Just say NO to SD and external drives for permanent storage
by wts – 7/28/14 9:13 AM
In Reply to: External Hard Drive by onemoremile
Even more important than organization is safeguarding your photos.
Rule #1: If a file is important to you, it needs to be in more than one place.
A photo only on your phone or SD card or laptop or desktop is at risk.
Rule #2: Any “system” that relies on me to make additional copies in a timely fashion is a flawed system.
I can get busy. I can forget. I can be lazy. I can make excuses.
Pick a system such as Carbonite that *automatically* backs up your files.
Rule #3: Don’t trust any one vendor or “the cloud”.
At least one of the copies of important files needs to be local to at least one of your devices. Organizations can go out of business and change their business. Maybe that notice that notice of going out of business fell into your junk folder; maybe there was no notice. Remember rule #1.
Rule #4: Consider what happens when you remove a photo (or all your photos) from one of its locations.
Which is worse: to have a backup copy of a photo you deleted or no copy of a photo you inadvertently deleted?
What happens when your storage device no longer functions?
What happens when you get a new computer? Can you easily move the Picasa (or whatever) organizational information? Can you easily get your photos to the new machine?
Ask similar questions when you move from a PC to a tablet.
Ask similar questions when you are making other changes such as from Windows to an Apple device or a Unix/Linux operating system.
Rule #5: Don’t rely exclusively on a program that organizes your photos.
You want your photos to live longer than that program you are currently using to keep them organized. You may find that Picasa or whatever programs you use keep the organization information separate from the photos. If you someday can’t or don’t use that program, you have lost the organization, be it dates, locations, faces, etc.
Most or all places you store your photos will have a hierarchical file system. Name the folders/directories to give you backup information such as date and location.
Use the EXIF to stuff information such as people, places and events. Make sure the photo date in EXIF is set and accurate. Search for “exif editor” or “exif viewer” for more information. The program you use for organizing your photos probably lets you view this information and may let you set it.
Rule #6: Store your photos in a format that will last. No format will last.
Have you noticed that some collections of stock photos, symbols, etc. (“clip art”) come in a proprietary format that only the collection program can read? It’s annoying when you want to search and use an image outside that program. The collection is useless when that program no longer woks on your new device.
Likewise, your photos will be useless if they are stored in a format your current device can’t use.
What’s the best format? That’s probably another question for Lee Koo! It (or they) will depend on what is convenient for your needs. For photos where you normally shoot and view, “jpg” or perhaps “raw” may be best. If you edit substantially, especially if your editing involves “layers”, merging, etc., this becomes a separate question dependent on your tools and procedures.
Rule #7: Consider how your photos will get passed on when you pass on
Does your spouse have access and know how to access? How do you make your photos available to your children?