In today's digital photography age, we're producing gigabytes and gigabytes of photos. Many more than we ever did in the days of film. This makes people who normally wouldn't think about proper backup practices need to learn these things. Suddenly a photographer has a need to be computer literate, if not a computer expert. For many of you, this takes you out of your comfort zone.
Here's a couple of key things you need to understand about long term storage of digital photos so that your grandkids and great-grandkids will have access to the gems of photography (and horrible snapshots) that we all take.
- Storing photos on your hard drive is no solution. How often have you heard 'my computer died'? What would you do if you bought a new computer - how would you get those onto next year's model?
- Storing photos on an external hard drive is no solution. Many people will argue with me on that one, but I was around when the 'Love Bug' virus hit. 'Love Bug' ate images, replacing them with copies of itself. I knew one attorney's office that lost 4 years of scanned records to the Love Bug virus because by the time they realized they'd been infected, they had already cycled through backups so the virus was on all their backups as well. Hard drives are subject to viruses, hackers, crashes and magnetic fields. Don't rely on them for more than a day - when you reboot tomorrow, that hard drive might be dead already.