud or on an external drive forgotten about until they eventually disappear. And there's no lazy way to do this, apart from sifting through and culling over a few weeks.

Message edited by author 2021-12-16 16:16:36.
12/16/2021 07:18:24 PM · #4
Years ago I was advised that a good glass of scotch was helpful.
12/16/2021 07:21:31 PM · #5
Originally posted by tnun:

Years ago I was advised that a good glass of scotch was helpful.

Well, to be honest there's something about going through 20 years of family photos I find a bit depressing. That's why I can only do short stints.

It's like I have absolutely no memory of most of these events. Maybe scotch really is the answer. Or Bushmills in my case.
12/16/2021 08:26:03 PM · #6
Originally posted by JH:

Originally posted by tnun:

Years ago I was advised that a good glass of scotch was helpful.

Well, to be honest there's something about going through 20 years of family photos I find a bit depressing. That's why I can only do short stints.

It's like I have absolutely no memory of most of these events. Maybe scotch really is the answer. Or Bushmills in my case.

The most powerful trigger for memory recall is smell* -- you might try and guess what the scene might have smelled like and see if that brings back any other details. Bushmills sounds good too ... :-)

*The olfactory nerve has the shortest/most direct connection to the brain.
12/27/2021 12:07:41 PM · #7
IMNSHO, space is cheap. Also, deletion is permanent. I'm surprised at how many gems I have found that I would not have had I gotten too crazy with cleaning up space.

Yeah, there are definitely going to be images that are just junk and should be scrapped, but the cost/benefit to the time spent trying to cull junk pics to free up space simply isn't there some days.

I have better things to do.

So..... If you want to create an album, limit your deletions to a "while you're in there" system when searching folders for the good 'uns.

Funny aside? The archival challenges have helped me toss a few.

YMMV....

Message edited by author 2021-12-27 12:13:38.
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