Do you keep your Photoshop files?
It’s a simple question. Do you keep your Photoshop (or other software, if you use that) files once you are done with photo editing? I do and I’m curious what other photographers doo. It takes quite a lot of hard drive storage to keep them, and I almost never need them. Let’s look at some reasons why to keep them or why not.
Takes too much storage
Ok, the biggest reason again, is just the size. I even had to switch to PSB from PSD files for my photos, as the PSD is limited to 2GB in size and most of my photos will not fit into that. And with adding more and more photos every day, this gets into terabytes over time. And of course, you have to at least double this, as one needs a backup all the time.
This became a smaller problem over the years, as the price for storage is going down all the time, and even 8 and 10tb hard drives are quite cheap now. Still, it’s a huge amount of storage, that you have to deal with.
You will almost never go back
I keep a full JPG version of my photos, a web-sized JPG version of my photos and a PSD version with all the editing layers. Do I ever go back and re-edit the PSD files? I can’t remember a time I did that. I could probably just flatten them and save that as a much smaller PSD, a TIFF or something similar.
Since they are also so big, they open quite slower, and a lot of programs can’t even show a preview of them at all.
Always backing up RAW files
I, and I think you should too, always back up your RAW files. Being able to go back, and re-edit a file you took years ago, with new software and new techniques you learn is just great. But in this case, you would start from the beginning, with the RAW file. One would not go back to the PSD and try to re-edit from an already finished version.
You can see and show how you edited a photo
Probably the biggest reason I keep the files for myself. Here and there I show sometimes how a photo was edited, and in the past, I did that regularly on the blog here. But I stopped doing that, as in reality, you can’t really learn that much from that. One does not need to know how a photo was edited, but which techniques were used to do so. What works on one photo does not have to work on another.
In the end, I keep them, as I have enough storage to do so. But I have no real use for them or reason to do so. Maybe it’s just because I spend so much time working on them in the first place.
What do you do? Do you keep all the files or just get rid of them and keep the result?