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 Post subject: How do you archive?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:19 pm 
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Location: South West UK
It's a broad question I know but how do you guys archive your photos?
My collection of photographs seems to be growing exponentially and I wondered about the best way to save and store them.
I do take a lot of photographs and it can be as many as 4 to 5 thousand a month, I have my regular DSLR and a IR converted DSLR.
On an average RAW file of 25MB (some are 30+MB) that's about 125GB per month.
That's before any processing which in itself creates even more files and I don't want to delete or destroy any originals so you can see that my files are growing at an alarming rate.

I could just buy 2TB hard drives and store eveything on those but then do you want to keep all your eggs in one basket? Hard drives do crash or get corrupted or even I could accidentally erase some content.
So that brings me to another point and that is 'do you keep another backup of your photographs somewhere else? which will double your disk space again.

At my current rate of shots and PS processing I am using about 1TB every 4 months.
And with a backup of those files I will need to buy a 2TB every 4 months.
Until BlueRay costs come down in price I don't see any other way at the moment.
I do have a DDS4 Tape Drive but even with that the most you can get on one tape is 40GB at about £6 per tape. And of course Tape is slow at archiving, especially if you are searching for particular files it takes forever to find.
Should I just start buying hard drives? How do you guys do it.

Thanks for reading.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:54 pm 
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I'm saving my pictures on my internal HDDs and then I have external ones for additional saving - it's synchronised about once in a month.
I'm usually shooting .jpg (only using RAW if I really want the best quality in that situation) so I don't need as much space but I guess HDDs are the easiest and most affordable way of saving photos. Of course they can crash - that's why I save them twice.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:34 am 
External hard drives are the most convenient solution IMHO if you want to avoid amassing a huge collection of DVDs and catalogueing them. I save all my pics on a 1TB drive and copy them to another one as back up. I guess if you shoot as many pics as you do you will need a fair few drives but I think it's still cheaper and more convenient than discs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:23 am 
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Being a bit more fussy about what you keep or delete helps to start with.

Personally I do keep two copies of everything on different hard disks. I have 2x2TB HDs inside my desktop, and I backup those manually to external 1TB disks. I don't think there's really anything cheaper per TB that wouldn't involve serious management issues too.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:01 am 
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Location: Scotland
This is one of those time travel dilemmas/paradoxes.

Think of it this way if you keep every shot you take how long would it take you to look through them to find something you wanted. Even if you take the time to archive by subject and not date you would need a cross referencing system just to cope with something as simple as the difference between a group shot and individual portrait and those portraits taken indoors or outdoors (you can see how complex this could become).

If you can find what you want in less than 30 mins then this is the best system to set up and run.

You may want a place to throw everything in to but you will probably only venture in there when researching your autobiography in a decade or so :) It maybe best to have a best shot library and a separate archive.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:08 pm 
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How do I currently do it?
I have a file on my Windows laptop within 'Pictures' called 'to sort', where I often sub divide my images. Every so often I move them onto external hard disk drives.

This isn't the best nor worst method, but my way.

The NAS devices look good, you have a unit with say 4 drives in and it automatically duplicates them for you.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:07 pm 
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External Hard Drives are the best and cheapest way to store photos. I use a external RAID set up in RAID 5. This needs at least four drives but allows for quick speeds and secure data. The perfect combination :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:54 am 
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Location: The Netherlands
RAID5 needs a bare minimum of 3 drives actually, where your storage space is 1 - 1/n (where n = total number of drives) :)

In that configuration, it allows for one drive to fail, but it has two drawbacks:

Rebuilding takes quite a while, and will put a large load on the drives. If you bought all the drives at the same time from the same lot, there's a rather large chance a second one will fail soon, possibly during the rebuild.

Secondly, RAID5 is kind of slow for writing small files, especially if the controller does not have a dedicated processor for the parity calculation, or a (battery backed) cache.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:42 am 
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Can someone explain what all this RAID stuff means?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:34 am 
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Location: Surrey, UK
Oh yes sorry Citruspers I meant to type 3 :D

@ canon 500d RAID is a way of combining hard drives together to make them either faster or safer.

For example RAID 0 combines all the hard drives together to make the fastest possible speeds. However if one fails you loose all the data.

RAID 1 writes the same file to more than one disc. No speed increase but a back up copy in case things to wrong.

There are quite a few other raid configurations that I'm sure someone will link you to. If nobody has by tonight I'll find you one :D

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Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:20 am 
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I'll be writing an article about backup in the next few weeks, so it's interesting to hear what people are using. Ultimately you can't beat some large hard disks, and I'm currently testing a Newer Technology Voyager Q as a caddy for bare drives.

I also run a Synology NAS with RAID 5.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:05 pm 
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I actually used to use magnetic tape storage until recently. 400 GB HP tapes for off-site, and a complete robotic tape library on-site. Worked surprisingly well.

But I'm replacing it with harddrives now. Faster and cheaper.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:19 pm 
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I have never seen the magnetic tape before used for fil storage. Hard disk drives have been around for years.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:22 pm 
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It's not consumer-grade stuff, mostly enterprise. ;)

Used to cost more than your house back in the day, but I got it for cheap when it was decomissioned. :)

If you want, I can get you some more pictures.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:24 pm 
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Yes, if you wouldn't mind. :D

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