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Digital Photo Storage

Scratch

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I’ve just upgraded my laptop from a Windows machine I’ve had for a few years to a MacBook Pro and plan to use it for Photoshop and Lightroom. I have a few thousand photo’s saved in My Pictures on my Windows desktop and backed up on an external drive and in the Cloud. I also have some saved from my iPad and IPhone in iCloud but my free allowance is full. I’m not sure which is the best way to set up storage to use from my laptop and would welcome any suggestions. Should I copy my photo’s from my pc to my laptop (this would use a lot of storage space) to work on them or connect my laptop to an external storage device with them on or pay for more iCloud storage and download them from the Cloud to work on? Hope this makes sense.
 

Scratch

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Ok thanks. Don’t you keep any on your devices hard drive/ SSD?
 

JonathanJones

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I use two external hdd's mirrored. The "cloud" is still a hard drive, you just pay someone else to use it.
 

Mj224

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Ok thanks. Don’t you keep any on your devices hard drive/ SSD?
Yes I keep the current catalogue on the PC, backing up regularly. Once it reaches a certain size approx 200 GB, I then store onto the externals, and remove from the PC Hard Drive...usually every couple of months...:)
 

DonS

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I keep my "current" photos on the internal hard drive. This is backed up with Time Machine to an external. I also back up nightly with Super Duper to clone my internal hard drive.

I have another external drive set up that has mirrored drives. I store my older photos on this. I also back that up to another external drive.

I have an Amazon Prime membership which aside from "free" shipping and Amazon Video streaming service, also includes Amazon photos. I have all of my photos backed up on there. This includes raw and when you use the web interface it does render the raw photos.

I am following the 3-2-1 backup: 3 copies, on two media, 1 offsite.
 

Scratch

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I keep my "current" photos on the internal hard drive. This is backed up with Time Machine to an external. I also back up nightly with Super Duper to clone my internal hard drive.

I have another external drive set up that has mirrored drives. I store my older photos on this. I also back that up to another external drive.

I have an Amazon Prime membership which aside from "free" shipping and Amazon Video streaming service, also includes Amazon photos. I have all of my photos backed up on there. This includes raw and when you use the web interface it does render the raw photos.

I am following the 3-2-1 backup: 3 copies, on two media, 1 offsite.
Sounds like a very safe approach. I’m definitely going to get an external SSD drive to work on my photo’s from as I don’t want to clog-up the internal hard drive. I keep all my photo’s on the hard drive of my desktop and at the moment use a 2TB cloud based storage known as Know How (purchased through Curry’s Electrical in the UK) and some of my photo’s on my iPhone and iPad are saved to iCloud but only have the standard free 5GB. I think I need to consolidate my Cloud storage and am thinking Amazon might be the best option as I already buy quite a lot from them and would benefit on delivery costs and also get apple T.V.
 

Scratch

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Having done a lot of research I have narrowed my choice of external SSD drives down to 2. The samsung T7 and samsung X5. Has anyone got any experience of either or can recommend alternatives. I can’t decide whether I would notice any difference between the X5 which has usb 3 thunderbolt connectivity? Can anyone advise whether its worth the extra cost?

I do work in IT, and the 3-2-1 backup is standard.
Thanks for the advice, I will follow the same backup plan. Just need to decide which cloud service to consolidate with
 

Keitht

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I don't use Cloud storage as I prefer to have total control of my files. I basically do as DonS suggests although on a rather more ad-hoc basis. Nothing as organised as things like Time Machine and Super Duper although I don't do anything like as much photography as I once did.
 

Southern Gent

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I'm not a big fan of the cloud either, as I don't always have a fast internet connection. I keep my LR catalog on the internal SSD, which gets backed up to an external SSD through a Thunderbolt port (which also serves as my cache for PS). Working/current directory/folders are stored on the internal hard drive. There's a mirrored directory on an external HDD setup in LR as another drive. As images age or editing is completed they are moved to the external HDD. Two more rotating external HDD serve as the backup drive, and stored in a fireproof safe.
 

kayak

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I leave the good stuff on SD cards. They are much cheaper now to what they once were.
I also store on external hard drive.
Some I store in gmail accounts and Google Drive.
 

Scratch

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I must admit, I’m not a big fan of cloud storage either. I have a few free allocations that come with Apple iCloud, Windows, Norton etc and a pre-paid 2TB subscription with Knowhow for 5 years but prefer to work with files on a hard drive.

I’m trying to get my head around how best to organise my storage/ backups through Lightroom which I am slowly getting familiar with
 
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DonS

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If you do not use an offsite backup of some sort, you are not really protected from losing data. I used to burn DVDs and take to a family member to hold. You never used those offsite files unless you lose the two other copies you have locally.
 

Southern Gent

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I constructed a secure underground vault in my backyard. It's 30ft into bedrock surrounded by reinforced concrete, it has its own standby generator with redundant HVAC systems and halon fire suppression............not really.

I'm not making fun of those who go to the extremes in protecting their data, but to me there's a point of diminishing returns. Almost 50 years in business 90% of our backup failures have been hardware related, the other 10% was operator error. My ancient fireproof safe still serves it's purpose.

The other sad thing is when I'm gone all those digital files will likely face the same fate as the boxes of papers and pictures, saved by my parents.
 

Keitht

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Southern Gent, you are right about the likely fate of digital files. It's difficult to hold put an external drive or DVD and see what's on there. In the good old days of negatives and slides, advances in technology didn't make them impossible to view and there was a chance that somebody might be intrigued enough to have a look at them.

DonS, I understand what you mean about not being protected if data is stored offsite but agree with Southern Gent that the greatest risk is hardware failure rather than some form of natural disaster. That said, I'm not disagreeing that certainly for anybody who's livelihood depends on retaining date, offsite storage is a very good idea.
 

Southern Gent

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@Keitht sadly those boxes of negatives and prints aren't very secure either as I found when I started digitizing them. Prints and negative from prior to the 60's seem to have held up better than those after. I have studio prints from the late 1800's to the 40's that are amazingly well preserved. B&W prints from the 50s are iffy but the negatives are still good. Moving into the 60's, 70's, 80 s prints are fading bad and the negatives are virtually worthless.
 

Blofeld

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I keep back ups but do it manually. Rather than use LR to sort images, I download from SD to 3 drives then reference my main location to LR from there.
 

mxer

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I have a different approach, understanding that there are no guarantees with anything in this life. I use a NAS with six terabytes (Network Attached Storage) using RAID 10. Files are spread across 4 hard drives in the NAS. Access to the files is plenty fast. The NAS is on the same Ethernet network as the computer and printer. When a drive fails, nothing is lost. I replace the dead HD with a fresh HD. The NAS then rebuilds itself over a day or so. During that time I still have access to all files, with a bit of lag. Once a week the whole NAS is backed up with Acronis to two external USB drives, redundantly.
I don’t use any cloud service, not for lack of trust necessarily. I have an aversion to renting anything.
 

Southern Gent

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Yes I keep the current catalogue on the PC, backing up regularly. Once it reaches a certain size approx 200 GB,
I'm confused because my .lrcat file is a fraction of that. Even with 50,000 images other users have reported file sizes under 10GB.
 

Mj224

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I'm confused because my .lrcat file is a fraction of that. Even with 50,000 images other users have reported file sizes under 10GB.
Yes, I mean the whole Photograph folder, including the original and processed photos. The modern camera just produces such large files, and you take three when you only need one! And I should be a little more fussy when keeping photos...
 

Southern Gent

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Yes, I mean the whole Photograph folder, including the original and processed photos. The modern camera just produces such large files, and you take three when you only need one! And I should be a little more fussy when keeping photos...
Okay, makes more sense. I don't know off hand what my total image storage is. I have 100's of folders on multiple drives with a total capacity of 10TB. So far I haven't filled them.:confused: I also probably keep more than I should, but I do occasionally go thru and purge a few after several months. That's another advantage of managing everything with only one catalog, and using tree down directories. It makes it easy to see at a glance what you have.
 

SFTphotography

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If you do not use an offsite backup of some sort, you are not really protected from losing data. I used to burn DVDs and take to a family member to hold. You never used those offsite files unless you lose the two other copies you have locally.
One of mine has an SSD of mine. I carry one in my pocket with me if going out, and I have two others in the house. Amazon photo's though is a great shout for the RAWs
 

SeanNeedham

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My system is similar to @DonS , but on the editing rig the image folders are also automatically mirrored to another internal hard drive, then mirrored off to one of the NAS units on the desk and then copies are stored in basically what is a bunker under the building. If there's something potent enough to take out all that then I've got bigger problems than losing a couple of dozen of terrabytes of data.
 
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