Two 1TB Western Digital HDDs

Podcast 293 : Backing Up and Accessing Photos From Laptops

I've briefly touched on backing up in various episodes over the last six years, but following a conversation this week with Matt Marshall, a great photographer from the UK, I decided to wrap a few ideas, including Matt's, into this week's episode. Thanks for all the thought provoking conversation this...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Walter Lustig
    Posted at 23:45h, 13 August Reply

    There was an article on Gizmodo recently comparing the different cloud storage options:

    As it looks iCloud will not be completely free and have certain limitations.
    Sugarsync and Google came out as the best options depending whether one needs desktop syncing or not which obviously is not offered by Google.

    But then iCloud is not out yet and things might change …

  • Albin
    Posted at 06:23h, 18 August Reply

    As always, listened with interest. Two things confused me:

    1) using my decent Dell Windows XP laptop with 7200 rpm internal HDD on the desktop, I’m currently connecting an eSata 7200 rpm external HDD for backups, and keep reading about USB 3.0. This seems to me to have overcome your report about hard disk innovation. Doesn’t Apple support eSata or USB 3.0? I then use DropBox in the cloud.

    2) Regarding backup for travel/location shooting, assuming the need for two reliable records, I didn’t quite get a “workflow” solution from your description. As a non-professional bonehead, when travelling, I normally record once to SDHC camera cards and don’t delete while travelling, and try to back up at the end of the day to the netbook hard drive. I then try to maintain the two reliable records when transferring to my home desktop set up. Is that good enough or would you do more?

  • Chris in FL
    Posted at 10:21h, 26 August Reply

    Martin, Thanks for posting the backing up photos podcast. I’m always pleased to listen to your advice. I have been buying a new backup drive per year or every other year. About a year ago I converted many years into one master library. And now will continue the process. What advice do you have about rounding up a master library of all photos taken from six years? My idea is that ten years from now I want to reflect and pick out photos.

    I’v been shooting digital for about six years (Weddings, Portraits, Sports, and some travel) I have in original file size around 1TB but copied several times across four hard drives and two small drives. I usually label in separate iPhoto libraries by project / date. And also JPEG Folders by name date and CR2, ACR, and CS depending on processing.

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 16:56h, 31 August Reply

    Thanks for that information Walter. I was also notified that it would not be free. It actually sounds more expensive than Dropbox, but will probably be pretty tightly integrated.

    Albin, I don’t know if eSata and USB3.0 is supported on the MacPro, but it is not supported on the MacBook Pro, and this post is about backing up and accessing data from laptops, not desktop style machines. These two technologies are certainly faster, as it Thunderbolt, but I’m looking beyond speed. Whey do we still have to have something so large as a 3.5″ HD even? Surely when there are specs for multi-terabyte CF cards already, someone would shrink these things down a bit.

    On multiple backups, I don’t include the memory card in the total. Basically, I copy all images to two external USB hard disks. If you have enough memory to not have to delete your cards for the entire trip, that’s fine, but I usually come back from a couple of weeks of wildlife photography with over 200GB of data. HDDs are cheaper than memory cards when you get to this volume of data.

    Chris, thanks for listening!

    Unfortunately I don’t use iPhone to library my images. I use Lightroom, and for me it’s just a case of having all of my images imported. I write all metadata and changes to side car files too, so if I should import into a new library all my changes would be maintained.

    If your question is more about how I save my images, so far hard disk volume has grown enough every few years that it kept up with my library. I current have everything on one 3TB drive, that I backup to a second 3TB drive after a shoot. I have about 700GB free at the moment, so will need 4TB drives to be released by around the end of the year. 🙂

    When that happens though, as I said above, I’ll move everything to two new drives, and send my old drives to my brother in the UK as an off-site backup.

    If I’m totally missing your point here, please let me know what you mean by “rounding up a library”. If you are talking about the physical location of the images, I just stick them all on one drive, but if you are asking how to manage this in iPhoto, you might be better off asking the question in the forum, as I really have no iPhone experience.


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