Backup and Archiving: Strategies for Photographers

Anyone who takes a lot of photos knows the situation. After every shoot you come home with a full memory card and even after sorting and deleting the rejects, the photos still take up a considerable amount of space on the hard drive. Over time, gigabytes of gigabytes accumulate, and sensors with ever higher resolution help the mountain of data to grow even faster. Two things are therefore necessary: ​​Space must be created on the hard drive of the work computer at regular intervals (swapping / archiving) and at the same time it must be ruled out that the data can be lost due to a technical defect (backups).

Photos are only backed up if at least one backup copy exists on a separate data carrier in addition to the original. The importance of backups was brought back to my mind by the irony of life when, while writing this article, my iMac’s hard drive went down one morning. Fortunately, thanks to regular backups, I was able to restore the data without any problems after installing a new hard drive.

There are many scenarios that can cause photos to be lost. It can happen due to user mistake, accidental deletion of folders and files. Viruses and malware can cause data to be deleted, encrypted or otherwise made inaccessible. Hardware errors such as the hard drive failure mentioned above are possible and become more likely with increasing usage time. With normal use, a hard drive lasts about five years, which means that the hard drive damage I mentioned above was already overdue after seven years of intensive use. The absolute worst case, the physical loss of a data carrier due to theft or fire, must also be taken into account when working out the personal backup concept.

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