How many times have I heard these words, answers on a postcard...
'My computer's died, can I get my photos back?'
...and how many times have I said this,
'Do you have a backup?'
OK, I know, if you had a backup you wouldn't ask the question. Backing up your data is like breathing. If you care about your work/memories/special occasions you
JUST DO IT
So when the inevitable happens, and it does to EVERYONE,
and you don't have backups, because you...
meant to but just didn't get round to it, or
you weren't quite sure where to begin or, you
thought that there was some magic somewhere that would restore everthing and it wouldn't cost you a penny...
then you will feel like this...
So here are a few simple ways of backing up your photos...
STUFF YOU DON'T WANT TO LOSE ... EVER
(this works for documents too)
I'm assuming that you regularly download your photos from your camera/phone?
OK, I know you don't.
Now start doing it.
You can keep photos (only jpegs) on Flickr or other image sharing sites
You can buy space in 'The Cloud' (slow to upload in a lot of cases and you may pay more for uploads), or,
you can do it locally.
Put them in a folder on your computer (call the folder something useful like: 'Billies sportsday 2012'), in a file called 'photos' or 'my life', or 'my life won't be worth living if i LOSE this', OK?
Now you have two copies, one on your camera/phone and one on your computer.
don't delete the stuff on your camera/phone yet, then you'll only have one copy...again...
Get a CD (only copy's a small amount of data only useful for a few Jpegs)
or a DVD (stores a few TB of data good for storing Raw and Tiff files)
or, if you have the technology, Blu ray, (stores lots of data.)
Then copy your new folder onto that, label it with the same name as the original folder 'Billies sportsday 2012' and file it in a hard case, somewhere darkish and cool, ie not on a windowsill above radiator, gathering dust with old mail and 'things to put away'
DVD's etc are not fool proof (nothing is). They can get corrupted, scratched, lost fairly easily.
'Now you're telling me! why have I wasted time on this method then?'
Because they are relativey cheap-around 30p each, and portable and you are going to to more.
Now you have 3 copies, you can delete the one on your camera/phone to free up space and to stop yourself getting confused (I know, I do it too)
Now you have 2, one on the internal hard drive of your computer and one on a bit of plastic. Great!
Now, go and buy an external hard drive. Get the BIGGEST you can afford,
You can never have too much memory, memory is like shoes.
These days memory is cheap. You can get 1tb for £50-£100 in today's market (2014) And it's
getting cheaper (and bigger) all the time.
Now these are boring to look at (unlike shoes) but easy to use. You can mostly buy them so that you plug them into your hard drive, give them a power source and you're good to go. Open up your Computer icon and your new drive (with a very unimaginitive name-like D or P or Q), will pop up in the list of drives (you can change the name if you right click and go onto properties).
Now all you need to do is drag your folder 'Billies sports day 2012' from it's source file (PHOTOS or whatever) and drop it into a your new drive. BINGO.
Now you have 3 copies, so if one of them gets corrupted/lost/broken, you have 2 back-ups, and you can re-create a third again.
EASY PEESIE, LEMON SQUEEZIE
That took, a few minutes to write a DVD, a few minutes to copy files to the external hard drive and cost around 30p for a DVD and £50 for a 1tb hard drive.
OK you could have bought a pair of shoes for £50 but this baby will last you this long...
A hi-res jpeg is around 14 megapixel so you could fit loads of images on it,
...and what price are memories?
..and, now you look like this!
Lynn Keddie ©2012 (updated 2014)
Found photographing in rain or shine for magazines and the like.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.