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05-13-2011, 06:51 AM   #1
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storing photos for the future

what is the best way to store photo raw files for the future?

05-13-2011, 07:00 AM   #2
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Aperture or Lightroom on an external HDD.
05-13-2011, 07:15 AM   #3
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Hard drive is your best bet. I have a couple older HDDs from previous computers I've placed into enclosures but these will be filled before long. The RAW files take a lot of space, and I'll need to add some new HDDs to my computer and get a larger one for external archiving. Eventually.

So far the hard drive seems to be the least volatile storage media. Two to be safe - one in your computer and one outside.
05-13-2011, 07:29 AM   #4
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Get the ones you really want to keep 'printed' and store in ziplock bag in a shoebox!
If ever your harddrive gives up the ghost you can scan inportant images back into your computer...

Read an article (can't remember where... Sorry) recently where historians voiced concerns about photographers no longer making 'hard copies' and the possibility that a generation of pictures could potentially be lost...

05-13-2011, 07:31 AM   #5
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I put mine on a DVD which goes into a fireproof safe.
05-13-2011, 07:38 AM   #6
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I have a multi tiered approach to back up and storage.

I have an external HD with all my photos on it, I lock this in a safe when I travel, as well as a back up drive (also in a safe) plus a set of DVDs (while 4.7GB seems like a lot, as my cameras get newer file size seems to increase exponentially

The DVDs are not in a safe, but could be.

I am considering, using the 3 1/3 inch laptop usb powered portible drives in rotation for off site storage (safety deposit box)
05-13-2011, 07:38 AM   #7
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there is no "perfect" way to store photos.

A good one for digital is to buy an external RAID 1 Hard drive. what we, geeks, called RAID 1 it is when you have 2 hard drive, seen as one by the computer, on wich every copy/ delete are done exactly at the same place on the hard drive. And if one of the two hard drive stop working, you can replace it by a new one, and it will recopy everything on it.

This kind of thing is easy to do into a desktop computer too. it cost most of time about 70-100$ for 1To, it means about 100 000 RAW (10 Mo per picture) or 225 000 Jpeg (6Mo per picture).

Not too bad isn't it ?
05-13-2011, 07:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveHolmes Quote
Get the ones you really want to keep 'printed' and store in ziplock bag in a shoebox!
˄This ˄.
And make sure the prints are from a wet lab not a dry printer.

05-13-2011, 08:39 AM   #9
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Hard drives are reasonably reliable and have the advantage of usually showing signs of failure before failing completely. So if you keep on top of things and check your archive periodically and expect to need to migrate it every few years - does *anyone* reading this have a working hard drive from the 1990's? - you should be good. But I like DVD as a backup as well. It has different advantages and disadvantages that complement hard drives well. Less likely to be stolen, and a stack of them are less likely to fail all at once taking *all* your pictures with it. Also very convenient for offsite storage. Burn a new set of backup DVD every few years as well as you hard drive and you should be pretty well set. The more paranoid you are, the more redundancy you want - extra hard drive copies, extra DVD copies.
05-13-2011, 12:48 PM   #10
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You can use the freestanding Adobe DNG converter to make RAW files slightly smaller without any quality loss. On my files it's 5-10% less. That might vary depending on your camera and the type of RAW file you start with.

Although it is nice to have every one backed up, eventually space will be an issue. I've started to use a star system to rate my images. (It is useful for many purposes.) Then I can backup images I really like in an ultrasafe way, ordinary shots with less redundancy, maybe convert the boring ones to JPG and trash the terrible ones. That would be a great space-saver.
05-13-2011, 12:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
- does *anyone* reading this have a working hard drive from the 1990's? -
Raises hand. I have working computers from the 1980's as well.
05-13-2011, 01:19 PM   #12
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OK :-). Next question: what *percentage* of the drives you were using back then do you think are still functioning?
05-13-2011, 01:26 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
OK :-). Next question: what *percentage* of the drives you were using back then do you think are still functioning?
Depends on if I had it in the basement or not I ruined a couple that way. I would say about 80% still work. Floppies on the other hand...
05-13-2011, 01:33 PM   #14
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Secure cloud storage account with a mainstream provider.
I considered it all before putting "everything" up there 4 years ago.
In my case, far more secure than all the risks of local backup
Convenient too, multi drop hub to any computer, no backups to worry about.
$200/year for 50GB.
05-13-2011, 05:13 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
But I like DVD as a backup as well. It has different advantages and disadvantages that complement hard drives well.
That may be true, but after burning, labeling, filing etc., then "upgrading" to dual-layers DVDs, I went to 2 external hard drives instead. It is so much easier, faster and actually cheaper. I was up to 2 sets of 60 dual-layer disks...
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