Personal snap shots. What do YOU do?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Gnork Gnork 1 year, 8 months ago.

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November 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm #4444

I hate Fauxtography
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I’ll be buying a new computer this spring dedicated to  my photography.  I want to clean up the family computer, and get it running on top of its game, but it holds so much, and I’m a little overwhelmed.

do I buy another external and cram all our pics and video on it?  Do I try to archive them in print?  Burn to discs?  I’ve got discs of this at that, and DVDs with video, and I’ve printed some, not most though.  I don’t want to lose them.

my actual photography I print as I go, have been arciving all along, and have a paper portfolio, I also back them up on a dedicated external.  Should I treat my family photos the same?

how do YOU keep organized, and keep your pictures safe?  This whole thing makes me want to go back to film

November 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm #4446

I hate Fauxtography
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Oh and just in case it matters.  I’ve been shooting digital since late 90′s. so we are talking thousands upon thousands  of snaps.  And I love them all. OY!

November 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm #4453
Nightrose
Nightrose
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Oh that’s a difficult one! I also still have yet to have all of my photos organised properly, and have a mix of digital backups on external HD and disks.  The raw files make everything massive, so I tend to back up all my original raws/jpegs onto external drives (trying to keep business and personal snaps on separate devices), and I back-up all the final jpegs onto DVD as well.   I find it very hard to throw the raws away completely!

Aside from having a million hard drives and disks, I have yet to figure out a better solution.   One of my thoughts is to archive everything by year.

November 8, 2012 at 9:19 pm #4454

Sharra
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I, too, have thousands of digital photos which I have backed up on two internal hard drives, two external hard drives and a dedicated NAS (network attached storage) with redundancy in case one of those mirrors goes down. Thus, I have a minimum of 6 on-site backups. I also have three off-site backups—two external hard drive at a two different family member’s houses and one with one of the many cloud services that are available these days. These three backups serve as peace of mind in case my house goes up in flames, God forbid. I used to do backups to DVDs, but at 4.7 GB or 8.5 GB each, these can add up in a hurry and aren’t really cost effective in terms on time required to create them (possibly with printed labels) when they are compared to 3 TB hard drives (equivalent of about 640 single layer DVDs) that are about $120 or less each. I don’t worry too much about prints because anything can be reprinted, but I do keep a catalogue of thumbnails organized by year and/or event to help facilitate locating images.

Maybe I’m being a little anal in my backup strategy, but I feel that having having too many backups is better than having too few because these files represent precious memories that can never be replaced. It’s quite easy to drag and drop folders from one location to another for on-site backups and you can do several at once if you can handle the computer being that much slower or you can go do something else while it does its thing. The off-site backups I make a point of doing quite regularly so the amount of files from one time to the next are not excessive and don’t take all day to copy over the Internet.

In short, you should back up all those digital photos that are important to you, which from your description sounds like just about everything. :) I would start with at least two on-site backups, at least one of which should be an external hard drive that you can quickly grab if you can when you are faced with a disaster of any kind. Then I would consider an off-site backup, either through family or friends and even a service like Livedrive, Carbonite, Google Drive, or Microsoft Skydrive. Each have their own initial storage capacity and price structure for additional space.

Once you clean up your current computer, you can also use it as a backup source if it’s on your home network. That’s my 7th on-site backup which I forgot to mention above. :) Having that extra computer with your photos means that other family members can access those photos and videos without being at your new computer or hogging its resources.

Your new computer should be fast enough to handle the largest of your photos or videos. Having a fast processor means nothing without sufficient system and video RAM to back it up. What you choose to spend in that regard depends on your preference for Macs or PCs, too. :)

Anyway, any or all of what I’ve said, you may already know. Good luck in your backup strategy and may you add many more digital files of memories for years to come.

 

November 9, 2012 at 1:17 am #4457

I hate Fauxtography
Subscriber

Sharra,

you are making me even more worried about it than I already am.  lol

I really need to buckle down, and get serious about this.  Ya know what really got me going, and thinking “I have to do something about this now!  No more procrastinating”?  My family started watching Walking Dead, and there was a scene about when the (whatever happened. Apocalypse?) that the women grabbed their family albums, nothing else, just their pictures.  And it made my heart stop.  Yes, I have albums, but so so so much on my computer and on discs.  Enough that it would make me cry if it were lost.  I can just picture myself lugging around my Mac trying to run from zombies while I look for power sources. Lmbo

Back up service…I might  just do that

nightrose,

Ive been organizing by year too, so maybe that will help me out in the long run.

 

maybe I’ll make some albums, keep a disc with them, and get a couple externals.  Then just be more organized and vigilant from here on out.  UGH this is gonna take forever! But it’ll feel good when I’m done, and be totally worth it.

November 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm #4474

Sharra
Subscriber

IHF, I didn’t mean to overwhelm you. I’d start with your family computer by putting your photos from there on to an external without any thought to organization. It can then be attached to the new computer when you start going through them, knowing that they are still on the family computer if either one crashes. I’d also consider having a copy on the new computer as well since many photographers I’ve talked to or read about advocate having at least 2 backups of everything, even to a couple USB drives when your memory cards fill up while in the field. Then as your organizing continues, you can copy your efforts to 2 other sources. Using a backup service is a good idea although it can literally take days to upload everything the first time if you have thousands of files, but most can be stopped even in the middle of copying a file because they can remain in sync as the service determines there are new files to backup.

I also organize by year, having only 12 folders of personal photos taken from 2001 to 2012. In addition to the backups I mentioned before, having a hard copy thumbnail catalogue in addition to one created in Lightroom with keywords adds a bit of sanity to my organization efforts and makes images much easier to find.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

 

November 12, 2012 at 11:46 pm #4540
fstopper89
fstopper89
Subscriber

Ah, my favorite post!

Sharra, you sound a little nuts, but in this respect, it’s a perfectly good nuts! There’s nothing wrong with having them backed up in all those places. OP, I agree with the suggestions to get a couple of external drives and some form of online storage. First back up everything to your external devices, and then I’d suggest doing overnight backups to the online storage. I recently got a SmugMug account. I started backing up stuff from 2005, which is as far back as my snapshots go, since they’re all smaller size jpg’s they don’t take forever (well, a few hours per month folder). Some of those are still on disks which I’m slowly chucking in the trash as soon as I get them all uploaded. I pay for the extra service to upload RAW files also. It amounts to such a small cost per month. The only RAW files I save from my own personal photos are ones I really feel I might want to re-edit later, and the RAWs I save from client work are the ones of the photos I kept and edited. That reminds me, I need to do a few more backups again. I’ve kept my Macbook on overnight and turned off the auto shutoff feature so that I can just sleep as it uploads. I keep my external drives in a small fireproof lockbox in my house, but I would like to get another one and keep it at my dad’s house or something, just in case.

My form of file folder organization is Year_MonthNumber_Month. So, like 2012_11_November. It makes for easy cataloging and keeping them in chronological order. My files are always named things like Nov2012-3489.jpg or the like. If it’s a client photo, it’s the first 3 letters of their last name plus the previous filename.

It is always a good thing to think of- a friend of mine who is also a semi-pro photographer recently was burglarized. She had the iMac set up in the basement- why the thief would think of going into the unfinished basement anyway (they think the burglar must have been someone who knew them, as they only targeted items from certain rooms and knew the computer was in the basement). Luckily, she had backed up client work already, but the two recent shoots she did and had not backed up yet were still on her camera card which was luckily not stolen, even though it was sitting right next to the computer that was. However, she did not have some of her personal family photos backed up and lost all the photos of her two kids’ births as well as all the other family snapshots. She said she cried for two days straight.

November 27, 2012 at 11:23 am #4848

EvilDaystar
Subscriber

I’ll be buying a new computer this spring dedicated to  my photography.  I want to clean up the family computer, and get it running on top of its game, but it holds so much, and I’m a little overwhelmed.

do I buy another external and cram all our pics and video on it?  Do I try to archive them in print?  Burn to discs?  I’ve got discs of this at that, and DVDs with video, and I’ve printed some, not most though.  I don’t want to lose them.

my actual photography I print as I go, have been arciving all along, and have a paper portfolio, I also back them up on a dedicated external.  Should I treat my family photos the same?

how do YOU keep organized, and keep your pictures safe?  This whole thing makes me want to go back to film

I have a copy on my computer (2, 2 terrybte HD in replication), I have a copy on two external HDD drives (2 500 gig external HDD) and a copy on a NAS (Netowrk Attached Storage, like a mini file server).

So I technically have 4 copies of all my, and my clients, files.

- You don’t want to store just one copy on DVD … consumer grade DVDs color warp over time making the disk unreadable.
- Hard disk drives are magnetic storage devices and can become corrupted with time on top of that, they have moving parts that can fail as well.

Ideally, USB Flash drives would be best. They are non volatile and will last literally forever (or close enough that it shouldn’t matter). I saw a 32Gig USB flash drive on sale yesterday for 15$. If you are saving full resolution JPEGS (and not RAW files) that drive can hold approximately 3200 pictures (around 10MB a picture froma 22MP camera). If you shoot about 100 pictures a week,  you would need about 2 sticks a year making your storage cost around 30$ per year (or about half a penny a picture) that’s pretty cheap.

You would, of course, only use these as long term storage/backups and not for daily use.

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  EvilDaystar.
November 27, 2012 at 11:30 am #4850

I hate Fauxtography
Subscriber

Evil,

flash drives!  Why didn’t I think of that?!?!  Sure I’d need another back up solution as well, but flash drives would really help.  Plus, during the zombie apocalypse, I could just keep them in my pocket ;) lol

I don’t keep RAWs of family pics, this just might be the answer I’ve been looking for, thank you

November 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm #4855
fstopper89
fstopper89
Subscriber

While my computer was getting a new HDD put in, I saved a bunch of recent stuff to a flash drive, but it took FOREVER to write to it… is that normal? It was a cheaper drive and was only used for temporary storage, so maybe quality changes depending on brand. It just didn’t seem like it would hold much either. I had a 16gb flash drive. I’ll have to rethink that someday.

With DVDs too, I heard that their projected lifespan for data storage could be as little as 10 years, and much less when exposed to heat or sun. When I give a client a DVD of their images I tell them it’s their responsibility to save them to their computer. (In my contract, I state that I am guaranteed to keep their images for 6 months from the time of the shoot, though I do keep all my stuff, I just say that to cover my butt if 3 years from now they say they lost their disk and I don’t have the photos anymore.)

November 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm #4894

EvilDaystar
Subscriber

“While my computer was getting a new HDD put in, I saved a bunch of recent stuff to a flash drive, but it took FOREVER to write to it… is that normal?”

Yeah, the cheaper flash drives are supre slow and flash drives in general aren;t too fast but for long term storage it doesn’t matter. We’re talking disaster recover here, not everyday usage.

November 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm #4904
Gnork
Gnork
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Just a little tip- Never use the push out/glide flash drives if you can help it. They die fairly easily. Try to get the kind that turns instead. They can be a little more expensive, but I’ve lost files to the push out type on three separate occasions, using three different brands. I’ve never had an issue with the other kind.

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