Blurry Photos – And When To Not Delete Them

I use Google Photos as a back up most of our family photos, of which 99.9% are taken with my phone.

As my storage was close to the limit, Google was trying to help me remove photos that I might not want anymore, and one of the groups of files it selected was “blurry photos”.

I imagine if you only had family photos, and wanted a collection of sharply focused casual portraits, and most of your pictures were blurred due to poor light and/or an unsteady hand, this is a useful feature.

The trouble is, for me, most of my favourite photos are blurred, or put another way, intentionally out of focus.

So thanks Google, but I think I’ll keeping all of the blurred ones, they’re like that for a reason.

How about you? What are your thoughts on intentionally out of focus photographs, and what proportion of your images are blurred in some way?

As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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8 thoughts on “Blurry Photos – And When To Not Delete Them”

  1. I am having the same notification. I checked those blurred photos and I deleted very few of them. Most of them are from cellphones and as so a bit blurred is a nice change of the ultra sharp (but not detailed) rendering of some of my cellphones. This was with my old Samsung J1 , using purposely the night mode of a third party app (camerazoom I think) and getting kinder colors with VSCO, which I feel these days is a bit too saturated as how it was before.

  2. Is this category defined by you or by some magical artificial intelligence algorithm that decides the photo is ‘blurry’ because part of it is purposefully out of focus?
    I don’t want anyone but me deciding which of my photos I’ll keep, least of all some defective technology (no matter how well-meaning). They’ll all be gone in time anyway; no sense in speeding things up!

    1. No these are images scanned by Google’s AI and deemed out of focus. I don’t ever listen to its advice and trust that it will delete what I don’t want and keep what I do, for the reasons discussed in this post. It’s amusing that some of my favourite (intentionally blurred) images would be thrown out by Google Photos if I let it choose for me.

  3. I’ll agree with Marc, I would never allow an algorithm to decide what pictures I should throw away…
    Also, my backup is a hardware backup (or 3) and NOT somewhere on the cloud that can be taken away from me if I’m deemed no longer worthy of having these pictures for whatever reason…

    1. Yes, that’s what I was saying here, it has no way of knowing what my tastes or intentions are. It’s a bit similar with Flickr when it tries to add tags that fit the image, and gets it woefully wrong.

    1. Ha ha, yes the Helios 44 series I’ve written about numerous times here, and I love them for all their beautiful imperfections, that’s what makes them special.

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