Photo Article 94 Keep Your Digital Photos Safe

Photo Article 94
Keep Your Digital Photos Safe!

By: William Wade

In a previous article on this site (What to do with all those digital pictures) I wrote about handling digital photos. Like myself, many folks take hundreds or thousands of photos and some organization is needed to know what pictures you’ve got, and where. That information was covered in detail.

After reading that article, a reader contacted me via my web site (thank you!) and asked about photo security. What happens if your computer hard drive crashes. Wouldn’t all the electronic photos be lost?

Consider following my plan if that’s a concern of yours.

All of my photos are categorized by month in a larger folder for the year, and those folders are in a picture directory on my computer. What I didn’t say in that earlier article is that the larger directory is regularly offloaded onto an external hard drive that I use for, among other things, backing up client data to separate it from the main computer storage, for additional security. That gives me one level of redundancy in keeping my digital photos safe.

I also make slide shows of all my stored photos, whether featuring a particular topic, or just as a photo time line for the year. In 2006 I had twelve photo folders, one for each month of the year. At the end of the year, I turn all of the photos that I wish to keep into a monthly slide show and those shows were burned onto CD’s, which are stored elsewhere from my computer. So, now I’ve backed up my main computer picture files onto an external hard drive, and I’ve created slide shows of all of the previous years photos.

Then, when the slide shows are complete, I then burn all of the original pictures from that year onto a CD as .jpeg files, so that should I ever want a hard copy or use one of the digital photos again, I can get just the one photo. The slide show software captures the photos, making it impossible (almost) to get one shot from the slide show after it’s complete. Keeping all the photos as .jpeg’s means I can get an original when I want it. That’s another level of digital photo safe-keeping.

The reader also commented that if there were a catastrophe (house fire or some such) that my photos would be gone. Yup, I guess they would. When I travel overnight, I usually take my external hard drive with me. I’m more concerned about a break-in and thieves taking my computer than I am about a house fire, and I heat with wood.

Folks that have thousands of paper photographs stored in boxes and drawers in their house face the same problem. Should they have a catastrophic house fire, their photo memories would be burned to ash. Losing my home and everything in it (including my computer and CD’s with my family and business photos and files) to fire hasn’t been a worry for me. The question is, should it?

The reader’s question prompted me to look at alternate data storage, and I found some services. Interested in off-premise data storage? Just Google “data storage services” and have a look at the results.

My next article deals with how to make slide shows for your family to share by showing them on your computer screen or TV set. It’s entitled “Now that I’ve got my photos on my computer….”. Have a look for it, would you?

Mr. Wade has parlayed a passion for computers, the internet, and digital photography into diverse activities including his own web site that discusses web site building, creating digital slide shows, and crafting Ebooks. He can be contacted via that site:

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