Friday, March 27, 2009

my backup

I have had a few readers asking me about my backup strategy. What hardware do I use, how many backups do I make, is there some trick to making it easy, etc. Before I dive into my way of doing things it is important to understand that the key is duplication. If you are duplicating your files in multiple locations on multiple media and you can manage it you are doing alright.

I am going to take you from camera to archive here so hang on for the ride and refer to the map below.

  1. Captured images in the camera get transferred to my laptop on location. While the images are being imported to the laptop they are also being copied to an external hard drive. This insures that on location I have three copies. [1 - memory cards 2 - laptop 3 - external hard drive]
  2. When I get home the backup images from the smaller external drive are moved to a larger desktop drive and erased from the one that lives in my camera bag.
  3. I do my major editing on the laptop. When I am done I export high resolution JPG files for building the album, uploading to pictage, etc.
  4. Once the edits are done the image files are moved from my local drive into an external hard drive on my desk. Once a week I sync that drive with another external drive that lives at a friend's house any time I am not using it.

That's it. Nothing magical. I really like David's idea about keeping 5 star DNG files on your local laptop drive. Makes sense - I never thought of it before. I know what I will be doing on the next 2 days off I have. The key to it all is that I have a process. More importantly, I follow the process. Any images I have been paid to capture are stored on three drives. (1 - Original data from the shoot 2 - edited coppy on my desk 3 - edited coppy off site should something bad happen)

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