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How to store?

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  • How to store?

    Photo talk I know, but wasn't sure where to put this for discussion.

    My photo files are getting to the massive stage, and I am wondering how everyone manages their files in regard to sorting and backing up.

  • #2
    Re: How to store?

    Sorting easy - I file all under various main headings:

    1. I have years from 1890 in tens to about 1990 then one for each year after that.
    2. Within each year I have some sub-headings like family - holidays - events etc.
    3. I also have major folders for themes - animals (sub-headings for birds; reptiles; marsupials; etc); competitions; aviation; creative; countries (sub-headings by country); flora; landscapes; macros etc -

    These are stored on my D:/ drive and I have a program which backs up to an external 1 terabyte hard drive twice a day.

    Separately I have many pics which I have scanned in going back to 1880 - these are so important I have copied many of these on to DVD and made sure by brother and sister have copies.

    Blet and braces it is.
    Canberra - The Nation's Capital
    E-620 plus stuff


    • #3
      Re: How to store?

      [quote=Barkly;185947]Sorting easy - I file all under various main headings:

      1. I have years from 1890 in tens to about 1990 then one for each year after that.

      They go back a bit then.

      I've been looking at this for a while with drives filling up. I'm going to go for 650gb portable drive. People go on about double back ups, but I'm quite confident that will be fine. Short term they will be on my laptop and get pushed onto a 100gb drive that I am in the process of clearing for my photos and documents.

      Anything else important gets put onto my work computer which is a dizzying array of backups and encryption...
      My Flickr


      • #4
        Re: How to store?

        Thank you Terry and Al.
        I am pretty much doing as you are.
        My worry is keeping continuation in the files when backing up. I.E. when you want to add files to the backup system. It gets messy.
        At the moment I am uploading to Google Cloud where at least I can add new files to folders easily.
        Safety? I hope so.


        • #5
          My Flickr


          • #6
            Re: How to store?

            Not been around much of late so just picked this up.

            So many options here and much of it comes down to what works best for individuals. What I now do after going though several phases is

            • I use LR4 as it has superb cataloging. I have a year folder and then month sub folder and then day subfolders under that. So a day's images are all in that day's folder and easily searchable by date. The key from there is keywording and smart collections which is where LR really starts to earn it's keep. I use extensive keywords and have smart collections for all sorts of subjects which also can be in a hierarchy so landscapes for instance have the keyword landscape in them and get picked up in the same smart collection but if, say, they are also Mersea Waterfront that keyword also has it's own smart collection so I can look under there as well if I want to. When I import images I have to do the keywording carefully for each image and add new collections if I need to but it's not too time consuming as I also rank at the same time and delete rejects. It pays from that point on as all images are easily accessable from a variety of starting points. This may sound complicated when described but in reality it's pretty straightforward and does not take much time at all.
            • As for backup and storage. This is easy these days with reasonably priced external USB disk. I have an external disk which the whole machine is backed up to plus the images area as a seperate issue and the LR cataloge. I also plug another in on a less regular basis as a secondary backup. I don't use cloud for the reasons mentioned elsewhere to do with uploading speeds as my broadband speed is rubbish. I am thinking of changing to NAS storage with RAID to enhance the robustness of this.

            This is just my way which works for me but I'm certain others use different methods which are equally valid for them.


            I've worked hard to be this grumpy. It hasn't been easy at times but it's worth it.


            • #7
              Re: How to store?

              Good Stuff Hec,

              I'll jump in with a bit more now that I'm, in the office and at a keyboard!

              For cataloging I don't use keywords, though I might be tempted - I use tags of Flickr and these could probably be migrated across to some level. The programme I use is shotwell which I believe is Linux only but it interprets the EXIF of each of the photos and arranged accordingly on import into folders of year, month and day. It is pretty powerful but I don't use any of the features other than import as per above. I do 90% of cataloging in a file manager, for no reason other than that is what I've always done to manage things. It can do all the MS picture manager bits and pieces too. All said and done that isn't a bad bit of free software either if you are just working JPEG.

              Storage to cloud I do use for documents. Having been using thin clients (low power at local boxes connected to a network and all the processing done centrally) at work for around a year or so (possibly a bit longer) I'm sick of having too little processing power to run meaty spredsheets and the access times. If I plug anything into the USB drive, its made a virtual drive and has to go all the way back to the server before being sent back to my screen. Good concept because if my session crashes locally I can pick up exactly where I left off, even at the same cell in Excel 99% of the time. But this happens much more than I would like. With a full fat desktop with networked drives and a local HDD I had the grunt of processing and just set autosave in Office for every three minutes (I can get a lot done in that time! )

              I think Hec, you are right in moving to NAS. You don't even need super fast (or even matched) drives if you are RAID and most boxes come with software to ease you through the process. If you get something that can hold upto 4 3.5" drives you are on to a winner. Connect it direct to the router using a cable and it'll be much faster than you will ever need over WLAN
              My Flickr


              • #8
                Re: How to store?

                Lyn as already mentioned you will find everyone has their own methods that work best for them.

                So here is my way and my own reasons for them.

                All image files are backed up and synced to two external hardrives.

                File managment is done with a DAM program which consists of using yearly folders (really the only reason to use many more multiple folders is if you do not use a dam progam) in conjunction with keywords and catalogues which are synced (embedded
                ) in the file itself. With this method I can find any image from any time and place in a few seconds, also if anything happens to the database or the images are inadvetantly moved from it then all the relevant info is embeded in the file itself so rebuilding it is a easy.

                While Lightroom is a good program it is not my choice of DAM program for two reasons..One I do not like being tied in to one raw convertor and two you cannot embed collections/catorgories in the file itself which I find useful for me.
                Regards Paul.
                One day I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.



                • #9
                  Re: How to store?

                  Hi Lyn

                  This question has been asked many times, and is a serious one that people unfortunately, often haven't thought of and can cause big issues. If you are serious about your amateur photography, or regard your images as important in any way, I always advocate a serious approach to backup and archiving. As such, here's what I do...

                  I employ a 3-tier backup system, with a 4th tier for important images.

                  Stage 1: System Backup: I use a Mac, and use the built in Time Machine incremental backup function which provides me with a regular automated backup of my system. This includes all documents and all of the images currently on my Mac. If you're on a Win machine, then I suggest using a similar backup application. Time Machine backs up automatically to a wireless external drive 1.

                  Stage 2: Image Backup: I use Adobe Lightroom4 for my image processing and management. I only keep a maximum of 3 months worth of images on my Mac, and each month I move the previous 4th months images to external drive 2. This ensures all my images are backed up on a separate external drive.

                  Stage 3: Online storage: I then upload all hi-res jpg versions of the images I want to keep to my Zenfolio account. I sometimes decide to display these, and other times not. However, my Zenfolio package includes an unlimited upload limit, so I take advantage of this superb service. I cannot recommend Zenfolio enough - it is a fantastic service for photographers and is way more than just a gallery host.

                  Stage 4: Important images: For vital images (weddings, model shoots, and other shoots I consider important to me) On import of my images to Lightroom, I use the Lightroom function to also make a backup copy of these images to a 3rd external drive.

                  Hope that helps and gives some insight into how I structure my backups etc.


                  • #10
                    Re: How to store?

                    Thank you fellows. I know it is a personal preference thing - as my files have grown with the interest in photography I began to wonder if there was a better way of doing what I am doing.
                    Our wireless speed is fantastic, so that is no problem.
                    I do backup to hard drives as well as use the cloud, and my main concern was with the hard drives being kept in the house - if stolen or lost.
                    I think my filing system can be tweeked a bit better and you have given some good advice.
                    Thank You for taking the time.


                    • #11
                      Re: How to store?

                      It is quite cheap and easy these days to backup even large files to external drives and always worth doing in order to avoid any losses due to hardware failures.

                      Saying that, I would always advocate a cloud based backup tier as well for important images. The external drives are good but should the worst happen like a fire or burglary, they won't be much use.


                      • #12
                        Re: How to store?

                        I must have tempted fate with this post!
                        My laptop decided to die this morning so now I have to contend myself with hubby's cast-off until I decide whether to purchase or stay with what I am grateful to receive!
                        All my files etc were backed up so no problem.


                        • #13
                          Re: How to store?

                          Yo can always pull the HDD and put it in a USB case as a backup now. No need to write the whole thing off
                          My Flickr


                          • #14
                            Re: How to store?

                            Originally posted by al_kaholik View Post
                            Yo can always pull the HDD and put it in a USB case as a backup now. No need to write the whole thing off
                            Thanks Al, will do.


                            • #15

                              Naughty Nigel

                              Difficult is worth doing