What needs to be stored?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by LaFoto, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Only in January have I started to shoot in RAW.
    Now I am running into storage problems.
    I urgently need to tidy up my second hard drive and am copying data to RAM-DVDs... that is where I store my originals.
    Suddenly I have to store ever so much more than I used to before.
    Out of one pic I get the RW.settings as CR2.rws. Then the .CR2-files, and the new folder that opens up when I convert my RAW-files (so far and for my use mostly into .jpg still) ... Out of these three, which ones do you say should go on the DVD and which ones can I discard (NOT wanting to convert any photo I want to use again later again ... or is that what you do?)?
     
  2. I don't fully understand your question - I only get one RAW file (.cr2 if I use my Canon.)

    Also, you will just need to go through right now and clean up what you have, and sort it. Create a new system to sort your work.

    My basic recommendation is to create as few files as possible.

    Here is what I do, but you will find your own system that suits your work best: I shoot RAW, and download those files to my computer. Then I save the files to a DVD-ROM.

    I only convert RAW files if I plan on using them. I create a .PSD file to work on it and/or print it, and then a JPEG file if I want to use it online.

    You will need to keep an order to your files, you probably already have one.

    I create folders based on dates. So I have

    2007 04 29 - Daniel 3rd B-Day
    ... and in that I have folders called
    - 2007 04 29 RAW
    - 2007 04 29 JPG

    I also keep a folder for each quarter year. Right now I'm in the second quarter (April, May, June) so I have a "catch-all" folder called 2007 Q2. This folder gets treated the same way, which means it also has sub-folders for RAW and JPG.

    To add to the complexity, I have two sets of folders, called My Pictures (for family and friends, and all the fun stuff) and My Images (for my personal creative work.)

    Now, total back-up beyond the DVD-ROMs: I have two external hard drives IN ADDITION TO my computer. So every month (I have a reminder in my calendar) I back up all my photo data to one of the hard drives. I keep the other one away from the house, at the office (in case of fire, etc.) and then I rotate them. That means there's always a complete back-up of all my files (RAW, JPG, PSD) that is relatively up-to-date. If I lose a month's worth of pictures in the absolute worst case then I will be sad, but then I will also have bigger problems :)
     
  3. One more thing: be brutal. When you first download your RAW files, delete the ones you know will never really work. Don't save stuff because you're too busy, just take the time and get rid of them. It will save you the most time later on.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    do iget it right that you are speaking of the raw file itself (CR2) and a file which contains the settings for the conversion process? (the actual name of that file depends on the RAW converter you use.)

    In order to do the conversion you need both files, the image data, and the settings.

    Well, the latter file is very small compared to the actual RAW image data file. So if you keep just the image data or keep image data and settings makes no real difference.


    BTW, today'S external harddrives are not that expensive anymore. A 300 GB harddrive (approx. EUR 60 ) saves lots of DVDs.
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hmmm. I use the RawShooterEssential programme for conversion, so in the end I find myself with a new file (created by my computer system the moment I load my files from the camera into the computer) which automatically carries the date of the day on which I took the photos.

    Let's say I convert those that are not to be discarded at once, then in this conversion process my system creates another sub-file for that day called "Converted".

    When I then open the folder for the day e.g. "2007-04-24" (<- which is how it is automatically called), I find two sub-folders, one is called ".RW-settings", one "Converted", and underneath I find the list of CR2-files called, for example, IMG_4338.CR2.

    So I understand by your reply, Alex, that both that sub-folder .RW-settings and the RAW images are important. One cannot be without the other, but what is in the .RW-settings-sub-folder is small?

    Which means that in the end I might not really want to store my conversions if I want to save space on my DVDs but best create a new one in case I decide I need a new one?
     
  6. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    the files in the RW settings folder are little files that tell Rawshooter what you did to the RAW file, if you added 10 to contrast it will save a file saying that you added 10 to contrast, so that the next time you open that RAW file it will automatically add 10 to contrast.

    The converted folder is where the converted RAW file is saved as either a .JPG or .TIF

    you need to save the .CR2 files as these are your "negitives" and you can save the RW-Settings folder if you plan on doing anymore editing to the RAW file. BUT the files in the RW-Settings folder will not be any use to you if you change to another RAW converter.

    The Converted folder can either be deleted if you have printed/uploaded the photos or saved if you want keep the edited photos
     
  7. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    I don't suggest you save the RAW files at all. I suggest you:

    1) As stated, brutally edit out the bad shots you'll never use.
    2) Import the RAW files into a standard format such as TIFF or PSD.
    3) Save the unedited TIFFs or PSDs if you want to store an image as close to the unedited original RAWs as possible.
    4) Save the edited TIFFs or PSDs or JPEGs.

    The reason I say do not store the RAWs long-term is that the software that can read them changes! Both Canon and Nikon have updated their RAW software in the past that prevents you opening older RAW formats.. This means that the latest and greatest RAW converters from your camera manufacturer is NOT guaranteed to be backwards compatible, and they don't tell you that sometimes. Saving your newly-opened RAW files as a more standard format (TIFF/PSD, etc.) makes more sense.
     
  8. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    trust me, SAVE THE RAW FILES

    Raw conversion software is getting better and better, I've recently been playing with some old raw file from my first dSLR, these open in the latest software, PS CS3 (demo version) and they process better than before. Even shots I took the other week are turning out better in the demo of CS3 than they do in CS2
     
  9. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    NEVER EVER EVER DELETE YOUR RAW FILES!!!! there will always be sofware there to read your RAW files. I couldn't imaging Photoshop not reading my CR2 files??!!
     
  10. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I have a folders in date order. Within this is a folder like "Donnelly Wedding" and within this I have 3 subfolders. "RAW" "EDITS" "WEB"

    Each folder contains those images. My edits are usually aRGB tif files (rather than psd) - for no particular reason other than psd files are not normally read by other programs. My web folder has 800 pixel (on longest side) sRGB jpgs.

    As noted above your small files are basically text files that the RAW Shooter looks for when it opens your RAW file. If it finds it, it reads the info and amends the file for the last time you edited it (in RAW). It outputs as noted as a tif or a jpg. Tif files are bigger and can be compressed without loss of quality. Jpg images are compressed and depending on the amount of compression you do this will affect the quality of the image. High compression = lower quality.

    I backup my data to a number of imnternal and external drives (I have 3 of each totalling over 1.5Tb of storage (1500Gb).

    You need to keep AT LEAST 2 copies of each file so I'd suggest buying a pair of 320Gb drives as a minimum. Space is very cheap now. Also you would need about 75 DVDs to hold the same abount of info as a 320Gb disk. Think about your space too. DVD backup is VERY SLOW in comparison to hard disk backup but be aware DVDs fail too (I've lost gb of info from both DVD and CD!!)

    I have also had a hard disk fail and this is why I'm a bit serious now about back ups. If you want to keep your files, have them on at least 2 different drives some would even argue more than this but for now I'm ok with this and it works fine. Also an idea to keep one of the drives off site (in case of fire/theft etc).

    if you really want to keep your data, this is very important.

    Regards
    Jim
     

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