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Thread: Photo Storage

  1. #1
    Senior Member brontis5's Avatar
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    Photo Storage

    I am running out of room on my computer's hard drive and have filled up all of my smaller hard drives with photos from my spotting trips. I was wondering if anyone had any advice regarding larger external hard drives or other storage methods. There are so many brands and types of hard drives I don't even know what is good or what is crap, any help would be great. Thanks, Brian

  2. #2
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Storage

    I have a 500GB Western Digital MyBook external and it works pretty well, a lot faster than I would have expected via USB. I've had it for about a year without a problem.
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    Senior Member MarkLawrence's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Storage

    I have a 100Gb SimpleTech - same as Matt - works well and quick for a USB drive.
    Mark Lawrence - KFLL
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  4. #4
    Senior Member lijk604's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Storage

    I wouldn't discount putting your files on DVD's...that is unless your computer is not equipped to do so.
    DVD's become an unlimited resource. ;)

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    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Storage

    i've got the same 500gb myBook external HD and i'm still at less than 1/4 full. i've got loads of stuff on there, including maybe 60 movies ripped(uncompressed) right off of old DVDs.
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by cancidas
    i've got the same 500gb myBook external HD...
    Just bought one of those this week - on sale for $129 at MicroCenter. Haven't tried it out yet, but will be doing so this weekend.

    John, the only problem with using DVDs is it can take a while to burn them, especially if you have a lot of data to back up. I'm one of those people who never deletes photos, so when I have a couple of GBs of photos after a weekend of shooting, it eats up DVDs in a hurry. As always, YMMV!

  7. #7
    Senior Member GrummanFan's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by moose135
    John, the only problem with using DVDs is it can take a while to burn them, especially if you have a lot of data to back up. I'm one of those people who never deletes photos, so when I have a couple of GBs of photos after a weekend of shooting, it eats up DVDs in a hurry. As always, YMMV!
    With my experiences with hard drives, it's not a question of if they will fail, its when. I keep all of my photos as well, and I'm just starting to transfer my collection onto several dual-layered dvds that hold about 8gigs each. I'm also looking for an external hard drive to keep a second copy of everything, in case I need quick access to them. But dvds are the most failsafe backup device, aside from printing everything out as 8x10's in the highest resolution possible
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  8. #8
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    Re: Photo Storage

    I don't have anything to burn DVDs (though it's on my list) but my solution is redundancy. I have the photos stored on two live computers, and plus a removable drive tray that usually stores one one drive with another copy of the photos, plus another drive tray that's usually kept in a fireproof box which gets stuff backed up once a week or so.

    I'd definitely recommend the drive tray solution over external drives. It's a lot easier to just pop the tray in or out that to have to find hunt through my mess of cables to find the right ones for the enclosure. (This is probably less of an issue if you're leaving a single drive attached constantly.) If you are going to go the external drive route, though, it's almost always cheaper to buy an internal drive and an enclosure separately than to get something like the MyBook (which is basically just an internal drive and enclosure that come preassembled).
    Phil Gengler - NYCA's "other Phil"

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    Re: Photo Storage

    I have two 500 GB hard disks in my computer that I will one of these days set up as a RAID...you can get a similar setup that connects via USB or a network cable...it's not cheap, but it's failsafe :)

    Do you guys generally store all of your photos? When I go plane-spotting, I usually end up with 12 or so photos of each aircraft, and clearly one or two are the best, but I keep anything that doesn't have a tree branch or a wire or something obstructing the aircraft...

  10. #10
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    Re: Photo Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by adam613
    Do you guys generally store all of your photos? When I go plane-spotting, I usually end up with 12 or so photos of each aircraft, and clearly one or two are the best, but I keep anything that doesn't have a tree branch or a wire or something obstructing the aircraft...
    This could probably go off as a separate topic, but I do keep all of my photos, even the bad ones (for now, at least). In the last few months, I've started to really fill in metadata for all my photos, including a rating (1-5). One star photos are the ones I'd probably delete; they're the ones with unrecoverable problems, like being out of focus, soft, or having the subject obscured or cut off. Two star photos are the ones that don't have any technical issues, but I either didn't like the composition/angle/etc or it's basically a duplicate of another shot. Three star photos are the ones that I postprocess and put up on my website. Four star photos are the really exceptional photos, and five stars is unused at present.
    Phil Gengler - NYCA's "other Phil"

  11. #11
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    Re: Photo Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by pgengler
    This could probably go off as a separate topic, but I do keep all of my photos, even the bad ones (for now, at least). In the last few months, I've started to really fill in metadata for all my photos, including a rating (1-5). One star photos are the ones I'd probably delete; they're the ones with unrecoverable problems, like being out of focus, soft, or having the subject obscured or cut off. Two star photos are the ones that don't have any technical issues, but I either didn't like the composition/angle/etc or it's basically a duplicate of another shot. Three star photos are the ones that I postprocess and put up on my website. Four star photos are the really exceptional photos, and five stars is unused at present.
    Heh...yeah, I started writing a response, but I think I'm going to start a new thread :)

  12. #12

    Re: Photo Storage

    I shoot RAW so keeping everything is not feasible. I tried to and ended up using up disk space way to quickly.

    I burn the unedited contents of my cards to a DVD. I use 4GB cards so there's pretty much a 1:1 ratio of DVDs to cards. Before I do that, I do try to get rid of the bad shots (soft, plane parts cut off, etc). That's my storage.

    For the shots I edit and retouch, I rename the files and catalog the shots and then save them in Photoshop format. Then those photos are caught in my general data backup scheme.

    One thing that's helped a lot is a high speed DVD burner. I bought a Samsung 18X burner and a USB enclosure from Newegg about a year ago for less than $50. Much more reliable and faster than my laptop DVD+/-R drive. Not hard to put together and probably cheaper now.

  13. #13
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    Re: Photo Storage

    I would recommend not burning to DVD but backing up to External Hard Drive. DVD's do have a life span and will be unreadable at some point. So one day you will not be able to get the data off of DVD.

    The life-span of a burnable CD or DVD is highly dependent upon the quality of the organic dye it uses. Not all organic dyes are the same. In fact, organic dyes will vary from one product line to another from the same manufacturer. DVD Media can last anywhere from 2 Years to 300 years depending on the quality of media that you have purchased.

    If a hard drive does go bad there is a good chance of recovery with the appropriate tools, once the DVD goes bad there really is no way to recover the data.
    It's hard to take chances but sometimes it's better if you do

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  14. #14
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    Re: Photo Storage

    I would suggest to put you most cherished photos on dvd or even better gold dvd's.
    Hard drives only expected to last or keep working for 5 years. So basically dvd's last longer. I say all this but I don't have anything on dvds. One one these days I will get around to it.

  15. #15
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    Re: Photo Storage

    I have a 500 GB external Western Digital Elements, got it for $80 at Target on Black Friday :D
    nwa FOREVER!

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