Every decent photographer organizes photos by grouping them, comparing similar pictures, picking out good pictures, and deleting bad pictures. This has been true even in the age of film photography.
Then came the digital age. People machine gun their cameras because there is no longer a notion of cost to each picture. Storage is cheap so just shoot a lot and hope to get a few that looks right. Unfortunately, machine gunning has a cost: time. Now, people are spending more time than ever in front of their computer, organizing tons of badly taken, machine gunned photos.
I just came back from an event where I took 600 pictures with 3 different cameras. Yes there are times I'm also guilty of machine gunning my camera, but at least I throw out bad ones. Usually I can sort through hundreds of pictures within an hour. My workflow to get the best 20-30 best pictures entail the followings: 1) grouping similar photos or photos 2) giving rankings to each photo (judging from technical merits, emotional merits, and uniqueness) 3) picking out the ones with the highest rankings 4) enhancing the ones that have high rankings
Digital cameras make step 1-2 very painful because it's so easy to machine gun your camera. You have the pleasure of taking tons of bad pictures, but end up with hundreds of photos (instead of just 2-3 rolls of film per event in the old days) that you need to stare at again. You end up looking through them, thinking "why the hell did I take this lousy picture?" Hours and hours in front of the computer will pass by, and by the time you're done, you're thinking "That took a long time and it was very very painful. Digital sucks."
Well, digital sucks even more if you have hundreds of pictures that have different time stamps that make sorting and grouping them impossible. Case in point, I just went through about 600 pictures taken with 3 different digital cameras. Unfortunately, all three had a slightly different internal time stamp, so when I tried to group them, the sequence of pictures overlapped one another. I actually had to go through them one by one to group them manually for comparison. I was too lazy to write a script that extracted EXIF and modified EXIF to match the time stamps, and in retrospect that was the right thing to do. Anyways, what could have taken just an hour or two, ended up to be almost a day of work. Having wrong time stamps really messed up the work flow.
Moral of the story #1: it really pays to spend a minute to sync up your digital camera clock.
Moral of the story #2: everyone is going to run into this situation at some point anyways, so find a script/program that can shift/sync EXIF time stamps.