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Thread: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

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    Default A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    by David Tong

    We all learn the hard way when it comes to insuring our possessions, only when something goes wrong will we ever say ďdamn, I shouldíveÖĒ, but itís often too late.




    Nicky - Circa 2001

    When I first started digital photography around the late 90ís (darn Iím old!), the company I worked for bought a Kodak DC290, a 2MB digital camera that was uber high-tech for most of us and a far cry from the clunky Sony Mavica floppy-disk storage cameras. I was able to borrow the camera from the company for quite a while and took some wonderful family shots with the camera, especially when my niece, Nicole, was still a little toddler.

    At that time, the popular online photo storage site was Yahoo! Photos (which later was dissolved and integrated into Flickr), I stored quite a few photos in Yahoo! Photos and nowhere else, which was fine until I realized that Yahoo! Photos only stored low-resolution files at that time. A few years down the road, when I learned the importance of having an original file, I didnít have much to work with.

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    Default Re: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    Good post.
    Yes, your way is slightly long winded but the it is still a valuable reminder to archive and store the photos with plenty of redundancy. One thing to note is that if using optical disc to archive, use different brands to spread the risk. I personally buy 2 different good brands and keep 2 copies, one on each brand. I supppose that same goes with hardisk, 2 seperate brand of hardisks.

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    Default Re: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by kenkht View Post
    Good post.
    Yes, your way is slightly long winded but the it is still a valuable reminder to archive and store the photos with plenty of redundancy. One thing to note is that if using optical disc to archive, use different brands to spread the risk. I personally buy 2 different good brands and keep 2 copies, one on each brand. I supppose that same goes with hardisk, 2 seperate brand of hardisks.
    No, it's not that easy.
    First you need to define the purpose: Backup? Storage? Archiving? Each of them has a different purpose and therefore needs different considerations and needs different technical approaches.
    With your two optical disks you address the topic "Archiving". Two different brands are already a good idea. But additionally you need to consider: life span of such optical disks, storage conditions, hardware / software to retrieve the data etc. Secondly: optical disks as usual CD and DVD are not intended for archiving. It is advisable (also to address the changing technologies) to copy the data to newer optical disks after 5 years latest. Annual read and verify tests are recommended as well.

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    Default Re: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by theveed View Post
    A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    by David Tong
    [...]
    continue reading "A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos"
    A good starting point to think about it. But the technical implementation is not complete. Since we are depending on IT it makes most sense to adhere to basic principles of IT and data protection rules which are common in IT. "Redundancy" is one important point, but not everything. Normally, redundancy is achieved by mirrored disks. Todays computers with SATA disks but also external storage devices can deliver RAID1 capacities. That's the first step to create redundancy. One failing disk can be replaced without losing data.
    If you are working on daily basis then you don't want to safeguard only the original file (RAW, JPG from the cam) but also the edited versions which are maybe part of a portfolio or print out. Losing these versions will result in spending hours again to redo all editing. This calls for a backup solution. This also helps in case of accidental deletion of images or other sudden user-caused errors.
    Thirdly, archiving for long-term storage and retrieval needs to be considered. I have mentioned some points to consider in my posting below.

    Lightroom has already a built-in backup function which checks the internal database and copies the database to a different location. That's a very good step of combining digital imaging workflow with IT data protection workflow. Although the implementation could be improved (a backup should be taken at the end of the work, not when starting the work).

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    Default Re: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    Here's my method (I've files from my Canon S10 days)...

    a) Backup to PC
    b) From PC backup to Maxtor 500GB external HDD using software
    c) From PC backup to Seagate 500GB external HDD using software
    d) Edit any pictures on PC and save edited files in seperate directory
    e) Backup edited files to Maxtor 500GB AND Seagate 500GB if I want to
    f) Every 2/3 years upgrade the external harddisks

    Its like a manual RAID but I do not depend on RAID controller. With software, its easier to manage.

    I also label my directories in the form "YYYYMMDD <Event name>" which makes it easier to sort. I also keep a spreadsheet which keeps track of all the pictures I have taken.

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    Default Re: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    Just as well, I was re-archiving my collection when I found that on one disc, one of my directory was unreadable I dunno what I lost since it's been a while but I guess it might as well be. So the lesson learnt is redundancy. I should have a duplicate to avoid such loss.

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    Default Re: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    Get a flickr pro account and upload as much as you have, to your heart's content. The sets and collections also give you a structure to sort and assemble your snaps from the past. I think there's no better way to keep the photos. As a backup, always keep a hard disk too, and label the names of folders as:

    * 2008-05-12-With-Jane-and-Joe
    * 2008-04-01-Trip-To-Bali
    * 2008-03-19-At-work-and-church

    ..etc. Done.

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    Default Re: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by kenkht View Post
    Just as well, I was re-archiving my collection when I found that on one disc, one of my directory was unreadable I dunno what I lost since it's been a while but I guess it might as well be. So the lesson learnt is redundancy. I should have a duplicate to avoid such loss.
    Yeah, that's the sad story about file systems in Windows. All the hard disks need a integrity check from to time. You can only prevent this by regular checks. In addition you could use an external disk to copy all files over (this includes file checks), then delete the original files and copy the data back. This also resolves any file fragmentation.
    Alternatively: Get Linux or a Mac. These systems are mature enough to do these checks automatically in the background, no issues at all since many years on Linux.

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    Default Re: A Beginnerís Guide on Safekeeping Digital Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Alternatively: Get Linux or a Mac. These systems are mature enough to do these checks automatically in the background, no issues at all since many years on Linux.
    Yup..just got meself an iMac recently and slowly moving all my stuff over..bye bye MS

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