I hoarded hundreds of gigabytes of RAW photos, until I saw sense and hit delete

Rows of SD and CF memory cards
(Image credit: Future)

In an era where the best professional cameras output images over 100MB and camera phones have 200MP sensors it’s easy to fill up a hard drive fast. I’ve hoarded hundreds of gigabytes of RAW files over the years with the intention of one day returning to old shoots to breathe a new lease of life into them with a quick re-edit but if I’m being honest with myself, that’s never going to happen. The truth is, once a RAW file lands on my hard drive, it’s unlikely I’ll ever look at it so I’ve decided to take a minimalist approach to digital storage and delete some of my old RAW files. 

The most immediate benefit of deleting old RAW files is obvious… you reclaim valuable disk space. RAW files, by nature, are hefty. A single photo can take up several megabytes, and if you're a prolific shooter, this quickly adds up to gigabytes of precious storage. By regularly culling old, unused raw files, you can keep your hard drive lean and mean, ensuring that you have space for new projects and memories without the worry of running out of storage. Even if hard drive are much cheaper than they used to be, it’s better to not have to go out and buy a new one when yours gets full. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.