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How do you store your photographs?


Forum Editor

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In another thread we've been discussing the demise of Jessops, the well-known chain of photographic stores. Reasons for their collapse have generally been agreed to be the changes in the way that people buy cameras, and possibly the fact that phone cameras are nowadays being used by young people as their only way of taking photographs.

I was struck by one of Quickbeam's posts, in which he said (about younger people)

*"When they change phones they don't even keep copies of the photos that were taken on today's iWow phone. The photo content is considered as obsolete as the phone. Which means in 20/30 years time they won't find happy memories of the past at the back of the sock drawer when they find the postcard prints and negatives of holidays taken when they were still slim and fresh faced."*

and I got to wondering how you store your photographic images. Do you archive them on your computer hard drive, looking at them when the thought strikes you, or do you back them up to removable media, leaving them for some future time, when you promise yourself you'll sort them out somehow?

I confess, right at the start, that I fall into the last category. I'm a keen DSLR photographer, and I have thousands of images stored in date order on memory sticks and CDs - all waiting for the moment when I have enough time to sort through and delete those that aren't worth keeping.

In days gone by people had photograph albums containing prints of photographs they took on holiday, or of the children growing up, etc., but does anyone do that nowadays? Film and processing costs were quite expensive, but now we can all take as many digital photographs as we like, at virtually no cost. Are they ending up in a way that makes it a pain to show friends and relatives, or to browse through on the spur of the moment?

Please tell, I would like to know if I'm among friends.

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passing through

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The wife and I go through our digital collection every 6 months. We then pick those we wish to save and if the folder tops 200 images we upload them to the asda site which prints them at 5p an image.

That way we have hard copies of our favorite photo's, the wife does a lot of scrapbooking and keeps many photo albums. The rest are stored on main computer with a backup on a removable hard drive and a few cds.

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Woolwell

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Photos are sorted and stored on main pc with backups on 2 external drives and older ones backed on DVD's as well. Every now again I burn a new DVD.

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spider9

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I use hard drive, external HD, and even discs!

Haven't had any prints done for a couple of years.

Like Quickbeam, I have folders for each year then subdivided into monthly and then folders labelled by the 'event'.

Like FE I'm always hoping to do a 'sort,rearrange,and delete' session but will probably end up leaving that to my kids - to entertain them when I have departed this life!

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chub_tor

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You know that is a really interesting question that has been posed. As I sit here in my study I can look along the top shelf and see 40+ large albums dated over 50 years all crammed with photographs taken with film cameras and all carefully annotated. BUT the last one is dated 2003 which probably means that since then most of our photographs have been on digital cameras that are stored on my desktop computer and categorised in folders dated from 1998 onwards.

They are backed up on a plug in USB 1Tb drive although that itself is only updated every couple of months or so and if it went down I would lose the latest of them. The very special ones have been printed - maybe 100 or less out of 2000+ but all of them on my PC have been run through Photo Gallery's face recognition so all the known people have been tagged and can be recalled quickly should I need to make a DVD of a certain person.

I really should think about a more permanent back up as I would hate to lose some of them.

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caccy

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I'm with Quickbeam, ours are all stored on a pc using nearly the same method and backed up regularly. The boss lady keeps saying we should have a selection printed each year but we haven't got round to it yet. My main concern is that in 20 years time the format will have changed and it will be difficult to display them. How many spreadsheets, letters and scanned items have you got that cannot now be easily read???

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Fruit Bat /\0/\

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Copied from camera card to internal HDD and sorted into categories

Printed and stored in Photo albums (wife has not yet grasped the idea of digital storage) and it's cheap enough when you do 200+ at ASDA.

Internal drive is backed up to external drive

Photos also burnt to CD or DVD.

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john bunyan

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Most of my old film and slide photos have been scanned and are filed in "My Documents"/ My Photos with many sub and sub sub folders usually with such headings as particular events or various family groupings. When I download digital "snaps" (ie only, if printed, designed for 7"x5" printing 2 tp a page), I batch automate them to 7" x 5" at 300 dpi (Good ones I keep at 10"x8" at 300dpi). Very good ones I keep as tiff or Photoshop (I use CS5). If I want lots of prints I copy the downloads after adjusting for red eye etc. to a SD and get it printed at ASDA - good ones I print myself. All are stored on my desktop HD, and daily I use Freefilesynch to make a mirror image of all my data partition including photos on a second HD mounted in a slide out caddy. I do a second back up from time to time on a third drive. I also make a clone of the whole primary HD on yet another slide out Hd kept elsewhere. This is only possible if one deals with it when you have, say, about 100 photos at a time.I have just dealt with 155 on my wife's camera, and formatted her SD card on the camera having done a back up.

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Forum Editor

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Quite a few of you have voiced what is a common concern in photography - we're (mostly)backing up our images to external media, or to hard drives. My concern is what happens in say, 40 or 50 years time - will the files still be readable, or are we and our descendants condemned to a process of regular backup duplication to fresh media?

I have monochrome prints of members of my family that were taken over 80 years ago, and they're still in excellent condition. I wonder if my great grandchildren will be able to look back through the images I'm currently recording, or whether they (the images, not the great grandchildren) will have degraded so much they'll be unreadable by the computing devices of the day.

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woodchip

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I use all different Storage Media, Ex Drives Memory Stick's CD etc Other Internal drives also

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john bunyan

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Forum Editor

The problem you mention apples to all current storage media; I have transferred some files from 5 1/2 floppies to 3" then to HD's etc. Paper fades in time. I believe that original copies of Parliamentary bills are still written on vellum to match a practice over 500 years old. Clay tablets can still be read which are thousands of years old. I do print quite a few photos and keep them in albums but share your concern over the long term A salesman in Currys , when I pointed out their offer of 500 + gig free "Cloud" storage with some tablets attracted a £50 charge in year 2, said he thought cloud would be the dominant store in a couple of years. I prefer to look after my own back up but the whole issue is very changeable.Maybe the issue of cloud safety should be on another thread?

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