What to do with RAW files?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Seekwence, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Seekwence

    Seekwence TPF Noob!

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    This may have been asked/answered before, but a quick search didn't bring up much of anything helpful (relating to my question). So if already explained, please refer me to the right place.

    So being a total noob and all, I am interested in knowing what you do with those RAW files after processing. Do you really keep multiple backups of those large files...just in case?
     
  2. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Think of it this way - external hard drives are cheap ;)
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes. I do.
    I have "Originals" as a folder of its own (on my second harddrive inside the computer, and on two external harddrives, and on RAM-DVDs), with the RAW-files and their untouched conversions.

    The processed photos go into folders of their own.

    And yes, it takes up ALL the space I have. Thankfully I don't feel the need to play any computer games, or nothing would work on my computer any more with the amount of photo files I have.

    But when one of my external harddrives jagged the other day and I had no more access to MANY photos of mine, I started thinking that yet another means of back-up should be chosen, and I think I will save the originals on RAM-DVDs eventually. All of them. Boy, what a fright ... but DH got it back to running by gently knocking against the side of that external harddrive, had room enough on his computer to copy all the data there at first, I bought a new external, and re-copied the files there. NOW, of course, the one that had jagged runs smoothly as ever ... :roll:
     
  4. kami

    kami TPF Noob!

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    I don't want to delete any RAW files especially of portraits of friends and family. Someday there will be some badass programs out there and it would really cool to see what you could do with your old RAW files you took years, or maybe decades ago!
     
  5. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    To me, deleting my digital RAWs would be like burning my film negatives.
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :thumbup: +1

    i keep four copies on external hard drives. Leave very few photo files on the computer. One hard drive is kept off site. And , yes, i never delete anything. well, maybe a shot of my hand ;) which i use when making pano shots or hdr expsoures which separates one set from another.
     
  7. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    I like buckster's setup...mine is archiac compared to his, but works. A good firesafe is worth having at the house. I keep it at the bottom floor. It is safe from water and fire. If you decide on a firesafe, check the temp/water conditions it is good for. Like all other things, there are varying degrees of safety even with fire safes.


    I download my photos, and back them up. Then I go through the download and I will delete some of the photos.
     
  8. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    I agree with the previous posters. I'm just curious if you are culling your shots or keeping every single image from a shoot. Because of storage space, I'm very picky about the shots that get to stay.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My advice is like the others - to hang onto every RAW file that you possibly can and to keep backups of those RAW files. You can always rework a RAW back into an edited shot or even edit it differently - you can't do the same with a JPEG or Tiff version of that shot.

    So yes hang onto your digital negatives!

    As for which ones to keep and dump my advice is to never dump photos right after a shoot - by all means dump the total duds (eg totally black/white etc...) but hang onto the rest. I often find that I *and many others* tend to be overly harsh on our own work just after we shoot. So its very easy to destroy shots at that point that are not as bad as we think.
     
  10. Seekwence

    Seekwence TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your responses. They were pretty much in line with what I was expecting. I am new to the DSLR world and having to sort/organize/edit so many more photos that previously with P&S snapshots. External space is not a problem for the near future, as I just picked up another 1TB drive for $79!
     
  11. doziergraphic

    doziergraphic TPF Noob!

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    Another quick question ... will it take away any quality to copy and recopy a RAW file?

    What about a jpeg file that has NOT been processed? Straight out of the camera for backup purposes. I assume it WILL lose quality with each copy? I'm talking about simply copying and pasting into a new folder as a backup, a second backup, a third backup, etc.

    thanks - first post on this forum - very good site!!!
     
  12. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    There is no loss from copying files. They copy just like a document - you don't lose any words or letters at all in the process, no matter how many copy iterations you make.
     

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