Wet evening in Amsterdam

I haven’t been very active of late, but that’s because I’ve been busy reorganising and slimming down my entire photo library.

Yes, I’ve finally gotten round to deleting 15 years’ worth of badly composed, poorly exposed, out of focus, dull, superfluous and “what the hell was I smoking when I took that” type of shots. It does seem that when I first got into digital photography, I hardly used to delete anything at all.

Thankfully, I’m a bit more selective and discerning these days, though that’s partly because I shoot exclusively in RAW and file sizes are so much bigger now – memory cards, hard drives and cloud space doesn’t exactly grow on trees you know! So far I’ve gotten my collection down from almost 24,000 to around 8500, which is not bad going. Still, I reckon I could probably slim it down further, but that’s enough for now!

Anyway, despite being an incredibly laborious and time consuming process, I’ve actually rather enjoyed doing it. It’s been a nice trip down memory lane and it’s made me realise how much I’ve improved in both taking and editing photographs over the years.

But I’ve also discovered a significant number of images that I’d like to revisit when I get the chance – either because I originally overlooked or dismissed them or because I’d like to have another go at the post-processing.

Well, here’s the first of that bunch – a shot I took back in 2004 on a wet evening in central Amsterdam. It’s far from being technically perfect, though it does has a nice vibe to it thanks to the colourful lights and reflections and a sense of movement. But what draws me to this shot is the man in the bottom right staring directly at the camera. There’s something haunting and ghostly about his expression, an impression that’s exaggerated by the presence of a water droplet that just happens to coincide with his face.



  1. I chucked a load off my portable hard drive a while back, then wished I hadn’t lol. I’m trying to make myself just keep the processed jpegs I’m happy with, it’s still too many 😂. Love the lights in your shot and that guy is defo spooky!

    1. Thanks. So far I’m pretty confident I won’t regret anything I’ve chucked, but I definitely need to be more ruthless – sometimes sentimentality gets in the way or the idea that maybe one day you’ll find a use for certain shots!

      Anyway, my main inspiration for doing it was wanting to back everything up onto a cloud service (in addition to my external drive) and to add keywords to everything in Lightroom so I can easily search for stuff.

  2. A lovely image, and a great backstory to it too. I admit, I never delete any images, just archive them to a folder. Admittedly, this probably means I will never look at them again, but you never know… It’s gems like your Amsterdam shot that make me want to keep hold of images. In the short term I’m never going to get the chance to work through them (work getting in the way!), but who knows… I am holding out hope for early retirement, when the photo world will be my oyster and I will finally have the time to catch up on all the things I’ve been putting off over the years.
    Your shot is a cracker, but I have to say I am a little unnerved by the man in the bottom right corner. He doesn’t quite look real…

    1. Thanks. Some of the images I browsed through, I literally hadn’t looked at in well over 10 years – lots of people, events and trips I had pretty much forgotten about. But I’ve added keywords to everything now and earmarked a couple hundred pics that I fancy revisiting or having another bash at.

      It also means that I can now afford to backup my collection on a cloud service – but even after purging 15,500 pics, it still took me the best part of a day to upload everything!

      Yeah, that guy is quite creepy.

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