Memorial Day fun, organizing 6,500 photos I took in the Netherlands

Bike to Work - Amsterdam, Netherlands

A residential canal – Amsterdam, Netherlands

So here is the final tally. I took a total of 6,439 photos, not including the iPhone shots, during my trip to the Netherlands. 4,458 photos with the Fujifilm X100S and 1,981 photos with the Olympus E-PM2. This may sound like a crazy number of photos but it’s not as bad is you think. Let me explain.

Most of my Olympus photos were HDR brackets where I shot 3 frames for each composition. So in reality, I had about 660 individual scenes, give or take. Some are repeats at the same location with subtle tweaks. I did a quick 1st pass through these and reduced the count down to 1,675 photos or 558 scenes.

The Fuji is a different story but there are also a lot of duplicates. Oftentimes, when I shoot with the X100S, I take several photos at once, either at 3 shots per second or 6 shots per second. There are a few advantages to this. First, when shooting people, I get to choose the best expression and eliminate any photos with eyes closed. When shooting action, I get to choose my favorite composition between the moving subjects. Finally, when shooting at slow shutter speeds, I get to pick the sharpest photo with the least amount of motion blur. The great thing about the X100S is the nearly silent shutter — no one knows that I’m shooting that many frames so I attract less attention.

All told, after eliminating duplicates, a surprisingly small number of blurry shots, and obviously bad compositions, I’m left with 1,540 keepers. I can probably reduced this even more, which I might do in the future. But that’s a pretty healthy amount of editing for the 1st pass. I frame more carefully with the X100S but that doesn’t mean that I don’t experiment. Trying something new is the best way to learn and shooting a lot for free is the good thing about digital.

I deleted these photos in my travel Aperture 3 Library that I have on my MacBook Pro. Once reduced in size, I merged the travel photo library back into my primary Aperture Library which I keep on an external drive. Then I made 2 extra backups on 2 separate external drives. I also use cloud based backup so in a few days, these new photos will also be backed up safely offsite.

Here is another benefit of shooting only JPEG with the Fuji X100S. The 1,540 JPEG photos takes up about 10GB. The 1,675 RAW Olympus photos eats up about 28GB of space. My Aperture Library has gotten so large that I create a new one every year. Including all the duplicate backups, there is a fair amount of storage I use at home — not to mention the 1.2TB I have in the cloud. Luckily, hard drive prices continue to fall.

Going through these photos is more than just house keeping. I get to see and learn what worked and what didn’t — a way to learn from my mistakes and experiments. So that’s what I did for the long Memorial Day weekend. I hope you had fun on your day off too.

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