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Simple Photo Backup Solutions
Old 09-12-2017   #1
jonconphoto
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Simple Photo Backup Solutions

Anyone have a good photo backup solution workflow they would be willing to share or link to?
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Old 09-12-2017   #2
Saul
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How many photos are you talking about?
What is your current routine?
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Old 09-12-2017   #3
Ronald M
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Buy two external drives and copy your photos to both. One stays off property and you rotate them.

Large capacity flash drives also good.

All storage devices degrade with time and you need to update.

Properly stored film lasts forever, color needs to be sealed and frozen.
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Old 09-12-2017   #4
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I have an enclosure with four drives in it. Two contain complete backups (macOS Time Machine) of my whole computer, including the rendered versions of my photos I keep in the Apple Photos app. The original RAWs are on the other two drives, identical copies. I do manual backups to the drives every couple of weeks. The computer and the RAWs are all also backed up regularly to Backblaze, and the rendered jpegs in Photos are also in iCloud.

I should really keep a drive at my office, too, in case my house burns down...
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Old 09-12-2017   #5
ColSebastianMoran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
Buy two external drives and copy your photos to both. One stays off property and you rotate them.
What he said.

I use Carbon Copy Cloner on Mac to make the backups. One in the file cabinet, one in the safe deposit box. Backup once a week to the disk at hand. Swap the disks each month.

One more point: After three years, copy to brand new hard disks and destroy the old ones. Hard drive warranties are about three years... For a reason.
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Old 09-12-2017   #6
Rob-F
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I take a 13" MacBook on trips. I download to the Mac daily. when I get home I download to the iMac. I do Time Machine on both the MacBook and the iMac. I leave the images in the camera until this is all complete. One of these days I want to set up a dedicated photo-only external drive, separate from the Time Machines.
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Old 09-13-2017   #7
RichC
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I use the following set-up:
  • Extra hard disk for my PC - used for a back-up of my data only
  • External raid drive - a Lacie 2big.
  • A NAS drive - a WD My Book.

Backing up is automated using software, so I don't do anything manually. Back-up software has options to either back up specific folders whenever their content changes or at specific times. I use the former for most stuff.

I find it annoying that new computers contain a single massive drive - I'd rather have two smaller ones! There's no point in backing up to a different folder on the same drive - that's no help if the drive fails! It's easy installing a new internal drive in a desktop PC. Or use an external drive.

The raid drive is actually 2 drives but the PC sees it as one. If one drive fails, simply stick in a new one, and the raid drive will rebuild the "lost" content. Lacie drives are expensive but their are cheaper options that are just as good.

The above drives should all use a fast data connection. I use eSATA.

Finally, the NAS (network attached storage) drive. This doesn't attach to your PC but is instead plugged into your broadband modem. It's essentially your own personal cloud, like Dropbox. So, your PC sees this as a network drive. The WD My Books are very reliable and cheap, and is hidden in a cupboard.

As my data is backed up in essentially five places (the original, the extra internal drive, the Raid (counts as 2!), the NAS drive). I don't worry about disk failure - if one back-up dies, I'll replace it. All 5 drives aren't going to fail simultaneously! I can't believe a thief would bother looking for my Raid and NAS drives hidden away, and I guess my house could burn down - but there's such a thing as being too paranoid!

Anyway, the final back-up is that I have prints of my good photos in my studio, which is not in my house!
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Old 09-13-2017   #8
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Postscript. Make sure to turn on Windows File History (or the Mac equivalent). Nothing more annoying than deleting or changing a file then deciding you wished you hadn't! So nice to time travel on computers these days!
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Old 09-13-2017   #9
JoeLopez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonconphoto View Post
Anyone have a good photo backup solution workflow they would be willing to share or link to?
Welcome to the community


I import my images from the SD card to an external hard drive via Lightroom and process any images.
That drive is backed up to a second external drive which is kept in the safe.
My PC and the first external are backed up to the cloud via Backblaze.

It's been working well for a few years running now. Never an issue.
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Old 09-13-2017   #10
ColSebastianMoran
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Just curious -- Anyone actually recovered from a crash using their backups? A serious crash, not just retrieving one or another file.

That is, actual experience recovering from the backups we are counting on?
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Old 09-13-2017   #11
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I have two external drives - one working, one backup. If I die, my heirs are not going to want my files. I print everything I think is worth keeping. I am quite selective. Just think, they will be automatically edition at ever how many are in the box (generally one) and become that much more valuable.
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Old 09-13-2017   #12
rscheffler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
Just curious -- Anyone actually recovered from a crash using their backups? A serious crash, not just retrieving one or another file.

That is, actual experience recovering from the backups we are counting on?
Yes, like you I use Carbon Copy Cloner for various back up tasks, including fully bootable OS back ups of boot drives.

Recently I had a couple 4TB drives fail and was able to fully recover photos lost on those drives from duplicates on other drives. On the OS side, over the years I've had boot drives fail and having a complete, recent OS back up has been an extreme time saver. I also used to run Time Machine back ups but while the interface is neat, would nearly always eventually run into some sort of problem with it not working quite right. And my understanding was in the event of an OS drive failure, the recovery process would require a fresh OS install, then migration of user files from the TM back up. While this will work, it's not as fast as simply booting from or cloning a complete OS back up over to the new, replacement drive in the computer.

I'm sure other equivalent apps exist both in Mac and Windows environments, but I'm very happy with the versatility of CCC, whether it's cloning image file sets across multiple drives or automating regular back ups for the various computers I have in use, including over my local network.

Lastly I also back up final Jpegs to cloud services. I use Amazon's AWS S3 and Google Drive/Photos. Everything goes to Amazon's S3 and some of it to Google if it will be shared with clients/friends/family.

My routine is: shoot, download and immediately duplicate to at least two 'data' drives (that are just for photos storage). From the 'working drive' on the computer I do relevant edits and these are regularly backed up to the data drives. Once a project is competed, final Jpegs are uploaded to the cloud and all files are backed up one last time to the data drives before deleting from the working drive.

To keep track of where everything is, I use the NeoFinder cataloging app (there is also Windows version under a different name).
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Old 09-13-2017   #13
halfaninchawater
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Peter Krogh's article is an excellent place to start. http://www.dpbestflow.org/backup/backup-overview
One specific point, automate whatever system you use. I use Superduper to backup my Mac every night to a local hard drive. I don't have to think about it it just happens. I also use Backblaze and this system is also automated. My entire system is backed up automatically online (off-site).
I have never had to use the online backup, however when I experienced a hard drive failure on the Mac, the local backup, saved my sanity.
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Old 09-13-2017   #14
jamesbf
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SD Card to internal storage on computer
- Process those images
- Processed images get backed onto 2 hard drives + raw if they are important.
- Processed images get uploaded privately to Flickr (1TB storage)

Thinking about subscribing to Google Drive 1TB so I can keep important Raw files on the cloud as well. Not sure yet.
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