Storage – Whats your plan ?
I am sure we all know the…. if it is not in three places thing… but.. I have always been a little more relaxed and almost been caught out a few times. These days, I have a little more of an advanced 100 foolproof system when it comes to work and the digital pathway of my images.
For a start, everything goes on to a hard drive direct on site, using tethertools cables my Nikon and Fuji cameras are, where ever possible, connected to my laptop. Images go on to my portable SSD and stay on my SSHD hard drive on the laptop. This section is pretty normal, but next I upload ‘safety files’ to SmugMug. This means that what ever happens I have files. If the worst of the worst happens I have the most important files to work from. ( Check out the EE wifi Dongle. We use the Osprey 2. If I have fiber or a fast WIFI then I will try and get as many online. As I shoot the images go into Lightroom then will be uploaded to my Smug Mug account using the SmugMug Lightroom App & Smart collections. This means that I have ‘realtime back up’ to an online source. Each time I ‘5 star’ an image it gets backed up. The other side to this is that though the Client login end on my website, my clients can also see these files real time via the web. Backed up, safe, and where they need to be. Happy Dave, happy clients. Everyone is a winner.
As for making physical back ups. I don’t tend to use RIAD storage. I have a couple of drives that are linked in such ways, but most drives are stored in Buffalo’s DriveStation Duo™ – HD-WIU2/R1.* I have not any any major reason as to why these units aside from the fact I have never had a single problem with them and 2 units have been running now for 6 years pretty much not stop.
The last two times I have had a problem and in-fact every time I have had a problem it has been with smaller portable drives. Problems have ranged from ‘stiction’ or static friction as it is also know to mostly troubles with software controllers & PSU problems. To fix my last drive, which was a small portable drive that suffered from stiction I used a wonderful company called Data Wreck**. They saved my bacon. The last time I had a problem it was another drive but still a PC World type off the shelf job. Not sure what the problem is this time but I have a rough idea that it is a software problem this time. At some point I will get round to getting the data off it when I have the spare cash. Most of the important stuff was backed up on the other drives but there was some stuff which I have edited versions of online & high res and I am not sure if I need the 2tb of images not used or not. I have the important stuff online and that is never going anywhere.
This leads me away from the storage but, the concept of what really needs to be stored. I have a feeling I might loose all those unedited images, I have the ones I want to keep, why should I pay money to back up the odd shot I might never ever look at again. I don’t need them, I just like that they are there. I think I need to re-think my storage… I have over 53 drives now. Some old, some new, some portable drives and the like. I wonder, how much of this storage I can not have backed up 3 times. Am I being to precise about files I will never use again? Maybe my idea of backing up and storage is going to change. The other day my partner and I went to see her mum, we ended up looking for a single old family photo and proceeded to spend the rest of the day laughing and giggling at baby photos and such. I liked that, that to me is photography and what it is about. I think, from now on I am going to have a drive that I store all my edited files in each month then print them, when they arrive I am going to get box and put them under the stairs. That way I know they will last for ever and at some point in the future someone will be looking for something and then proceed to spend a day laughing and giggling like we did.
The next thing my mind lent me to, and this is a more morbid thought… but something that does play on my mind. At some point I am going to die, not to soon I hope! But… when that happens, what is going to happened to my neatly arranged back up drives and who is going to remember not format that drive, if they are still using drives in the future. Who is going to know my password to be able to look at the files. I know what will happen and that the drives, my work will be lost. Gone. Again… I urge you to print. Make books, use paper like in the olden days. This is ONLY way to really safe guard your photography.