The Disadvantage of Digital Photography

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Our photographs used to be physical objects we could keep and treasure for decades. These memories could be passed along the generations.

Today our photographs are information on our hard disks and in this presentation I explain why that's not as good an idea as it seems and how we can save ourselves and our memories from disaster.

Published in: Art & Photos, Technology, Business
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The Disadvantage of Digital Photography

  1. 1. THE DISADVANTAGE OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
  2. 2. BEFORE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY• Photographs were real physical objects• Stored and treasured in photo albums and slide boxes for decades
  3. 3. WITH DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY• Photographs are just information, they are virtual objects• Stored in our computers’ hard disks
  4. 4. THE DISADVANTAGE OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY?
  5. 5. OUR COMPUTERS ARE NOT A SAFE PLACETO KEEP OUR PHOTOGRAPHS
  6. 6. THERE ARE ONLY TWO TYPES OF HARD DISK
  7. 7. THE ONES THAT HAVE FAILED
  8. 8. AND THE ONES THAT WILL FAIL
  9. 9. HOW LONG DOES A HARD DISK LAST?• typically around 5 years• hard disks younger than 3 months are much more likely to fail• hard disks older than 3 years are much more likely to fail
  10. 10. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
  11. 11. ONE DAY YOUR HARD DISK WILL BREAK EVERYTHING ON IT WILL BE LOST
  12. 12. SOLUTIONS
  13. 13. DON’T KEEP ALL OF YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
  14. 14. MAKE COPIES. MANY COPIES.
  15. 15. A BACKUP ISA SPARE COPY OF YOUR IMAGES
  16. 16. A BACKUP IS NOT KEEPING ALL YOURIMAGES ON AN EXTERNAL HARD DISK
  17. 17. A BACKUP IS NOTARCHIVING YOUR IMAGES TO DVDS
  18. 18. BACKUPS AREOUR ONLY PROTECTION FROM DISASTER
  19. 19. DISASTERS?• Hard Drive Failure• Computer Virus• Theft• Mistakes
  20. 20. THE 3-2-1 BACKUP RULE• Keep three separate copies of your photographs• Copy them to two different types of storage• Keep one copy offsite away from your computer
  21. 21. THREE COPIES OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS• The first copy is on the computer where you work on your photographs• A second copy is on an external hard disk or DVD to protect you against the failure of your computer• A third copy is kept offsite, outside of your house, to protect you against disasters like fire, flooding or burglary
  22. 22. IF ONE COPY FAILS YOU HAVE TWO SPARE COPIESYOU HAVE TWO CHANCES TO GET YOUR PHOTOS BACK
  23. 23. MAKE ROUTINE COPIES
  24. 24. ROUTINE• Put in your calendar; for example the first Sunday every month• Or use a backup programme to schedule the backup• Important: check your backup copies to see if anything has gone wrong
  25. 25. WHAT DO I DO?
  26. 26. MY BACKUP WORKFLOW• I keep all of my photographs since 2006 on my computer. - first copy• Each night my computer copies my whole Lightroom folder (around 450GB) to an external hard drive - second copy• I run Backblaze which constantly uploads my images to an internet based backup - third copy
  27. 27. ISN’T THIS PARANOIA?
  28. 28. WHEN DISASTER STRIKES• In March of this year my hard drive failed. That’s my first copy gone.• Three days later my external backup hard drive failed. That’s my second copy gone.• My offsite internet backup was okay. So my third copy was fine.
  29. 29. COMPLETE RECOVERY• Replaced my computer hard drive• Replaced my backup external hard drive• Restored my images from my offsite backup and copied them to the external backup hard drive. That’s my first and second copies restored from my third copy.• I didn’t lose a single image
  30. 30. WHAT DOES THIS COST?• An external USB hard drive - around £60• A subscription to Backblaze (or Mozy, Carbonite) - around £4 per month but this requires a broadband connection to make a backup. Your initial backup might take a long time.
  31. 31. WHAT’S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO?• Buy an external hard drive• Make a spare copy of all your photographs on that hard drive• Put a reminder in your calendar for when to make a new copy
  32. 32. SUMMARY• Storage of digital photographs is fragile. Every hard disk will break eventually.• Don’t keep your eggs in one basket. Make regular spare copies of your images.• Ideally follow the 3-2-1 backup rule. 3 copies, 2 different types of storage and 1 copy offsite.• However, even a single spare copy is far better than none
  33. 33. QUESTIONS?

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