Photography Tutorials and Articles

Storing Digital Photos

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Storing Digital Photos

Photo Tip Friday April 18, 2014

How to safely and securely store digital photos

“I always download my photos to my computer and now my hard drive is getting full! What should I do?”

This is a question I have been asked several times, and recently one of my student suggested I write an article about this popular question to shed some light on how and where you should store your digital photos.

Recently we’ve seen almost all digital cameras, including smart phones, coming out with more resolution or Mega Pixels. Whether or not we really need more mega pixels is another topic and there are plenty of arguments going around on this subject. In this article I am going to give you some tips about storing digital photos safely and securely.

With the higher resolutions of new digital cameras, you can fill up the entire hard drive of your computer in no time. You’re probably already aware that if the hard drive gets full, it slows down your computer a lot. On the other hand you want to have your photos easily available to be able to view them, share with friends and family, edit or possibly print them. Your photos have to be easy accessible to you, so the computer’s hard drive seems to be a good option, right?

Actually no, this is not the best option! What if your computer crashes? Or your laptop goes missing? How will you be able to restore all of those priceless images? Let’s take a few moments and learn about the best practice for storing digital photos.

Generally speaking I am very paranoid when it comes to hard drives (I’ve had two of my hard drives crash), which is why I always make backups of my important documents on one or two external hard drives, and then make a backup of my backups in a Cloud service such as Flickr, Dropbox or Google Drive. The Cloud Storage is very affordable nowadays, and I hope that it gets even better in the near future.

You can purchase a 1 to 2 Terabyte external hard drive from any electronic store. Before purchasing I recommend to do a little research on line and read some reviews as not all external hard drives are built the same way. Some of them have better quality than others. Your next step is to create a folder inside your new external hard drive and name it something you can recognize easily later, such as ‘2014 Images”. Now that you have this folder, create 12 subfolders, one for each month. Next time when you upload your images to your computer, plug in the external hard drive and upload your photos to one of these folders (for example January pictures go to January Folder). Now not only will you be storing photos, you are organizing them by date as well. Next time when you are looking for images from February 2014, you don’t have to look through thousands of images to find them.

 

Is there a recommended system for storing digital photos and to organize them?

Absolutely! Editing software such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture come with some great features which allow you to not only select the destination for storing digital photos, but organize them by using key words and labelling to help manage photos in a simple and easy way. I personally manage all of my images through the editing software. Even if you are not into editing yet and just want to learn how to manage your digital pictures, these editing software programs can save you lots of time.

We offer private lessons for those interested in learning all the great features of the most popular programs – why not contact us and book a private lesson to get the most out of these time saving features?

If you are interested in learning how to edit images as well as how to manage them, consider registering for our Lightroom Bootcamp workshop, or Photoshop Bootcamp, where we cover these topics and so much more.

That is all for now. As always, your feedback and comments are always welcome. Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions for our Photo Tip Friday section.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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