|13th of June 2008 (Fri)||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New Jersey
Archival Storage Problems
Ok so in the past I have had NO luck with any kind of archival storage I have attempted to use. Everything turns into a problem sooner or later.
I recenty purchased a Drobo (www.Drobo.com) which is basically an expandable storage robot that takes care of all the hard work in keeping a RAID array for you.
Anyway my question is...
How do you folks file and organize you photos?
1) Do you save all your RAW images? This can get HUUUGGEE, or do you save only your finished images?
2) Do you put them in folders that are dated, or categorized? I have been using the dated format to organize my photos in my storage. I find it hard to find what I am looking for that way.
Any insight into this would be great, I would love to hear you storage work flow.
|13th of June 2008 (Fri)||#2|
Join Date: Feb 2006
Re: Archival Storage Problems
First, let me inform you that I am not a professional photographer but my method is quite simple. I have two internal drives and two external drives to back up my system. I use a simple script incorporating xcopy within it. I have a few flags set that will only copy files that are new or files that have changed. I have 4 scripts. the first three are esentially the same in that only the destination drive is what is changed. The last script calls the other three. I have the script run from the scheduler in XP every night. The most I can lose is 1 days worth of files. I also run this script at 4:00 am so as to not interfere with what I do. The only drawback is when I delete a file in the master drive, it does not get deleted in the backup drives. Once in a while I will delete a large portion of one backup drive and get the latest copy of the master drive. This will then have an update copy of files that have been moved or deleted. I then do this for a few days, making sure not to delete all the drives at once. BTW, xcopy will copy from a root directory and work its way to the subdirectories automaticaly.
As far as directory structures that I use, my method is to create a pics folder as my main folder. This followed by a year subfolder and subsequently a month folder. Inside the month folder, I have a folder that begins with the day of the month followed by the event name. (pics->2007->Ocober->31 - Halloween) This makes it easy for me to find.
If I were doing weddings, I would use somewhat similar but I would create a weddings subfolderafter pics and then Year->month... subfolders. I never have any problems searching for my files.
If I can narrow it down to the year and perhaps month, I ussually find my directory rather easily using the search feature in XP.
Sorry for being long winded but this is what I do.
|13th of June 2008 (Fri)||#3|
Cream of the Crop
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: San Jose, California
Re: Archival Storage Problems
Well, OP, in some respects you are better off than me at present. I don't have the external storage. But I plan to soon.
Currently I just burn two DVDs for backup. I plan to re-burn them every 5 or 6 years. One set is kept off-site. I store all RAW files, first, then all edited files (JPEGs, TIFFs, various sizes). I consider the original RAW to be the most important to keep.
When I set up an external arrangement, I want it to have hot-swappable drives. I'll use a mirror RAID, so everything is burned to two drives, rather than a JBOD. That's in case one fails. I'd never use striped RAID, since data gets split between drives and may be impossible to retrieve if one or the other fails.
By having a hot-swappable set up, I can have two sets of disks, one set of drives off site for storage, the other set in use and having automatic backups written to it, and swap them every week. That way in the event of a catastrophe that destroys the external backup, I would lose no more than a weeks work.
I use simple yyyy_mm_dd_xxxx file names.If it's a big day's shoot, I'll use the date of the shoot. If I'm downloading a small number of images off a card that were taken over a period of several days, I'll use the download date. It's close enough for my purposes.
Occasionally I'll tag a folder with a short suffix to identify a particular event in that folder, but I don't use that suffix on the files within it. Only with edited files, I may have simple suffixes on some, if there there are several versions of a particular one. That might be "a, b, c" or size like "5x7, 8x10, 11x14". And, I'll add an "s" behind a final version of an image that's been sharpened.
Accompanying the archive DVDs, I print out thumbnail catalogs. Maybe not all images, if there are a lot of similar ones, but a representative selection. In the case of a job, though, the catalog is usually all the final edited images.
Because my filing system is date-related, my backup DVDs are clearly marked with a date close to when they were first burned, so I will easily know when I should re-burn them in the future (or move the images to more stable storage media, should one come available). I don't have any that have come up for re-burning, yet, but I will within the next year or so.
Now, besides the fact that it's a long number series, I can think of one possible problem with using a date as a file name. Stock photographers might think twice, because it could shorten the "shelf life" of an image that's actually quite usable and salable. A file number that's so obviously the date the photo was taken (or close to it) is a give away that *might* lead potential buyers to skip over an "old" image, even though subject matter isn't dated in any way. I know one stock shooter who currently has all his camera's internal clocks set to 2026 for this reason. That way the buyer can't just check the EXIF and find out the date the shot was actually taken. I don't know how he keeps potential buyers from just checking the copyright registration, which presumably would be within a year or less of the date the image was shot.
You might want to look at "The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers". It's available online... Just Google for it.
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, a bunch of lenses & accessories - FLICKR - PRINTROOM
Last edited by amfoto1 : 13th of June 2008 (Fri) at 15:31.
|13th of June 2008 (Fri)||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: PA USA
Re: Archival Storage Problems
I keep everything downloaded to dated archive folders. I don't keep every single shot but I do keep anything that might remotely useful.
Everything is maintained both on internal HD and external RAID array.
Once per month, the RAID is duplicated and stored in the safe deposit box at the bank.
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