January 7, 2010

679 words 4 mins read

“Excessive” Photography & Stats

CH-53E Sea Stallion @ the Reno Air Races, 2009 CC-BY-SA-3.0 Jon Davis

So for those of you that don’t know me, haven’t seen my flickr feed or haven’t seen my Commons account… I take pictures. Some have described my photography as “excessive” in certain cases. What that roughly means is that I tend to take a LOT of pictures. Even from way back in the film days, I tended to take more pictures than the average person. One trip to England in particular I shot 15 rolls of film (on a Nikon N65. I’ve kept basically all of the photo’s or at least negatives, granted some have gotten lost, but I still have as a serious amount of negatives off in a dark drawer.

With the advent of digital photography, I took my “more than normal” to “asininely excessive”. I love to play around and experiment and tinker. Best of all, storage is cheap, so I keep everything. I dump blurry or patently useless pictures, but on average I keep just about everything. It may seem crazy, but friends have come up to me and said “Hey Jon, I need a picture of office buildings for a work project”, I could provide them with such… without going and taking a single picture. Why? Because I keep EVERYTHING.

A little Christmas Cheer

Why does this come up? Well in the last 6 months my photo collection has grown so large that I could not keep the entire thing on my laptop hard drive. For a while I was split between the new material on my laptop and the old on an external. This was “ok” for a time, but got tiring of not being able to get at my old catalog when traveling. This last week I went and bought a Western Digital My Passport Essential (750GB) exclusively for the use of my photos. I got everything all together and organized, then started collecting some stats.


  • 28,307 Files
  • 491 Folders
  • 164 GB (177,074,733,056 bytes)
Graph — Number of files per year


  • D70 “First Photo”: DSC_1552 — 2004-05-14 @ 03:43:25.10
  • D70 “Roll Overs”: 2007-09-30, 2009-08-04
  • D300s “First Photo”: DSC_0002 — 2009-08-32 @ 13:00:11.92
Graph — Size in GB per year

Space Usage By Year-

  • 2004: 4.20 GB — 1,779 Files — 24 Folders

  • 2005: 3.62 GB — 1,472 Files — 44 Folders

  • 2006: 9.92 GB — 2,212 Files — 39 Folders

  • 2007: 21.0 GB — 4,884 Files — 95 Folders

  • 2008: 26.0 GB — 6,526 Files — 111 Folders

  • 2009: 110.0 GB — 11,395 Files — 178 Folders

Top 3 days of pictures (by file count):

  • #1 — Reno Air Races 2009 — 2009-09-20 — 22.1 GB — 1,818 files

  • #2 — Reno Air Races 2008 — 2008-09-14 — 8.37 GB — 1,697 files

  • #3 — Reno Air Races 2009 — 2009-09-19 — 19.6 GB — 1,657 files

  • As you can tell by the “First photo” for the D70, I’ve lost some files. Sadly, my system for organizing photos wasn’t fantastic for the first few years. I’ve gotten better as time goes on and have make sure not to lose any photos these days. Additionally everything is backed up everyday with an online backup service AND “offsite” (to the office) every so often. Lastly, If you look at the graphs, you’ll notice the number of pictures per year I take is going up at a large but steady rate. If you compare that to the size in GB per year, you’ll notice it is going up at an alarmingly large rate as of 2009. For that, you can blame the D300s. When I first started shooting with the D70, I used JPGs which were ~2.5MB, then RAW at ~5MB per but the D300s RAW’s are ~12MB per. This is why “only” twice as many pictures from 2008 to 2009 accounts for an over quadrupled use in space.

    Fun times and a good thing I bought the 750 GB external as it is already 25% used. Managing all those photos… now that’s the real challenge.