Suggestions for Archiving Digital Photos

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by hunyuan7, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    How do you archive your digital photos? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    I currently have one terabyte of photos and videos backed up by two Western Digital hard drives. There's got to be a better way to have your photos and videos last a life time.
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  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    No better way.
    You just have to resave them onto the next storage type when the years roll by.
    Keep the archive fresh.
  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I have redundant external hard drives at home, and I also have an offsite back up through SmugMug. $60/yr for unlimited image and video storage, plus it's an easy way to share as well.
  4. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Redundant internal drives (not RAID)
    Redundant external drives, some off-site
    Amazon Glacier cloud storage (initial upload took 2 weeks)
  5. mrerics

    mrerics Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 21, 2013
    In my opinion, at a minimum, you need two local copies in case of hardware failure, and one offsite copy in case of disaster. Additional backups can give you extra security and make it faster and easier to recover if something happens.

    What works for me: After copying from memory cards, photos are backed up to RAID on my home network before I format the cards. After sorting through photos and identifying the keepers, I keep a copy on an ioSafe fireproof/waterproof drive. I also use a pair of external hard drives to rotate offsite backups with a friend...we each have a drive, incrementally copy our latest stuff to the drive we have in our possession, then swap out for both of us. I also burn the most important stuff to M-DISC, and should probably should store those off-site in a safety deposit box or something.
  6. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    My ultimate archive of most important pictures is print. I make photobooks and large prints for on the wall. The large prints -when not at display- are in acid free boxes.
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  7. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    Thank you for your suggestions. They are very helpful.
  8. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    I will soon move to another place so I had done some research in this subject, came to the conclusion that Blu Ray seemed like a good idea as first hand copy (archive) (second hand is HDD), read that M-Disc seems like a common choice for some (but not all). So I made the decision to buy a writer and a 50-pack 25Gb discs to give it a try.

    I will also use them for migrating other Data which I already have on CD/DVD. Just to minimize the amount of discs. I might even buy a couple of 100Gb discs for not-so-important stuff (but I don't know if I have such things!?).

    And I will also put some Audio CD's onto them in Flac-format. Have too many :) will select the ones I haven't used in the last 10 years or so and archive like this (and then give away originals).

    What do you think of that? Anyone made the same route?

  9. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    NAS in raid 1 configuration. Offsite back via Crashplan or similar $60/ year.
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  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Unfortunately writable optical discs have never lived up to the promises the industry made about how long they last. For short term or as a secondary backup, I think Blue Ray discs are probably fine, but I would never trust my photos long term or only to optical discs of any type. As long as you are also using other backups such as HDDs (more than one please as hard drives fail too), you should be ok.

    As someone in the the thread mentioned, part of your backup plan should include some offsite storage in case of disaster (theft, fire, flood, etc.) where if your computer is gone or destroyed, the backups that were with it are likely gone as well. The Blue Ray discs might be an ideal solution for creating offsite copies that you can keep at a friend's, relative's or at work.
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  11. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2016
    I have a multi-level strategy for recovery. I keep a copy on the PC I use for most of editing. On a nightly basis I sync those files to other storage in my house. Changes then get pushed to encrypted cloud backup. Once a year I take a backup to an external hard drive and put that in a safe deposit box.

    To me, optical media isn't reliable for anything important. I also think that hard drive space is more cost effective these days.
  12. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    About 5-6 years ago it seemed like Blu-Ray was a good idea. However having to split my data between 20-24GB disk, the number of disk necessary, along with the amount of time it took to burn them was more than I wanted to deal with. Let alone the time it would take if I had to copy them all back to a hard disk to use in a computer or even verify the disk every so often. I also found that not all of disk were readable in all Blu-Ray players - not a good issue for archives.

    Since then I have reverted to taking the best of best and making prints as @janneman does, with the same print files being converted to TIFF files and stored with my raw/jpg backups on HD. At the cost of HD these days it just seems as the best and simplest means. If necessary I can restore my entire collection in one evening, or even attach a 4TB as an external disk and have access in minutes. I do verify the HD at least yearly.

    By museum standards, archival typically means film or prints as no digital data has been around long enough to verify archival quality.
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  13. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    yes, that was my thought. I've used optical media since 1x CD-R's first came out and have mixed experience about them but I think they have good sides also :)
  14. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Optical disks have a limited lifetime. Prints fade. HD and a good backup strategy are still the best, least expensive options.