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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos? 680

Posted by timothy
from the and-where-do-you-put-the-negatives? dept.
mxhf writes "I just came back from a four-week vacation to Mexico. This is the country for Aztecs and Maya Ruins and we visited plenty of them. Needless to say we took thousands of pictures with two cameras. Having arrived back home I realize that my hard-disk does not have enough space left to hold the additional 16GB that I collected on the other side of the globe. Now, my hard disk already is 250GB. I work exclusively on a laptop and do not want to change this. I know that there are larger disks today. But I figured that the time has come to finally move my image collection from my laptop to somewhere else. But where should I go? So, how do you store your photo collections? And how do you keep backups? These are obviously images that I want to keep for my life. So the need to survive fires, burglaries, etc. I think the amount of data I have rules online storage out. Should I just get two USB disks and leave one at a reasonably save location? I think this must be a common problem today. And yes — before you ask — I do know that the first thing to do is to go through your collection and dump what is not worth keeping."
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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?

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  • Same as always (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrLogic17 (233498) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:51PM (#34945128) Journal

    This type of question comes up a lot. How do I store for the long term?

    Simple answer. Have it spinning on disk (or flash, or SSD, or...) and live accessable, plus an off-site backup.

    Any off-line media will at some point be unreadable. Keep it accessable & live, and migrate it each time you upgrade your system.

    Sure, I've got a few 5.25" floppies around, but how to read them? Keep it spinning & live.

  • combination (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:53PM (#34945148) Homepage

    Buy a larger internal hard drive for your laptop...that will solve your "immedeate access" needs.

    If you're really serious about actual back up:

    1. Buy a 1 TB external hard drive. Copy all of your pictures on there, then put the hard drive in a safe deposit box. This will be your "iron-clad" backup, one which you only update after major trips such as the one you came back from.

    2. Buy a second 1 TB external hard drive that you keep at home. This will be your "primary" backup, one that gets updated every time you have new pictures.

    3. For extra protection, buy a crap-ton of DVD-Rs, and burn all your photos on them.

  • by c0d3g33k (102699) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:07PM (#34945400)

    ... particularly those that predate ubiquitous image capturing (I can't in good conscience call it photography), I just don't take many personal photos. A few each time to document the event, but not enough to warrant a question about how to store all that stuff.

    Instead, I prefer to *live* the moments, seeing them personally through my own eyes, rather than experience them through the camera viewfinder and then later via images. My epiphany came in the hospital when I was faced with the choice of documenting the birth of my daughter with a video camera plastered to my face, or putting the fucking thing down and living the experience myself. You can probably guess from my choice of words which option I chose. So I'm left with my own imperfect memory of the event rather than a memory as seen through the viewfinder and replayable later.

    Your precious personal photos and videos are like the dreaded vacation movies/slideshows back when people did that kind of thing. Odds are you will never look at your archive of photos very much - if you did, you wouldn't be experiencing new things, you'd just be reviewing your old experiences over and over again.

    So stop worrying about your "precious" photos and just go out and experience some new things. Pay attention while you're doing so, and you can tell stories later about the wonderfullness of it all.

    IMHO, this is much better than compulsive photo-documentation.

    But I don't expect many to agree. Shiny gadgets have captured our souls, and I'm afraid they may be lost forever.

  • by arikol (728226) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:08PM (#34945418) Journal

    Seriously, are all those thousands of vacation pictures worth storing?
    Or could the feeling of the vacation be summarised by less than a hundred pictures? What about less than fifty? Less than 30? 20?

    We really are behaving like mad magpies, hoarding this data as if it really were the memories of the event (well, if one takes multiple thousands of pictures then one may actually have spent the whole vacation behind the camera instead of enjoying the experience. See "experiencing self vs remembering self" http://sheshtawy.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/experience-self-vs-remembering-self-experience-vs-memory/ [wordpress.com] )

    I've recently taken to culling my selection of pictures which I actively back up; selecting only a dozen or so images from each month. That still results in less than 150 images a year. This selection gets backed up both on multiple media here at home as well as backed up online. The other thousands of pictures are saved only at home, on an external drive (external USB drive connected to an Airport Extreme) an on my laptop's internal drive. These extra images just don't require the safety of an off-site backup. They're just not that important!
    And nobody will care about the 500 pictures of an Aztec pyramid in a couple of years. Even if you and a loved one are in the pictures it will end up that there are two or three pics which are great, the rest serve only to bore housegests senseless when subjected to the torture of a thousand picture slideshow of places they haven't been and people they don't know...

    When I think to my childhood I actually remember large parts of it, especially extremely good or bad events. This is independent of whether pictures exist from that event. Where pictures exist, they tend to colour my memory, and in many cases change it (events which I KNOW weren't fully positive, but the single picture from the event shows something enjoyable happening and everyone smiling).
    Pictures LIE, and they change how you remember. Taking them also changes how you experience life. Live a little.

  • Honestly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:09PM (#34945424)

    OH the HORROR! What should I DO? Please slashdot, help me solve this difficult problem!!! I need a team of NERDS for this!

    Seriously, with HD prices at under $100 for 1.5 TB, who gives a flying fuck? If you don't know how to plug in a USB drive you should be shot.

  • by ifiwereasculptor (1870574) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:31PM (#34945722)

    Veering offtopic, here. Anyway, true, but not the case. TFS said he took "thousands" of pictures. In 16Gb. Probably standard 6mp JPEG. HDR is something else entirely. What I point out is how impractical it is for people to go through their tens of thousands of pictures. It would take way too much time, so no one really does that. We keep way too much crap.

  • by Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) <link226@gmail.com> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:52PM (#34945992)
    Maybe they didn't take a ton of photos for the memories, but because they are hobby photographers? Having new and different environments to take pictures of is one of my favorite aspects of travel. What makes a trip enjoyable for you is not necessarily the same for everyone.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @08:51PM (#34947182)

    1. Don't erase any images from the flash card. Get a new card when full. Flash is cheap. Photos are priceless.

    I don't understand why somebody would do this? What in the world are you going to do with boxes full of flash cards? How is that in any way better than consolidating them onto a hard drive and an offsite backup hard drive, and re-using the flash?

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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