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Storing Photos

edited January 2017 Posted in » General Discussion
How does everyone store thier photos? Do you keep them directly on your computer, use an external hard drive, or back them up? I am running out of room on my computer and need to know the best option on storing my photos.


  • edited January 2017
    For most of mine, I use an external hard drive. These days you can get quite a lot of memory at a reasonable price. My wife and I both take a lot of pictures when traveling, so for travel photos I have a second portable hard drive onto which I can download our pictures daily from the traveling computer. For most trips, the computer's hard drive holds one copy, and the external another, making it a little less subject to theft. On our last trip we took so many the computer filled up, so we kept as much of our memory cards un-erased as we could, so that if the portable drive died we'd have them there. When I get home, they get copied to the external drive there, and thus exist in two places. Once that's done I can scrub the computer and the camera's memory cards. I'll probably have to get another before we go anywhere big again, as that one, a terabyte, is pretty full. But that's a bit of an unusual case, because there are two of us, both shooting Raw files. Obviously if there were only one, the drive would be only half full now.

    In any case, I'd recommend a USB external drive. That has a couple of advantages, the first being that it can move from one computer to the next, and the second being that it can be disconnected when not in use, thus immune to even the most disastrous of computer failures. Beyond that it depends, I think, on what you consider safe. Home storage is likely safer than traveling in foreign countries, where it's a good idea to have your pictures in more than one place.

    Many serious pro photographers back up onto multiple drives, and keep one off site, or upload important backups to the cloud, so that thieves and house fires do not take their work away. That's probably a bit more than we need here, but for the price, a USB drive between one and a few terabytes can be pretty effective, and it will take a long time to fill up.

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