Now that we’ve spent over a month together taking tons of pictures with our iPhones, we’re bound to have lots of extra photos lurking about that are just occupying space. One of the great things about digital photography is that it frees us up to experiment and take lots of pictures without worrying about the cost of film and development. The downside is that we end up with cluttered hard drives.
I use the Apple Photostream service. I love it because it means I can take pictures on my iPhone and get back to my iMac or my MacBook Pro to write my lessons and find all the photos I just took already there. There are a couple of problems with this, however. First, Photostream has a way of proliferating the problem if you have a lot of trash photos. Those trash photos get stored in the monthly archive for Photostream on each non-mobile device. Add to that backup copies you make and that’s yet another copy of trash.
There are several things you can do to reduce the load. First, apps like Camera Awesome do not automatically save the photos to your Camera Roll (which is what populates Photostream) unless you tell it to. I like to leave the setting on the default, which is manual save mode. That way, I can decide if I want to save a photo and let it proliferate or not. The rest, I can delete and keep them out of my other devices.
Here’s how to check the auto export to Cameral Roll Setting:
Here’s how to go in and delete photos from inside the app (note: make sure you’ve downloaded the ones you want first):
Fast Camera is another app that doesn’t automatically save all the photos to your Camera Roll. This is particularly good because if you’re shooting with no delay between shots, you could quickly fill Photostream with one burst of shooting. Fast Camera also has a nice organization of a series of photos–it puts them into folders. You can open a folder to review, select a few to save, save them, and then select all and delete. Here’s how to quickly delete the contents of a folder all at once:
Actually, you don’t even have to delete–if you click the done button, it will warn you that your photos will all be deleted. Only use that if you are truly done with all photos in all folders–it deletes everything.
The default Apple Camera app and Hipstamatic do save photos to the camera roll automatically. However, I tend not to take a large volume of photos with Hipstamatic because it has rather slow processing time. I’ve run Hipstamatic out of memory on more than one occasion. I also only use the default camera for panoramics, which I tend to take few of. As a result, clean up is relatively easy. If you use Photostream, just remember to remove bad photos from your Photostream as well as your camera roll. Prioritize keeping Photostream clean–it will spread those bad photos everywhere.
The final app we’ve used so far is the Pro HDR app. In this app, you can choose whether you want to save the original photos as well as the HDR processed photo or just the HDR processed photo. I like to save them all, but then I regret it when I end up with a photostream full of over and under exposed photos. I suggest just saving the HDR processed photo to minimize the clutter.
Finally, do not get attached to photos. You don’t need those 15 bad shots of the same thing.
Go delete junk photos! Here are some rules to help you get over the urge to keep them all:
- If you only got one really bad shot of something really important to you, keep it. Otherwise:
- If they’re out of focus, delete them.
- If they’re overexposed, delete them.
- If they’re underexposed, delete them.
- If you have 15 you can’t tell apart, delete the first 14.
- If you have 15 that are all slightly different, pick the 2 you like best and delete the rest.
- If you used photos for utilitarian purposes like taking pictures of serial numbers on things you own for insurance purposes, file those away and delete them from your Photostream.