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2020 Year in Numbers

In my 2019 Year in Review post I mentioned that I had taken 10,000 photos that year. However, as I also admitted, I really had no clue how many photos I took – only how many I kept. I also jokingly said I’d keep better track in 2020.

One of my favorite images of 2020.

Well, I did. Every time I came back from photographing, whether it be a walk near home or a bigger trip, I first recorded how many files were on my memory cards before starting my review and editing.

Now, 2020 turned out to probably not be the best year for tracking what’s “normal” in terms of the number of photos took considering how many trips were cancelled, but it did suggest that my 10,000 estimate was way low.

So how many did I take in 2020?

13,174

And how many were kept?

3,921

That comes out to a “keep” rate of nearly 30%.

A few caveats with these numbers:

  • The number took includes everything on my SLR cameras, but not cell phone.
  • The number took counts each image captured even if the plan from the start was to merge them into a panoramic, focus stack, HDR, or similar. This can range from 2-15 images taken with only 1 final image counted under kept.
Composite images often required five-plus photos to create one final photo.

Some more trivia:

  • In total, I photographed on 60 occasions. Most were single day outings, though five were multi-day trips.
  • There was no obvious factor that led to a higher keep rate on an individual shoot, though those closer to home and of landscapes were generally higher. This makes sense as I’m pickier about what I’m shooting and often took fewer images. Also, the places near home I only photograph when the conditions are really ideal.
  • Similarly, though not always the case, lower keep rates were often wildlife outings. This also makes sense as I often shoot in burst mode, taking many photos at once to capture a behavior, and therefore have more duplicates to delete later. Plus, there are just more “misses” when trying to capture wildlife.
  • The most photos I took were on my trips to Maine (1,620), the Tetons (1,600), RMNP (840). These were all multi-day trips. The most photos I took on a single day outing was fishing the Williams Fork (932).
  • The fewest photos I took were from one day at home (9).
A photo from home.

I think I’ll keep this up in 2021 and maybe continue to refine it. Let me know what other stats you think I should track!

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