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Backup: boring but essential

March 3, 2020

Backup is an essential thing that each photographer must face to keep safe his work. Today in the digital age we shoot more but print less. Essentially about 90-95% of our work is in digital format on hard-disk, social, website, blog, pc, laptop, smartphone, tablet… If you don’t save your work in more copies it would be a real problem. Think about the casualty and fatality of our life, an hard disk can be stolen, burned, lost and so on… but most likely an hard disk can break and you have to spend a lot of money (if you are lucky enough to have the possibility) to recover data; I’m talking about hundreds and hundreds of euros. One day reading articles on the web I was impressed by the following sentence:

The really question is not HOW but WHEN your hard disk will broke 

Suddenly I realized that I was in danger of losing everything without a copy of my work. This is a sad true and you have to be mentally prepared. Fortunately I have never had this problem until now but I’ve listen a lot of real stories about friends and other photographers with a broken or stolen hard disk. So to avoid to lose many years of works you must face the backup, a boring but a really essential thing in the digital age. Don’t try to save your money avoiding to buy more HD and softwares. Backup must be safe and sure because your work made in years is only one and is more important than your best camera or lens. But unfortunately it will be expensive, both in time and money… So instead of buying a new lens or camera you must spend money also for quality HD or online storage. You have a lot of choice, HD of different sizes, portable with USB or SSD system, USB type 3C… But I will not talk about HD choices in that article…

I read different solutions then I made my choice and this is my currently back-up setup. I’ve a mother HD, let’s say number 1, with 2 TB. The backup destination is on another HD with 4 TB. I use a software for incremental back-up with synchronization called Iperius Backup; i’ve paid for full version  to have also the great synchro function. The incremental back-up with synchronization give me the possibility to copy files from HD n.1 to HD n.2 adding only new photos each time. Thanks to synchro function pictures that I’ve cancelled in HD n.1 will be remove also in HD n.2; this is perfect for the way I edit the photo.

Losing data is easier than it looks

So suppose I have a full SD with 32 GB. I save data on HD n.1, then (maybe after 1 o 2 week) I make a copy on HD n.2. When I edit pictures (usually after months from the session shooting), I cancel a lot of files and post-produced others. So i’ve to save this changes also in my HD n.2 that actually has yet the 32 GB copied months before. Thanks to incremental backup with synchro I’ll have the exact changes made in HD 1, adding modified files and deleting the ones I’ve cancelled. But unfortunately it’s not over yet. I made another back-up on HD n.3 (maybe each 1-2 months) kept in another house, to be more sure against thefts or other fatalities (fire, earthquake…). It may seem stupid but I think that my works made in years are too much important for me. It’s all about time and money…

Of course there are also other methods, for example the safe and useful online storage using platform as google drive (gratis for low-res jpeg) or amazon prime (you can’t upload raw or tiff files currently). Some of these methods are expensive, others are also for free. It’s useful because you have your photo always with you, no one can steal your work (except for eventually hackers?). I use google drive to save pictures taken with my smartphone for example. But there is also another really expensive backup setup using by professionists. This is the NAS system, a case made of different slots. It consists on a station with different internal HD working in various ways (for examples in parallel or in series, you choice). This is a very practice and fast method to have more backup copy but it costs a lot of money. You can find more info on different blog on internet.

So make your choice but keep safe your works with backup!

That’s all folks

Stay well, have always light in your life

Best, F.S

Read Russia photoblog travel part 1 here

Read more about other travels here:

Venice photoblog travel – Day 1

Venice photoblog travel – Day 2

Venice photoblog travel – Day 3


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