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02-05-2010, 09:37 AM   #1
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Where do you store your photos?

The biggest problem I've had with photos, especially from trips, is that I don't "do anything" with them. I upload them to my PC, and there they sit. Now, I've got the "what do I do with them?" part figured out, I can print them or post them to the web. But what I'm trying to figure out is, where should I keep them? The files, that is. What sort of setup will keep them safe, but accessible? Right now I use a laptop at home, so dumping them to the HDD and expecting that to keep them safe (plus whatever I've uploaded to Smugmug) is not the best solution. Please help me figure out what I need. Should I be saving to external drives, one for working and one for backup? Are there online data storage services? Right now I'm too scared to delete anything from my SD cards, which obviously limits their utility. Additionally, should I invest in a larger outboard monitor for processing? I was fortunate enough to have access to the higher-ed student price for Lightroom, so that's what I'm using software-wise. Thanks!

02-05-2010, 04:12 PM   #2
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Me, I store my pictures in all kinds of places.

First, I sift through the memory card and delete the chaff. There's always a lot of chaff when I go out picture-taking

Then, I transfer all the good pictures to Digikam, which is what I use for photo organizing. I create an album (or multiple albums, if the pictures are from multiple shoots) in Digikam and transfer all the pictures from the SD card to their respective albums. Each album has a sub-folder called "DNG" where I store all the RAW files, and a JPG folder where all the JPG files go. Eventually, I go through the JPG files, select the ones I like best, and process their corresponding RAW files to bring out maximum detail. Those processed pictures I put right in the album folder (not the JPG or DNG sub-folders)

Since my entire "Pictures" directory is actually on a server share, both my wife and I can browse through the pictures from our respective computers. Any computer on my network can browse through the pictures, and both my wife and I can edit them from our respective accounts on our computers.

When I want to display some of the pictures to the world, or post them on this forum or other web site, I upload them to my Picasa account. I used to upload them to my web server, but I found that uses up too much bandwidth and costs money. I prefer Picasa because hey have no bandwidth limit, give me 1GB of free storage, and additional storage is dirt cheap. I can also use the pictures from there without any restrictions or advertisements.

Back to my server, since that's where the "Pictures" directory resides, it (and the rest of the server) gets backed up every night onto a separate hard drive. That hard drive gets copied to a bunch of DVDs every month, and those DVDs get placed in a safety deposit box at the bank. I rotate the DVDs there every time I go add new ones. This way, ALL my pictures are stored simultaneously in 3 different places (main hard drive in server, separate hard drive in server, DVDs at bank), and the most I can ever lose in a horrible catastrophe is a month's worth of pictures.

I have DECADES of pictures backed up like this. Gigs and gigs of them, from the dawn of time.
02-05-2010, 05:19 PM   #3
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I'm way down the photography food chain from someone like GoremanX, but I'll jump in anyway.

For storage, I'm on a Mac. I just use iPhoto to store my pictures. I also have a second hard drive that I use for backups (I back up all of my photos and documents to it). Additionally, I bought a 500gig external hard drive to backup my photos... The drives are pretty cheap, and small.

As for what to do with them, I make coffee table books. I tend to use iPhoto for it (it's convenient), but I think places like Shutterfly and Qoop work well too... I find that once the photos are on my computer, I tend to forget about them. Making photobooks of my vacations seems the best way to actually enjoy the pictures I take. Besides, it's easier to show others pictures in book form than having them huddled around my computer.
02-05-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mongo Quote
I'm way down the photography food chain from someone like GoremanX, but I'll jump in anyway.
I'm no professional, if that's what you think. I'm actually more of an IT tech, and I integrated my photography as part of my network setup. It just fit right in with the backups of my budget, my graphic design documents, and everything else I'd be ruined without if I lost it.

QuoteOriginally posted by mongo Quote
As for what to do with them, I make coffee table books. I tend to use iPhoto for it (it's convenient), but I think places like Shutterfly and Qoop work well too... I find that once the photos are on my computer, I tend to forget about them. Making photobooks of my vacations seems the best way to actually enjoy the pictures I take. Besides, it's easier to show others pictures in book form than having them huddled around my computer.
ooh, I like the coffee table book idea! I sometimes make scrapbooks of my vacation pictures, but I never thought of a coffee table book. That sounds way easier.

02-05-2010, 05:56 PM   #5
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I use extra/external hardrives and also zenfolio (for storage and hosting)

Zenfolio | Nuno Fonseca
02-05-2010, 06:01 PM   #6
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I have an extra 1TB HDD in addition to my main harddrive (actually, I have 4 harddrives in total) I store all of mine on. I do need to do an extra backup somewhere, and I'm considering dual-layer DVDs. Once I had a laptop and didn't bother to backup 7 months of photos, including about 400 pictures from a 2-day trip to Saipan, when my HDD failed. Never want that again.
02-05-2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chinotenshi Quote
I do need to do an extra backup somewhere, and I'm considering dual-layer DVDs.
You'll need a lot of dual-layer DVDs to back all that up! Personally, I'm waiting for Blu-ray recording to be available on my platform so I can use that as my backup medium instead of DVDs. I'm sick and tired of writing 10+ dual-layer DVDs every month.
02-05-2010, 06:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
You'll need a lot of dual-layer DVDs to back all that up! Personally, I'm waiting for Blu-ray recording to be available on my platform so I can use that as my backup medium instead of DVDs. I'm sick and tired of writing 10+ dual-layer DVDs every month.
I know, but we can't afford a Blu-ray burner. My husband would love to have one, because not only do we have all of my photos to backup, but we also have a TON of downloaded TV shows from the US that we can't get on TV here in Japan. We'd like to back a bunch of those up as well.


Though I guess after a few months of buying tons of dual-layers, we'd spend just about as much as we would on getting a Blu-ray burner.

02-05-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
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I use multiple hard drives for backup. I'd avoid DVDs or Bluray for backup personally.
02-05-2010, 06:37 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I use multiple hard drives for backup. I'd avoid DVDs or Bluray for backup personally.
interesting... why?

Hard drives are hardly reliable. I think 30-day old DVDs are a lot more reliable than years-old hard drives...
02-05-2010, 06:47 PM   #11
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Because 1 HDD can hold all my data. I can boot from a HDD and recover from a HDD crash on my computer instantly. HDD are write-multiple times, so I can keep my external HDDs in sync with my computer.

As a external HDD fails I replace it, I don't lock them away for years expecting them to work then, they are constantly in use. I rotate offsite and on-site every week.
02-09-2010, 07:50 PM   #12
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Thanks for the tips and perspectives. My thought was also to use HDDs, so I'm glad I'm not off track. Now it's just a matter of upgrading my stock of hard drives (my current ones hold my backed up music files and are woefully small by today's standards) and maybe getting a nifty multi-drive enclosure. You know, because we "need" it.
02-09-2010, 08:02 PM   #13
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I have 4 layers of back up.

first of all, all shots go to my hard disk, in a folder for each month of the year, and sub folders off that for special events if warranted,

I have a USB Hard disk that acts as a local back up, connected at all times to my PC. (it actually is first back up for wife's and kid's computers also)

I have a second USB disk that gets locked up, and am considering a third which can be put in a safety deposit box.

I also have DVDs of all shots.

DVDs get updated quarterly, safety deposit box will get probably quarterly, locked up hd is weekly as is desktop.
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