Storing and Archiving Photos

Where do we PUT all those digital photos?

NOTE: No storage medium seems to be fool proof. Consider these facts:
– There are 3 types of digital storage (or Static Storage)
Optical Disks: CDs, DVDs, DVD-Rs, DVD+Rs, CD+Rs, and Blu-Ray
Solid State Storage: Memory cards, flash drives, digital recorders, digital cameras, cell phones, blackberry devices, PDA’s, MP3 players & iPods
Magnetic Storage: Hard drives, New SSD’s, servers, external hard drives, floppy disks, magnetic tape
– To begin with, we take digital pictures on memory/flash cards. There are no moving parts in these things and they can hold a lot of information whether they are CF (compact flash) Cards,
Smart Media Cards, Memory Sticks, SD Cards, Micro SD Cards, Mini SD Cards etc. These go into your camera and record the digital photo data. You can download the picture file directly to your computer
harddisk or you can remove the card and place it in a card reader to download the files to your computer harddisk.
– These cards come in various memory sizes: 256MB, 1GB – 32GB for example. Note: They can fail!!! The files on the card can become corrupt for one reason or another. Sometimes you can save
them and sometimes you can’t. There are some precautions you should take when taking pictures on these cards
1. Don’t rely on ONE huge card. It’s better to have 2 or 3 smaller cards.
2. Make it a practice to format the card regularly in your camera…NOT in your computer.
3. They are solid state, but don’t abuse them, get them wet….just to be on the safe side.
4. Generally treat them as short-term storage and download them to a computer or CD/DVD regularly.
– Next, download your picture file to a computer harddrive or an external harddrive that is dedicated to being your primary photo storage device.
– These harddrives are usually one of what can be several such internal drives in your desktop computer.
– Today’s photo files can be rather large in size so the size of your memory cards and harddrives will be dictated by the normal size of your camera files. 8MP cameras have smaller files than 20MP cameras.
Also, the file format you use will make a difference in the file size. JPGs are smaller than RAW files for example…A LOT SMALLER!
Example: A RAW file from a 21MP camera might be 25,500KB (25.5MB) while a JPG might be only 6,000KB (6MB)
– Third, backup your new files to a permanent device.
– What to Use!
1. An external harddrive – These can fail
2. A CD or DVD – These can fail
3. A RAID backup system of several harddrives
4. An online service that provides backups in multiple locations
– Fourth, work on the new files in your image editor.
1. Throw away the dogs and rate the good ones *****
2. Remove the dogs from your backups too
3. Edit your good pictures and save them with a new name that will not destroy the original file.
Example: If your original is a RAW file, save a copy as a DNG or TIFF file. Big files but they don’t degrade like JPGs do.
4. Save the finished file and back it up with the new name.
5. When you’re done working with these pictures, make a second backup of your first backup and STORE THE SECOND BACKUP IN A DIFFERENT LOCATION.