With nearly all photography digital, how you manage your images has become something of an issue. I’ve taken over 110,000 images in the last 10 years, and have some methods that work to stay organized. I want to first discuss some of the general concepts and then share the software tools and work-flow I’ve been using.
One of the first things you need to decide is what format you want to shoot in and thus save your image files as. Most point and shoot cameras are capable of shooting .jpg and .mov formats. If you have a D-SLR yours might also support a Raw format. Since .jpg files are much smaller than Raw I primarily shoot .jpg in the highest quality my camera supports. I will shoot Raw files, but only if the project I’m shooting requires it.
The mathematics of your storage requirements compound based on the file sizes your camera creates. My main camera is a Nikon D300, which generates a .jpg file of about 5mb and a Raw file of 15.5mb. To save Raw images consumes 4x or more space since when I shot raw I also have the camera create a .jpg.
To calculate your storage requirements for a year you need an estimate for the number of images you might shoot. To make the math simple we’ll use 10,000 images a year. 10,000 x 5mb requires 50Gb of storage for the year. Over time the size of your image files will increase as camera capabilities increase. With drive sizes ever increasing and prices falling; what used to be a terrifying prospect of storing 1Tb (1,000Gb) is no longer a problem with 1Tb drive prices just above $100 US.
Because your image files are now your “negatives” I strongly suggest backing up your files. There are several ways to accomplish this; one simple way is an entire backup of your computer. I use Acronis backup software to make a full backup of my entire drive (Acronis does incremental backups too). I store the backup files on an external hard drive for ease of access. I also prefer that my backups are NOT online during normal usage since if that were the case a virus or other incident could damage both my computer and backup together.
Next time I’ll share the way I organize the images and how I file things so that they can be found years after the images are created.
Here’s a link to learn about Acronis software:
Here's a link to part 2 of this Blog:
Here's a link to part 3 of this Blog: