How do you store/back up your photos?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by jmc, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. jmc

    jmc Guest

    Augh! Bad side of bigMP camera, and RAW: The Space! I used to be able
    to fit a couple months' pics on one DVD. Even in .jpg, I can barely fit
    the originals of my Tasmania trip on one! The originals I've taken just
    since I started with the Rebel XTi are taking up one DL DVD on their own...

    I've just been floored to discover I have over 60GB (!!!) of just photos
    stored on my hard drive. This is partially because I rarely delete my
    originals; I have the originals stored in one place, then I make a copy
    of the folder to work on for editing and viewing. Sensible, but it
    means I need nearly twice as much space to store photos.

    I started by storing my photos on CD. Then DVD, and I've just started
    storing them on DVD-DL. The pile of photo backup discs is growing, and
    gonna grow fast if I keep taking RAW pics with the new camera... I think
    I need to find a better way of backing 'em up.

    I'm not interested in HD or blu-ray yet 'cause of the built-in DRM, even
    though that *shouldn't* affect my photos. It's a philosophical thing.
    I can easily get an external HD (heck, I have one already) to store them
    on, but I'm a bit nervous about putting all my eggs in one basket like
    that. At least if one CD or DVD goes bad, I've only lost that small bit
    of backup data.

    So. How many GB of photos do you have, and how do you back them up?

    jmc, Feb 18, 2007
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  2. jmc

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, Joseph Meehan exclaimed (18-Feb-07 9:31 PM):
    I don't keep six copies (whatever gave you that idea?) I keep two.
    Original and working copy.

    That's not why I keep the originals. I keep them for a couple of reasons:

    1) In case I screw up editing an image. I can always go back to the start
    2) In case I change my mind about a deleted picture. I've occasionally
    deleted an image in the working directory, then seen it again in the
    originals and realized it was a keeper.

    There's other reasons too, but these are the main two.

    Gads, looks like I just topped out my external HD. ::sigh::

    jmc, Feb 18, 2007
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  3. In addition to everthing else (external HD, DVD, etc.):

    1. Some photo-printing sites offer unlimited storage. Most will
    charge you to get the data back, but if you've really lost an image
    that you want, it will be worth it. And frequently the storage
    doesn't cost anything up front.

    2. Lots of web sites, e-mail services, etc., offer a Gig or two of
    storage. For example, you could, I suppose (though I've not done
    this) get a new Yahoo! email address for each photo shoot, and mail
    yourself the pictures. I don't know how long Yahoo! keeps messages
    on-line, but each e-mail address gives you a Gig.

    These two options make it easy to keep off-site backups.

    Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, Feb 18, 2007
  4. jmc

    Kinon O'Cann Guest

    375GB; a collection of scans and new RAW and JEPG files. I use a dual
    method: magnetic and optical. I have a server in my house with mirrored 500G
    drives used solely for images. The images are also written to DVD, just in
    case. I have one DVD set here and another stored off-site. Once I fill up
    the existing 500G drives, I'll upgrade the storage to at leasst 2TB.

    Also, I usually upgrade the optical storage every few years. Right now, it's
    standard 4.7G DVD. Once Blu-Ray becomes more affordable, I'll likely move to
    that storage medium.More expensive per disc, but lots fewer discs and less
    of a PITA burning them.
    Kinon O'Cann, Feb 18, 2007
  5. I will often fill I 2GB card in a couple of hours, and that's a D70s which
    has quite small RAW files. My partner has a D80 and she will easily shoot 4
    gigs in the time it takes me to shoot 2.

    I generally create a folder on my HDD called "backup1" "backup2" etc which I
    will fill with enough raw files to fill a DVD. I then fire up deepburner
    and save them to dvd, which then go in my lowepro dvd wallet. I usually get
    Taiyo Yuden blank DVDs as they are supposed to have a longer archive life
    than cheaper "no name" brands. I might think of backing up my backups
    sometime to guard against media failure, as I have had to remove a lot of my
    earlier raw files from my HDD to free up space.

    cheers adrian
    Adrian Boliston, Feb 18, 2007
  6. jmc

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, exclaimed (18-Feb-07 10:43
    Well, I doubt "everyone" knows this, but I do :) It's not a question of
    "what's available" but "what do you use". Nice summary though. Wish I
    could do one DVD a year!

    Actually, I'd probably use flash memory, if they came in 100GB+ sizes (I
    know, give 'em time. Photo viewer is just one of the above, I don't
    think it uses a special type of memory. Aren't they usually flash
    storage devices? Don't have one myself, but have started looking.

    jmc, Feb 18, 2007
  7. jmc

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, thehick exclaimed (19-Feb-07 12:05 AM):
    Yup. Right now my original and the working copy are on the same drive.
    Good point about maybe putting them on separate drives. I have two
    200GB Seagate SATA drives, so local storage isn't an issue.
    Yea, external HD is quick and easy, but hard drives do fail (had a
    couple over the years) and I'd hate to lose everything at one fell
    swoop. At least if a CD or DVD fails it's only the one.
    Ah, but technology changes. Hybrid HDs are starting to come out; flash
    HDs aren't too far behind. Not sure about how long it'll be before the
    price comes down enough for the capacity I need.
    There's other issues with those media, so I'm avoiding them for now.
    Or flash.
    Very true.
    That's what I do: I name as: yyyy-mm-dd_event - works pretty well.
    Generally, if I know what year and approx time of year I'm looking for,
    it's not too much of a problem.
    Always does :) USB2 will be around for a while though. Offsite storage
    is ideal, but not always practical for some of us, especially those who
    move around the world a lot.
    I never overwrite backups. So that's easy :)
    I use different partitions for the different types of data - a partition
    for photos, another for video (since my camcorder died and may not be
    replaced, this may be repurposed), and one for multimedia, which
    includes sound bytes and music, as well as random videos I've stored.

    With the video and all, I've probably got close to 200GB too, but
    nothing in there's as important as the photos to me, so most of it's not
    backed up, 'cause it'd take too many DVDs to do so. My external HD's
    now only just big enough to store the photos.

    jmc, Feb 18, 2007
  8. 148GB, looks like. General policy is two optical disks of high quality
    (older ones are CD-R, newer are DVD-R, many of them Kodak or Mitsui/MAM
    gold), one stored offsite, plus a local hard disk backup.

    Policy includes monitoring the state of the older optical media, and
    doing that systematically hasn't been really organized yet. Random
    checks, not often enough, have shown no signs of degradation of any
    media (which goes back to 1993 or some such) so far.

    One of my big worries is not getting optical media updated when I go
    back and work with old photos. While the originals are as safe as any
    other photos in this scheme, it does mean I may not catch upates to
    keywords, which means I may not have identifications of people in old
    shots if things go plooie. The incremental code in Archive Creator is
    buggy, so those files don't reliably get archived at my next sweep.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 20, 2007
  9. I've spent enough time working with my own 30-year-old negatives that I
    can tell you I really, really hate what you're proposing, at least in
    the general case.

    In fairness, the case of 6 very similar images is the one where you're
    most likely to be right even for me -- deleting 5 of them is very often
    a win, or at least you'll never know if you would have felt different.

    However, I've found photos I didn't so far as I can tell print 30 years
    ago, which I'm now very glad to have available, and have gotten me good
    feedback from others. Some of them are ones I couldn't handle in a
    darkroom as a highschool kid, but can now get very nice images from with
    a good scanner and photoshop and 30 more years practice. Others are
    ones that weren't interesting then and are now. In that last category,
    there are a number of photos that are the only photo I have of
    something, and I really wish I had more (and better).

    It's become quite apparent that what I value in photos close to when I
    take them is by no means the same thing I value 30 years later. Partly
    this depends on who becomes a close friend and who passes out of my
    life, who dies, who becomes famous, and so forth. Partly it's just
    changes in my interests and tastes.

    Anyway, put me on record as being very strongly against the strong form
    of "delete as much as you can right away"; though the specific case of
    deleting all but the very best of a sequence of very similar photos is,
    as I say, the most likely case to actually accomplish good.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 20, 2007
  10. jmc

    King Sardon Guest

    You must be joking.

    King Sardon, Feb 20, 2007
  11. Clearly worse, to my eye: You had the picture, and got rid of it. If
    you regret it later, that's a bigger regret than simply not shooting it.

    The alternatives you cite are skewed. Nobody proposes "shooting as much
    and as fast as you can", anywhere that I've ever seen.

    Meanwhile, try telling somebody who shoots, say, motorsports, or
    football (either style) professionally, that they shouldn't be using the
    continuous mode on their camera in some situations, and report back to
    us on what they have to say about that.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 20, 2007
  12. Sure, all those things could happen -- and you've just lost *one* of a
    minimum of two copies of your data. While it's a pain to regenerate the
    whole set, it's not *that* hard if things get that bad. Meanwhile, the
    office building is probably sprinklered and generally less likely to
    burn to the ground that a residence. Seems like not a bad idea, and
    I've used it at times when I had a local office for work.
    Less well than we do now. Would you prefer to go back to that? Also
    it's harder to accidentally delete all the negatives out of your files
    than all the files off your computer, so you need the backup more.
    Dozens, fairly easily; my grandma was the mother of 5, all of whom
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 20, 2007
  13. jmc

    ray Guest

    I'm beginning to consider simply filing filled up 1 and 2gb memory cards.
    They're cheap enough now.
    ray, Feb 20, 2007
  14. jmc

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, Mr.Bolshoyhuy exclaimed (20-Feb-07 1:29 PM):
    They didn't. Many have lost lifetimes' worth of photos due to fire,
    flood, theft, or improper storage.

    The negative, essentially, was the backup to the print. Not many
    thought about offsite storage back then.

    Incidentally, I still have some 3,000 photos in negatives around here
    somewhere. Though most of them are stored in archival negative sleeves,
    I can still only hope they haven't color-shifted in the intervening 20
    or so years (I have 126 and 110 negatives. Does that date me?)

    Just because we couldn't make dupes back then, doesn't mean we shouldn't

    jmc, Feb 20, 2007
  15. Or proper storage; Jacques Lowe had his negatives from the Kennedy era
    carefully secured in a safe deposit box in a bank. Which was under the
    World Trade Center. The published book is made up from prints and
    contact sheets he had around his studio. Enough bad luck can get your
    single copy *anywhere*.
    Oh, probably. I have 110 negatives and slides, but my 35mm negs go back
    to even older times. And my 127 even further :).
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 20, 2007
  16. jmc

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, Sachin Garg exclaimed (21-Feb-07 8:24 PM):
    DNG? never heard of it. Do you mean PNG?

    jmc, Feb 21, 2007
  17. jmc

    J. Clarke Guest

    The major obstacle to using tape is the cost of the drive. For video
    or data it gets ludicrous quickly. But for stills maybe not--10 GB
    DLT drives can be had on ebay now for ten bucks and 40GB for under
    200. DLT is the _only_ storage medium with a real track record--new
    current generation DLT drives and the LTO drives that are their chief
    competitor typically go for $2000-5000, just as those 10 buck drives
    off of ebay did when they were new.
    J. Clarke, Feb 21, 2007
  18. jmc

    jeremy Guest

    According to Wilhelm, the CD spindles are of variable quality and some will
    fail early on. That is a real bummer! I've seen "archival" CDs that sold
    for big bucks, making storage costs skyrocket. Every so often I read about
    someone that followed proper technique, used what were thought to be good
    quality media, and then still lost irreplaceable images due to media failure
    (especially when CDs that were burned on one computer were played back on
    another computer).

    The Industry really needs to address these concerns. Digital storage is
    fragile and often unreliable right now.
    jeremy, Feb 23, 2007
  19. There is only one really really reliable digital data storage system
    currently available, but you're not going to like it...

    Punched tape. The holes don't ever close up and new holes don't
    magically appear on the reel. The tape's "paper" is actually a Mylar
    plastic composite, proof against damp, rot, fungus etc and very strong,
    practically unbreakable. A fire will destroy it but environmental
    extremes of heat (-40C to 100C) and humidity will not affect it, unlike
    magnetic tape, hard drives, writable CDs/DVDs, magneto-optical discs

    Problem is that a reel of punched tape a foot in diameter and an inch
    thick will only hold a few dozen megabytes of data at most. Bummer.
    Robert Sneddon, Feb 24, 2007
  20. They did exist, at least in a limited format. There was a punched tape
    format based on 2" wide videotape substrate which carried 256 holes of
    data (32 bytes) plus checksums across the width. It never came into
    regular use though -- a tape reel weighing about twenty pounds the size
    of a car steering wheel held just under a gigabyte, or what low-end $15
    micro-SD cards hold today. The reader/punch machines were large, slow,
    noisy and expensive, as was the tape itself.
    Robert Sneddon, Feb 24, 2007
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