How many travel photos have you taken?

Don’t quite know what to call this post. It’s kind of a reminisce but also a rant. Perhaps this is just one more of our directionless musings…

About what you curiously ask?

Photos. Pictures taken from one’s travel journeys. Not the ones at home with family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances. Real travel photos. Pictures of places you visited, even if it is your own home base. Do you know how many have you taken?

We’ve read posts about de-cluttering our lives through the ‘purging’ of unwanted stuff. Ok that’s generalizing it a fair bit, but you get the picture (no pun intended)? Because this question popped up one day (about de-cluttering), and we got curious about how many photos we actually have of our travel handprints. You might know that we are part of the generation that straddled the film and digital eras. So that’s tricky because we have albums of printed photos too.

Hence we defined for ourselves that for film, the number of photos would be how many we have scanned into digital form. Yeah we hear the howls of disbelief from our film refugee peers, but hey you gotta start somewhere right? How does that look like? The graph below (yeah occupation hazard) illustrates:

Travel Photo Statistics

Did you notice how the spike in the number of photos started from the advent of digital photography? Yes, digital storage is virtually free, or at least very (very) low cost. Granted there are personal reasons in the stats too (such as number of journeys in each year). We know what we have might pale in comparison to some of you out there. But the point is – the average has clearly risen!

Are we alone? Of course not. So can you imagine how many pictures had been taken around the world by folks and possibly shared? Think millions only? LOL. This brings up an interesting point. There is so much sharing in social media of photos. Is it time to de-clutter?

How many travel photos have you taken? Do you organize them? Do you need to ‘de-clutter’ them?

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

61 thoughts on “How many travel photos have you taken?”

  1. My dad bought me a Nikon two years ago, originally it was meant for my no longer on the web fashion blog ( it took great photos of those events) but I didn’t imagine I’d be living on a Caribbean island for a year.. and now I’m temporarily in the U.K.. and a small trip to another country in January.. no one knew my Nikon would trade fashion for travel photos.. the places we’ve been are so memorable.. and inspiring

    M & Bear

    http://www.pawprintsandmint.com

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  2. Definitely something to consider. Are we getting better quality by shooting more, or more mediocrity? I find that when I shoot more, the more mediocre my work gets, because each shot is seemingly less important. I went back to shooting film, and all of my work except night photography is film. This helps me to not shoot so much because I am conscious of the cost. And what I do Shoot is generally better. I took a 2week trip out to Death Valley Yosemite and a few other national parks recently. Interestingly enough, I allotted the most amount of rolls for Yosemite, and ended up getting the least amount of quality photos of all the locations. Simplicity is a beautiful thing, and more is not always better.

    Great article!

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    1. Wow. That takes courage to move back to film and the “limits” it poses. But you are absolutely right. It takes scarcity to induce creativity and skills to be sharpened. Because you know you need to make sure every shot counts!

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  3. Interesting article! We have just been back from 1 week in the United Arab Emirates and we took about 4000 thousand pictures together 😱 we shoot in JPG and RAW and with two cameras with different lenses so okay we can divide it by two. We have spent hours and hours sorting them out and brought it back to less 400 not counting them double. Still quite a lot for a one week trip but necessary as we will have to deliver many picture for a collaboration with a magazine. Taking shots since we have our website changed a lot and made the amount explode. Now we need to back them up on a hard disk that does not travel with us for the next 3 months in South Africa and have them on the laptop at the same time to work with them. A bit of a pain, I don’t trust iCloud too much, nor Google so we treat our external hard disks as they were made of gold! 🙂

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    1. LOL. Yes we too have moved all our photos onto external hard disks of 4Tbytes. Trouble is not the photos but the videos! We do not even try to upload much of our videos in the blog because it would hit the WP limit. But that is also another thing that has exploded aside from the many shots taken!

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      1. I agree with the videos! We have hardly used any video material on our website yet but have just bought a GoPro to film some adventurous outings. Slightly worried for the amount of data that will take. And hitting the WP limit indeed… another good reason to be very selective and only keep the best 🙂

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  4. I take so many travel photos, including flowers, animals, food, menus, street names etc, so I can name my photos or record unique things about a place. I visited Europe for the first time when I was 16. My mum said we could only take photos with people in them. We didn’t have a digital camera yet so it made sense. I like taking travel photos because it gives me a feel for a place. I like to keep digital photo diaries now so I can remember all the places I visited and interesting things I saw there, rather than the photos I took in front of places that I don’t remember.

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    1. Indeed. When we were still on film there was such a limitation of the number of rolls we had on hand…! Hard to imagine that now. With digital it is actually easier to store away. The auto numbering already helps but with the Date taken attribute, you can always sort them in the order you took them. Just make sure your phone or camera’s clock settings were correct!

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  5. I didn’t count the number of travel photos I have taken. I broke my computer 4 weeks ago. I barely had a chance to copy all the photos and data. My photos took up 110 GB of my USB drive. I’m glad I have a 500 GB drive to copy stuff from my broken computer.

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  6. My I-photo program says 75,000. Admittedly, a thousand or so are family photos. I was looking through my two albums from growing up yesterday, There were maybe a hundred photos… The times have indeed changed with the advent of digital photography. –Curt

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  7. I am now tempted to count! I know I shoot way more photos than I need to, and thousands are probably sitting in folders just waiting to be rediscovered. When I’m at home, I label everything by month and year. When I’m abroad, I label everything by country and year. This helps me stay somewhat organized, although some of those folders are pretty big.

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  8. hi ! I will take time this morning to say… YES I take photos of my travels..TOO MANY. Just on my last trip ( 5 weeks) I took 3500 without counting those taken with my mobile phone.. I started digital in 2003. I can’t say how many pics I have on my computer. I also make books. I share with FB, Flickr, my blog and 500px… oh on IG also… so I used my photos but not all. I de-clutter once in a while. After one year I go back and clean the files. I keep a lot but I don’t mind to eliminate the terrible ones that I will never look at again. That is a big job. It is also my big hobby since 2010. I am enjoying this and I see great photos especially on 500px.

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    1. Yeah we too started digital in 2003. The early years of digital was experimental, memory sticks expensive and resolutions low. Then in 2005 when we did our first in series of really long drives (3 weeks), it exploded! Heheh… And since that time we’ve been organizing it. But we only began blogging or sharing on social media from early 2016, so a lot is still in our storage waiting for “light of day”…

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      1. I am comparing my old photos and what I do now.. OMG.. I think I am improving in composition but my technique is still not as good as I want. And I do not want to invest in a heavy and expensive camera..So… I get what I get. :-))

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  9. I organize my photos by year taken, month, and location usually. But I don’t usually rename photo files- I prefer to leave them in their original order. I do tend to take three or four shots of the same thing, but when I load everything on my computer I usually delete the extra shots and keep the “best” one.

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    1. That’s a good way too! We, do cull the “bad” ones… heheh. And then we do rename them – because it makes for easy reference of what it was. Quite some work but we do enjoy doing that… And of course we group them into folders by journeys, dates…

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  10. I’m someone who can’t tolerate clutter of any sort. I tried to declutter, and organise our digital photos a few years ago. Alas, ‘our’ photos, rather than ‘my’ photos meant it was an impossible task, or if I had undertaken it to my satisfaction would likely have seen me in the divorce courts. Clutter – the bone of contention in our household. Husband is a compulsive hoarder…..

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    1. Heheh… we have the same callenge! Its sooo hard to discern which photo is ‘great’, ‘good’, ‘could be better’… and so to keep or hit the delete button. Worse, some are recovered from the digital trash bin right? We are sure you have that experience too…

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  11. Interesting challenge. I looked it up and I currently have 17,300 digital photos. My last 12 day trip to Amsterdam, Portugal and Spain saw me snapping 630 pictures (and this is after I culled the less successful ones). I don’t think I will do much more in decluttering. In fact, I am thinking of creating a few photobooks cause no one but myself ever sees the photos otherwise.

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    1. Oh wow. 12 days and ‘only’ 630 photos? lol.
      We’ve given up de-cluttering. Instead, we group the photos by date – ie Day 1 (dd-mm-yy). Since we have a physical log book which we journal (in real life and not in blogosphere), it helps us keep track of what is what in the external harddisk we store the photos (yeah its gotten that bad).

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    1. Ye the good thing about phone and cameras these days are the GPS positioning that is tagged in the attributes of each photo. Which can be an issue, but that’s a separate discussion.
      600 clicks a week, not too bad. You must have culled some like the others who have also commented on this post!

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          1. Google/ gmail photos was doing this already without my being away of it. I then found my personal photo of one of my paintings on a video someone had made of Rosemaling claiming it was their work. No permission had berngranted for its usr and they hadn’t asked. I didn’t like that so changed the setting.

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            1. Plagiarizing or “copying without asking” is quite the hallmark these days of many people. Times are a changing. Unless you watermark your photos, it is openly available for all to use without you knowing!

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              1. Loved this very thought-provoking post! I’ve definitely started taking more photos since getting a digital camera, and even more once I had a camera on my phone.
                As you mentioned in this comment, I’ve also noticed several cases of people plagiarising my photos – even friends/ classmates copying my (shared to friends only) travel pictures and reposting publicly (without credit), although this seems to be a cultural thing as when I pointed it out to them they weren’t even aware I might have taken issue with it… I guess that’s something we have to accept when sharing digital photos, although I’ve not been bothered enough by it to start watermarking them (on this note: anyone know an easy watermarking software for phones/ mac?).

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  12. Travel photos are sacred! We de clutter a lot, but never a travel photo. Interesting that you took so many more through digital. Do you think that’s because it’s more care free snapping now? No worrying about finding somewhere to develop them?

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