What is a good archival methodology and format?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by vigilante, Dec 6, 2017.

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  1. vigilante

    vigilante TPF Noob!

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    I shoot pics for an ecommerce business. Lots of product photos. I've always shot in RAW and keep both the original RAW as well as a PSD of the final edits. Ultimately, they are then exported from PSD and sized for the pic size needed for the online store. So I have RAW, PSD, and a 1280px square JPG.

    The JPGs are also used when they create newsletters or post things to Facebook, forums, etc.

    But now over the years I've got a lot of RAW and PSDs. I don't really think I need them. Chances are very good we will never need to go find some original RAW file of some random product. In fact there are many of those products that are no longer for sale.

    We have an archival storage account over at BackBlaze. I'm trying to figure out what the best idea is for archiving all the old photos.

    I don't really want the RAW files, they've been taken from two different Nikons (NEF), and one is a newer format that can't be opened directly in their Creative Suite 5. Plus if we ever needed to just browse through the files on BackBlaze, there is no way to get previews, so I have to name the files specifically, which is a daunting task.

    So what I'm looking for is an adequate method to archive all these files in a format that will last a long time, can potentially be easily previewed/opened/browsed, and contains best quality of the image.

    I may not always have PS, so any photo app should be able to use them.

    I was thinking a layered TIFF could perhaps fit the bill? Or DNG I'm always hearing about for RAW.

    I have to keep the PSDs, that just makes sense given they contain all my edits and the full size originals. But should I export the PSDs as something else? Can I save some space, shrink the file size, or get preview thumbnails with some other format?

    Currently I keep all photos in three folders. One is "capture" for the RAWs. One is "master" for the PSDs. And one is just an export folder for the JPGs used across all their channels. The JPGs are only 1000px square or 1280px square, so not full size archiveable.

    Anyway, I would like some way to basically convert the entire folder structures in one batch, and create the archives that I can upload into BackBlaze. I intend to delete the copies from the computer itself when done.

    Ultimately all I want is the full size image from the camera, and keep my PSD edits (lots of masking and such, background removals, color correction). And I want to be able to batch process all the files to get the archives.

    Thoughts?


     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    A layered TIFF file is often larger than the Raw file it's made from.
    I only made TIFF files for clients that wanted/needed to do there own editing/layout.

    I would just save a layered .PSD file and skip saving a layered TIFF.
    Pretty much all Raw file types are a version of TIFF (TIFF/EP - ISO 12234-2) based on a subset of the Adobe TIFF standard.
    Adobe's DNG (Digital Negative) raw file format is also based on TIFF/EP.

    You might want to optimize the management of your digital assets.
    To that end I highly recommend the DAM Book.
     
  3. vigilante

    vigilante TPF Noob!

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    I didn't want to stick with PSD unless that is very able to be edited by any photo editing tools. I don't always have or use PS, certainly not the newest versions either, so I want a good universal format for the archives.

    I don't think I'll keep the RAW files at all, simply because these are simple product photos and there shouldn't be a need to get to them again. The only caveat is that not every RAW file was processed, so I might have 10 shots and edited 6 of them. But again, probably will never want to go find these unprocessed versions anyway.

    PSD it is I guess.
     
  4. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    PSD files can be read and manipulated by quite a lot of different software packages, not just Adobe software.
     
  5. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If I had to store the files I would consider copying the psd and jpg files to terabyte drives and store the drives and a laptop that has the software needed to deal with the files. If it's mission critical then store all of that in fireproof secure cabinets.
     

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