Help! Files, Files, and more Files ... Everywhere

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by JeffS, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. JeffS

    JeffS Guest

    Hi,
    I've gotten semi-serious lately and started to shoot alot more in RAW
    mode (yes, everyone finally convinced me). The problem, I have files
    everywhere. On 2 different hard drives, burned on multiple CDs, in tons
    of different formats (JPEG, TIFF, PSD, RAW). I need something to help
    organize, locate and identify/view this mess. Is there a decent piece of
    software out there that newsgroup members use to keep track of their
    photos and perhaps provide thumbnails? I realize that PSD files might be
    a problem, but something that would handle just the regular graphic
    formats would be great. Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly
    appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
    JeffS, Sep 16, 2004
    #1
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  2. PIcasa?

    http://www.picasa.com/content/download.php?sourceid=awd&subid=ha-picbd&cv=1
     
    Brian Sullivan, Sep 16, 2004
    #2
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  3. JeffS

    gsum Guest

    Here's what I do:
    Process the raw files (which ususally only consists of getting the white
    balance and exposure right) and save as tiffs. Delete the raws and do
    all further work only with tiffs. When I have a dvd's worth of tiffs,
    I use either Jalbum (free from www.jalbum.com) or PS to create
    html pages of the files and I write the html and tiffs to a dvd. The html
    page provide an index and screen sized images of the tiffs.

    The advantages of this method are that you don't lose quality as
    tiff is a lossless format and you don't need to mess around with
    amateur thumbnail/indexing software that is usually more trouble
    than its worth (other than Windoze Explorer of course!!!).

    Graham
     
    gsum, Sep 16, 2004
    #3
  4. JeffS

    E. Le Phant Guest

    I can't agree with that. To me, deleting RAWs would be like throwing away
    the negatives. My RAWs are the most important files I have, and are backed
    up twice to DVD and also onto an external HD.
     
    E. Le Phant, Sep 16, 2004
    #4
  5. JeffS

    gsum Guest

    Good point but I'm only stating what I find works for me.
    I have made mistakes occasionally and wished that I had
    saved the raw. Maybe I should save the raws alongside
    the tiffs.

    Graham
     
    gsum, Sep 16, 2004
    #5
  6. JeffS

    E. Le Phant Guest

    And they are certainly smaller than the TIFFs too!
     
    E. Le Phant, Sep 16, 2004
    #6
  7. JeffS

    bob Guest


    I store all my photos in a folder called "photos." Each time I download, I
    make a new folder named with the date and subject: 2004-10-16-FloridaTrip

    If you get better results in RAW mode, then you should plan on larger
    drives. Only trust your cdr/dvd recorder for stuff you can afford to loose.

    Bob
     
    bob, Sep 16, 2004
    #7
  8. JeffS

    E. Le Phant Guest

    Why do you reply to me instead of the OP? You have done this twice to me
    today!
     
    E. Le Phant, Sep 16, 2004
    #8
  9. Thumbs Plus, <www.cerious.com>. It'll index online and offline disks,
    lets you make virtual groupings of images from anywhere ("galleries"),
    displays thumbnails from PSD and RAW files as well as the standard
    formats, handles EXIF and IPTC data, database keywords, etc. Very
    nice package.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Sep 16, 2004
    #9
  10. JeffS

    Wayne Menzie Guest

    Picasa's very nice but it doesn't handle any RAW formats so it's not as
    useful as you might think. The good news is that version 2.0 should have
    RAW support for at least some cameras:
    http://forums.picasa.com/viewtopic.php?t=1199
     
    Wayne Menzie, Sep 16, 2004
    #10
  11. JeffS

    BLG Guest

    Out of curiosity, what is the basis of this comment. I store all of
    my photos on my HD, but I assume my CD backups are a safe archive.
    Are they not?
     
    BLG, Sep 16, 2004
    #11
  12. JeffS

    JeffS Guest

    Wow. Thank you all for the responses! I'll check out all the programs
    mentioned to see what I feel comfortable with and meets my needs. I
    definitely don't plan on tossing out any of my 'keeper' RAW files. I
    agree with the person who stated that they are the digital equivalent to
    negatives. I have a workflow similar to that which many cited. I do the
    base corrections from the RAW files and save them as TIFFs for further
    processing. Then I move the original RAW files out of harms way. Right
    now I burn them onto a CD (no problems with this as yet), but I will be
    picking up a dedicated external HD for storing them as well.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and comments!

    Jeff
     
    JeffS, Sep 17, 2004
    #12
  13. JeffS

    bob Guest

    A couple years ago I searched for white papers by CDR manufacturers.
    After reading what Kodak and TDK had to say about the archival properties
    of their media, it was clear that under certain circumstances that they
    might be able to last for 100 years or more, but those circumstances take
    for granted that a) the burner is 100% in factory spec, but since the
    burner uses many analog components that are know to deteriorate with use,
    that assumption is invalid, and b) that the media is perfectly matched to
    the drive, but since there are several different technologies used to
    make media (different dye types, etc.) that assumption is only valid if
    the user knows what dye type is best for his drive and what dye type a
    given media is made from.

    After the assumptions are made, the circumstances require that the disc
    be kept in the dark at controlled room temperature and humidity. Some
    people keep thier AC's on all year round, but some people don't. Their
    findings also are based on the assumption that there are no factors that
    are not accelerated by temperature, which might not be valid, and they
    admit that.

    So far, the only CDRs I've lost have been due to abuse and neglect,
    rather than media failure, but based on what the experts at the
    manufacturer's had to say, I do not feel like they are truly "safe".

    Bob
     
    bob, Sep 17, 2004
    #13
  14. JeffS

    JeffS Guest

    Hard drives fail also. Isn't the average life expectancy of a drive in
    relatively steady use about 4 to 5 years (given most manufacturer's
    specs)? Although, even if a drive crashes, in many cases the majority of
    the data is recoverable. Recovery services are expensive though and
    there are no guarantees that any data at all will be able to be
    recovered in a useful form.

    So, there really isn't (at least for now), a truly dependable media type
    for preserving data forever with 100% reliability in the digital realm.
    One can either be paralyzed and do nothing, or one can take what
    precautions one can and hope for the best. One can spend an inordinate
    amount of time backing up to multiple media types in the hopes that at
    least one will survive or even start etching the 0's and 1's to clay
    tablets. I try and save original work (RAW files and JPEGs) to CD and a
    hard drive. The chances of both failing and losing everything is slim,
    but entirely possible even so. Until something better comes along, what
    else can you do?

    Jeff
     
    JeffS, Sep 17, 2004
    #14
  15. JeffS

    bob Guest

    Yes, although at least in my environment, they (hard drives) seem to be
    holding up much better than they had.

    The difference between a HD and a disc is that when the HD fails, you know
    it has, and you can take action to retrieve your data from backup media and
    make new backups, or whatever else. When your CD (or DVD fails), you won't
    know it.

    In the "old days," we used to backup our HDs to tape, every day, rotating
    multiple tape sets. Even though our drive failed at least 5 times, we never
    lost a single file. Now that drives are so big, and tapes aren't much biger
    than they were 5 years ago, tape isn't a reasonable choice.

    I've got three hard drives in my computer, and I keep important files on at
    least two of them. I also burn backup copies to CDs, but I don't trust the
    CD as the only copy of anything I don't mind loosing.

    Bob
     
    bob, Sep 18, 2004
    #15
  16. JeffS

    Harry Krause Guest


    Hard drives are cheap. I think the best way to backup is simply to
    nightly auto copy your main hard drive to another hard drive.
     
    Harry Krause, Sep 18, 2004
    #16
  17. JeffS

    JeffS Guest

    Hehe, I remember those days as well. Abysmal backup software, incredibly
    slow write times and stacks of tapes. I recall starting backups at
    midnight and still writing at 9 AM when the doors opened for business.
    I agree, I prefer keeping backups on another HD but I use CDs also. I've
    been fortunate to never have had a burned CD go bad. I only wanted to
    point out that currently no media type is 100% secure and safe for
    holding data. I've had HDs crash and result in less than 20% of the data
    being recoverable in a usable form. I, like everyone else, keep waiting
    for the 'next great thing' to come along for reliable long term data
    storage.

    Jeff
     
    JeffS, Sep 18, 2004
    #17
  18. JeffS

    bob Guest

    If you use good backup software to do it (instead of drag and drop), then
    backing up one drive to another will do a good job of protecting against
    both user error (deleting files by mistake) and hardware failure (of the
    sort where the drive spins down).

    But it won't protect against malicious activity.

    There are no cheap foolproof systems, so I tend to make a lot of copies of
    things and put them in many places.

    Bob
     
    bob, Sep 18, 2004
    #18
  19. If it fails completely, yes. But if a few files disappear, due to bad
    blocks, operating system bugs or user error, no alarm bells ring.
    I have known companies lose important files and only discover it after
    all tape sets had been rotated. It's extraordinary how few people have
    ever heard of (or worked out for themselves) the need for archive
    backups - i.e. backups which are never re-used.
    Well, that combination doesn't sound too bad.
     
    Stephen Poley, Sep 18, 2004
    #19
  20. JeffS

    bob Guest

    In 15 years, I've only lost maybe one or two files on hard drives to bad
    blocks, but I've lost at least a dozen drives.

    I guess I'm willing to risk the loss of a single file, but not an entire
    drive.

    Bob
     
    bob, Sep 19, 2004
    #20
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