How do you back up your photos?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Destin, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Alright guys.. I'm looking to upgrade my editing workstation with a new iMac and with it, a new backup workflow.

    Admittedly currently I'm lacking.. my Mac mini backs up with time machine to an external drive and thats about it.

    What software/hardware do you personally use? Why did you choose it over other options?

    I've read a lot of articles and watche lots of videos on this topic.. and there are a million options. I'm leaning towards a RAID array of some sort but not sure exactly which direction I want to go.


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Regardless of software, hardware and anything in between.... if a file doesn't exist at at least 3 different addresses, it's at risk.

    And here's why:

    Years ago, I visited a friends house and he immediately started bragging about his fancy-dancy RAID system sitting on a shelf above his computer desk. "Man, this thing is great! I have a dozen bays. I can hot-swap ANY size hard drive, and I have two copies of everything............ right here! This thing is totally automatic."

    "OK," I asked,"so where else do you store your files?"

    "They're all right here!" he boasted, pointing to the Magic Black Box.

    I dead-panned him and said, "So........... what happens if your house burns down? Or a tornado picks it up and carries it all the way across Kansas? Or a thief breaks in while you're at work and steals it all? Or you get hit with lightning and everything gets fried to a crisp?"









    He now maintains extra drives at work and his BIL's.
     
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  3. pendennis

    pendennis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use two external drives, one on the desk top, and a second attached to my laptop. However, my primary backup goes to iDrive, a "cloud" supplier. I've been with them for several years, and I've been extremely happy with the service. There are a number of them and their fees are extremely reasonable.

    You also have to be concerned with the possibility that an electrical surge could happen before any surge protection kicks in.

    480sparky makes a great point. Any backup system that's in-house, is only good until the in-house breaks down, whether fire, theft, flood, etc.

    In my prior life, I was an IT site manager. We backed up user files to our server external drives daily, and even rotated tapes/discs off-site, but we also backed them up to a remote location. I worked for one of the largest corporations in the U.S. We had a number of off-site locations, out of state, for handling our backups. Double, triple redundance is not too much when files are critical.
     
  4. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sparky's got this one. I have 3 copies of all files and that 3rd copy is kept away from the other two. I use large external hard drives.

    The flip side of this is house cleaning: Periodically on a rainy Sunday afternoon I make it a goal to throw away at least 500 photo files. I use About | FastRawViewer and I clean out brackets and 2nds and mistakes. Then I have to update that across multiple drives. There's got to be some commitment to maintenance.

    Joe
     
  5. www.PhotographyByJake.com

    www.PhotographyByJake.com TPF Noob!

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    This is my process for always ensuring that I have at least 2 copies of my images at any given time, and ultimately 2 copies with one on an External hard drive at my residence, and one on a cloud based storage service.

    1) Dual card slots in camera (I write one copy Raw on CF card and one copy JPEG on SD card). SD Cards are typically slower than CF cards, so if I write the big RAW files to CF and the smaller JPEG files to the slower SD card it ensures that I am still maximizing my camera performance.

    2) When I get home from an event I first upload raw files to my computer, and then immediately convert to JPEG at about 70% "quality" using my Lightroom export into a file folder on my desktop with the name and date of the event.

    3) I take those 70% JPEGS and upload to the website I typically use for client gallery presentation and delivery, Pixieset, where I have a 50GB monthly plan for $20. This ensures, barring a total failure of Pixieset, that set will always exist so I can recover it and re-edit it until I have edited the original RAW files still in Lightroom to my liking and created a new set of JPEG exports.

    4) They're now stored on my computer hard drive and on a cloud service (expensive cloud service per GB, but it's very easy to retrieve in my experience). 2 copies PLUS the 2 memory card copies.

    5) I then edit the RAW files in Lightroom until I have edited the full gallery and then export them to a file folder on my desktop with the names of my clients and the date of the event and add the words "Final Edited."

    6) I take those files and upload them into a Gallery for presentation and delivery to the clients on Pixieset.

    7) I then take those files and upload them into a folder in my other cloud based storage service, Dropbox (cheap cloud service per GB), and leave them there forever.

    8) I then back them up to a Western Digital 2TB hard drive. I can then delete them off my computer for the next event. I leave the Pixieset gallery up for the client for 3-6 months depending on the package that they purchased. At that time I delete them from my Pixieset account in order to make room for additional galleries.

    There are a variety of cloud storage services you can use including Dropbox, Amazon, Google Drive, etc... you can really use any of them depending on preference.

    Best Practices: have 2 card slots in your camera, immediately upload the cards to your computer when you get home, immediately export a copy in JPEG compressed format and upload to a cloud service after they're uploaded and stored on your computer

    This ensures, at the very least, you always have a hard copy stored somewhere and a copy stored in a cloud based storage service.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  6. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for the detailed answers guys.

    The biggest thing I need to streamline is what I actually keep. Currently I import all of my raw files, then sort and edit the keepers, export back to the event folder in a "final edits" subfolder. But in this process, I keep the RAW files that I deemed throwaways. I really need to change around my workflow to eliminate these files and save space.

    As far as physical backups, I'm leaning towards a Raid 1 setup on my desk that my final edits and "keeper" raw files go into.

    I'm looking into off site backup options that don't require me to physically transport drives to offsite locations on a regular basis. Cloud based services are really another monthly expense I don't want to take on.. does anyone know of a way to set up a hard drive at a relatives house that I can access via an internet connection from my house? A "cloud drive" where I own the storage, if you will?
     
  7. www.PhotographyByJake.com

    www.PhotographyByJake.com TPF Noob!

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    Found this information from the website "lifewire.com"...

    "
    Add an External Hard Drive to Your Home Router
    Another remote file sharing option would be to add an external hard drive to your existing (or a new) home router -- if your router has the capability to enable file sharing, that is. The Netgear WNDR3700 Router, for example, is a wireless dual-band (offers both 802.11b/g and 802.11n) router with a "ReadyShare" feature for sharing a USB storage device over the network and via FTP. The Linksys Dual-Band WRT600N is a similar router with network storage capabilities. Although using an external hard drive connected to your router will be slower than a dedicated NAS, this option may be less expensive if you already have an external drive to use and/or the router."

    So it sounds like you can do it, but they need a special kind of router to support this capability.
     
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  8. Tabe

    Tabe No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I keep 4 copies of any files:

    1) Main hard drive of my PC

    2) An automated process runs nightly to back the files up to my external HDD

    3) Google Drive automatically & immediately syncs all files to my Google Drive account

    4) Extra set kept on my work PC (off-site)
     
  9. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    mine are backed up in a raid plus cloud. All six good photos I've taken in two years.
     
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  10. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Psh! JC, you mean six hundred? Your photos are great!
     
  11. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    I have a crap load of theses in shoe boxes under the bed. ;)
    floppy-disk-214975_960_720.jpg

    I've gotten a little lax, recently, but I typically zip the original files from the memory card. Then I copy those, as well as the folders created by Lightroom to an external hard drive. I need to get a couple more for redundancy and keep one at the office.
     
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  12. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Me too but mine not under bed. I still have an bootable operating system built into a floppy that I occasionally use for diagnostic work. I developed it myself (years ago) and sold it to a company that actually did something with it on a rather large scale and still being used today. That was back in my geeky days. I didn't know what I really had, I just used it to remotely diagnose systems, mainly, IBM Internet subscribers who were misusing the internet per the IBM Internet agreement. Long time ago. Your pic brought back memories.

    Sorry for the hijack
     

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