Data Backup

It used to be a time consuming job creating a backup copy (reproduction photography). Today however, a simple click allows you to copy what you wish to copy to the chosen place. However, it still often occurs that photographers complain about a loss of data.

It used to be a time consuming job creating a backup copy (reproduction photography). Today however, a simple click allows you to copy what you wish to copy to the chosen place. However, it still often occurs that photographers complain about a loss of data.
This is often due to insufficient archiving and storing systems. Many photographers don’t give saving and storing data much thought – until it is too late and the important photos are gone.

First rule when dealing with computers!

  • Save, Save, Save…

 

There are numerous reasons for loss of data

  • Defect hard drive, defect CD/DVD, defect memory card
  • Images are accidentally deleted
  • Card is accidentally formatted
  • Original image is overwritten
  • Viruses
  • Other technical problems with soft and/or hardware
     

The images in digital photography can, therefore, be more prone to total loss than in analog photography. Backing up data should, therefore, be an important part of the work process in photography.

How can images be saved?

  • When transferring images from the memory card to the computer (before deleting them on the card), make sure that the files have completed the transfer into the target folder
  • Save your images in folders with meaningful names
  • Rename your images with meaningful names
    • Works well with the following image viewing programs 
    • irfanview.de - Software good for batch jobs
    • faststone.org – Good image viewing program

 

Saving to further storage medium (CD, DVD, hard disc)

Save to CD, DVD

  • CDs and DVDs are very inexpensive
  • This is a good option if you want to save small amounts of image content or as a second method of saving raw data
  • However, here you must ensure the quality of the storage medium as well as storing it in a cool, dark place
  • From time to time, copy storage media onto a new medium – the length of storage can vary considerably; therefore, no estimate can be made

Save to hard drive

  • This type of data storage can be done manually by using the copy function of your database browser (usually Windows Explorer)
  • You can also use special software to save data – with these programs you can easily, e.g., synchronise entire folders with a second hard drive
    • Image organising and management programs such as Photoshop Elements Organizer also provide storing options
  • The cost of external hard drives has decreased massively in the last few years. The advantage of storing data on an external hard drive is that the entire folder structure can be saved with little effort and restoring data is simple.
    • Pay attention to the size of the hard drive required (allow for some leeway)
    • External hard drives offer different options to transfer data that each have their own advantages and disadvantages
      • USB 2.0 / 3.0
      • Network
      • LAN
  •  Ensure that the files saved on storage medium are error-free
  • Remember that the various storage media are subject to an aging process and that you may need to repeat the process of saving after a few years
  • Store your storage medium in a different place
  • In image processing, make sure that you don’t overwrite the original file – use copies of the original to work with!

As well as saving data and the rudimentary option of image management in folders and file names mentioned above, for larger image content it is especially recommendable to use an image management program (ideally as an image database). Images can then be provided with keywords, valuations and further metadata (e.g., GPS). This makes subsequent searches and sorting according to this information a speedy process. An export function that transfers this data into the header of the image file is mainly for professional use and work.

Image management programs

  • Adobe Photoshop Elements Organizer (more for ambitious amateurs) – more information here
  • Apple Aperture (professional choice) – more information here
  • Adobe Lightroom (professional choice) – more information here

What can you do in the case of data loss?

  • Defect memory cards and hard drives
  • cannot be read at all (in this case neither the computer nor the camera recognises the medium – if this is the case your only option is to contact a specialist provider of data recovery – however, this is usually relatively expensive)
  • Formatting error is displayed (camera shows notification that the card is not formatted)
  • Try to extract the data on the card by using a card reader

Software to recover storage media

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