The impetus for this was the discovery that I was running out of storage capacity. The Drobo dashboard app that monitors the activity of the device showed that there was only 17% of storage capacity left, and I was starting to detect sluggishness on the part of the thing when I went to access files. I was unpleasantly reminded of the behaviour of the first iMac I had when it started to get full of data. I can’t say that contributed to its demise, but after replacing it this year I am leery.
So I went into the Drobo and started to look around to see if there were any duplicated files that might have been stored there by accident – things that could be trashed and emptied to leave space for new stuff. I was never more shocked in my life. I appear to be an electronic hoarder in bad need of an intervention.
Digital photography was a great revelation to me – and a great deal of fun as I discovered how to add text and content to photos. Converting to it has been a self-taught exercise and I tended to retain everything that passed across the computer screen. The closest analogy I can give is a chef who might prepare a great dish and serve it, but would then keep all the vegetable peelings and bones associated with the finished dish in the pantry. Going back to photography, as a result, memory usage seems to have been 40 % greater than it needed to be.
Well, I found duplicates, work files, fragments, and raw ingredients galore. I could see that they had contributed in some cases to a fine finished product, but I had to decide whether to keep that product or to keep the makings as if I was going to do it all over again…better.
In the end I decided to keep the finished art, and to move on. Picasso did not repaint his works once they were hung – he just made new ones…taking what he had learned from previous periods and visions to colour his new images. That is the approach I have taken – removing the props from the artwork and letting it stand on its own.
The job is not entirely complete – there is still the belly dance division to clean and organise. But already my dashboard shows me that I have moved back from only 17% capacity left to a healthier 46%. I need not go out and buy new drives.
I suspect I could do even better if I were to exercise the sort of editor’s judgement that I urge on others – throwing away second-rate finished images as well. But I will do it the easy way first.
Heading Image: La Belle Yamina. The Creme De Menthe Fairy. She stays.