Friday, January 11, 2013

The Risk of Digital Only Photos: Caution

Two steps forward, one step back. . .


Have Camera, Will Photograph, by DG Hudson


Where are your photo files stored?

A newspaper article I read recently reminded me about the very real possibility of losing your digital photo collection.  This can happen for a variety of reasons. I'm referring to computer related losses, whether you lose the computer from theft or lose the content within.  We've lost data a couple of times with computers in the past, with all the photos that weren't copied onto a storage device. 

It's a good idea to have a backup hardcopy for something as important as photographs of your family or your 'work stock' of photos.  Having a physical copy means you can scan it and add it to your archives if the digital image is lost. In the referenced article, the couple lost baby photos. Even in the digital age, there should be room for a photo album or scrapbook, at least for the milestones.

Reference newspaper article:
Can't Find Your snapshots? Picture this-a real photo album, by Shelley Fralic, The Vancouver Sun, January 2013.

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To compensate for Murphy's Law: (what can happen, will happen)

I've learned to store my work and photos on other devices:  flash drives, DVDs, personal storage.  I  have albums of printed photos, a habit started as soon as I had a camera. I print special photos in 5X7 or 8X10 format.  A larger format will give a better copy for scanning.

Posting photos online via Picasa and Blogger means I have the data for online uses, but the physical copies mean I have another option if my e-data goes into the ether.  It's a way of having something in my backpocket.

***


Regarding Picasa

I've recently downloaded Picasa, as Blogger gave me no choice if I wanted to upload my own photographs.  I had photo applications on my pc and didn't need Picasa until Blogger changed the way it uploads photos. At least, it changed for me. 

Alert: when the Picasa menu item says 'delete from disk', it means 'remove from your hard drive'). Maybe some of you knew this, but I didn't.  Use caution.

This post was inspired by the newspaper article, but also because having one method of storage isn't always a good idea.  I've backed up my writing and most of my photos. How about you?

Are your photos or your writing saved online as well as in off-web storage devices?  Do you have backups of your photo work stock?  Have you lost work only stored on your pc or other devices?  Please share in the comments.

***


37 comments:

  1. I keep all my memory cards and never reformat them unless I've gotten the photos printed as a hard copy and on DVD. I also put a lot onto flash drives to archive what's on my computer. Plus blogger, photobucket and Facebook. The only ones not backed up are photos I've saved off the internet. I should do that onto a spare flash drive I have. Hmmm....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smart. It all depends on how important the data is to you.

      Delete
  2. I have my writing backed up several ways - thumb drives and I email my stuff to a yahoo site I share with a friend. This gives the latest in my outbox, her inbox and other places.

    I must get better about storing my photos. I'd hate to lose my huge collection of moon images. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the irreplaceable photographs that I'd hate to lose and my writing.

      Yes, M., don't lose those fantastic moon shots! I really like those, too.

      Delete
  3. You know, I JUST got one of those digital picture frames for Christmas. It requires a flash drive, so I had to put all my UK trip pictures on it in order to see them in the frame. Duh. First time I backed them up on something other than my hard drive. Thanks for the reminder. I think I better start moving some photo files to disks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That gift got you motivated, as reading the article did for me. Sometimes we need a reminder.

      Delete
  4. I'm very lazy about backing up my photos. But I want to add it's a good idea to store the backups of whatever's important to you off-site. If there's a fire or something terrible like that, you'll lose the backup too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have most of mine that I care about on other devices. I didn't know Picasa meant delete from the hard drive, but it's OK with me. When I delete, I really mean delete for good. I sometimes wish I could just press delete for some of the rest of my belongings.
    Still, this is great advice for those who may not wish to delete stuff from their hard drives. I have tons of photos in Picasa and I really have to take some time to figure out how it works. Phew!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good that you have stored the data on two formats. Read the help info on the Picasa page for more details.

      Delete
  6. This is good advice! I would be really upset if I lost either my photos or writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way. It's something one may not think about until it happens.

      Delete
  7. We keep our photos on memory cards and our computers, and some of them are on Facebook as well. Always good to back things up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good planning, Milo. Reading that article made me backup my recent files, something I had been meaning to do.

      Delete
  8. Welcome, cluculzwriter, thanks for the follow.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do you know what happens to precious work that's not backed up and gets lost? It goes into el Inframundo.

    D.G., I'm thrilled you signed up for the Back From the Future blog party. I really look forward to reading your stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I look forward to reading all the entries, too.

      Delete
  10. I'm really bad about this issue. I have photos and videos in all kinds of formats and all over the place. I'm most concerned about all of the VHS and Super8 video I have that is deteriorating and needs to be transferred to other formats. An epic job for me and expensive to have someone else do. I really should get better about this and follow some of these tips you've provided.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try organizing the info with music or tv on in the background, then you can pretend it's not work. Just a suggestion, it works sometimes.

      Delete
  11. We do try to back up our photos in multiple places, and then I watch for deals on Snapfish so I can print up the hard copies. I also put them in albums eventually, but I'm way behind on that. Like...years.

    I lost a huge batch of photos when I lost my camera a few years ago. Broke my heart. It was my son's first performance, various photos from his first year in school, and a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park where we had a family photo, wonderful photos of the kids, and a bunch of scenic photos I'll never be able to duplicate just the same. It made me sick. I do get behind on things, but I try to keep things backed up, and I try to clear the SD card ASAP. If I'd done that, they would have just gotten a camera and our Halloween photos. Sad sigh.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry about that, Shannon. I'd feel sick, too.

      Delete
  12. I have most everything backed up as well as on SD cards. I'm a little behind on it all. I keep the SD cards like we used to keep negatives, and sort the pics in categories when I back them up. Lost some when an SD card had problems right away, but so far so good other than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually there is a way to convert to new tech if we have the original in some form. Good to hear you're prepared.

      Delete
  13. Excellent advice! I've lost stuff too that I only had on the computer...I've noticed that blogger has changed the way you upload photos too, it's so frustrating for someone like me who is basically a techno-tard. I still print any photos that are important to me. I only consider that I really 'have' a picture if I can hold it. So last century, I know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not necessarily last century. A hard copy or print copy can be scanned and resaved. If it's important, it's worth printing for posterity.

      Delete
  14. I keep my photos stored basically everywhere. I'm very technologically savvy, therefore making my photos safe.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I should make off-line back-ups again. Thanks for the reminder. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to be of help. I need reminders about these things too.

      Delete
  16. I've got an external hard drive that I store all my photographs and a flickr account. In fact this post reminds me that I need to get another external drive, I'm almost out of space on the old one. Problem is if something happens to my external drive...then I'm up the creek without a paddle. The only other place I have pictures (family photos mainly) is in our photobook album that I make about once a year. But that really constitutes only a fraction of the photographs I take a year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elise, I just print the most important ones, or backup on flash drives. When our previous pcs died we had a warning call. It's not being paranoid, it's being practical to ensure your work (photos and writing)are safe.

      Delete
  17. I once went to a scrapbooking party, maybe six or seven years ago. The rep's presentation kickstarted from and was based on the idea of photo preservation. "Where do you keep your photos? In a box under the bed?" And so on.I just blushed. I had to print photos just to bring to the party to make a scrapbook page. We keep everything digital. We have too much "stuff" as it is.

    But then, really, isn't digital still just virtual stuff? It's still stuff. You still have the same worries of storage capacity, preservation and the like.

    For the more technical side of commentary on this post, I'm going to have to ask my husband to write something for me. He is the master of everything digital in our home. He recently tired of backing up a copy of all our stuff on some portable something, so we have gone to the cloud. That's where the whole topic is for me really, in the clouds, beyond my reach of understanding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as you have two different types of storage, you're probably safe. Don't wait too long.

      Delete
  18. Welcome Holly, and thanks for the follow!

    ReplyDelete
  19. When I remember I usually backup files on a flash stick. Cool post, great blog:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea, when it's gone, it's gone.

      Delete
    2. Also, forgot to say Welcome, Mark.

      Delete

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