PHOTOGRAPHS preserve priceless moments. Unfortunately, they can get easily lost in an instant.
That’s because today’s photos are in digital format, stored in digital albums, mainly on Facebook. One must have access to the Internet and a device to access the photos.
I’m not against Facebook albums or online storage, or as some would call it, cloud space. In fact, I maintain a 30G cloud space for me to access anywhere or to share with my clients. Unlike before when we print our photos, this time we only have a digital file that is very much easy to lose.
Archiving photos applies not only to professional photographers but to hobbyists and plain shooters as well. I hate to say this but I don’t want you to realize 10 years later that you can’t find photos of you or your loved ones from the last decade. I hope Facebook is still up by then.
Until now, the best way to archive your photos is to print it and put it in an album.
If you want to store it digitally, the DVD is still on top of the list. A hard drive or portable storage devices are versatile media, but since these are electronic devices with moving parts, these are susceptible to failure after some time.
For storage, make sure to enclose burned DVDs in sealed containers with silica gel.
This way, the DVDs are free from moisture that may damage the disc. I try to avoid opening the container unless I need to recover files. I keep the burned files in my external hard drives for about a year before I delete them permanently.
One of the reasons photographers find it a hassle to write their photos on DVDs is the preparation stage and the waiting involved for the process to finish. A DVD is about 4.7G, and if you have photos more than 20G, you’ll have to arrange them into folders having a size less than 4.7G then the waiting starts.
I was surprised to learn that many photographers use this type of workflow. If you have Lightroom, there’s an easy way to organize it. Under Lightroom, you can select all the pictures in the catalog or a specific collection and export it to DVD. You don’t have to find out if it fits in a disc, Lightroom will break it down for you into one or more disc.
During writing, Lightroom will ask you to put the next disc for writing. Of course the waiting is still there but you can always leave it writing and just feed more discs when asked. Don’t forget to label your disc with the same name as you labeled it before writing. This way it’s easy to look for the file later.
When archiving, do it regularly in shorter packets. Don’t wait until you have a mountain of files to write. Always think about the possibility of hard drive failure because it will, eventually.
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