Personally, I can’t use the optical media method as it’s too repetitive and I end up forgetting or just not bothering.
Another problem that I would have with write-once media is that I sometimes go back and edit old photos. I could imagine things getting messy for me if I used CD/DVD back-up. Also, each disc doesn’t store enough for my liking as I can easily fill an 8GB CF card in a day. At the last wedding I was at, I shot over 10GB in about 12-hours.
Perhaps, larger capacity optical media could be used for archiving…
Online backup is slow, but cheap. Mozy (part of EMC so they’re pretty legit), for example, offer unlimited backup, but my upstream is 512kbps at best so this is proving to be a very slow process. So far, I’ve backed up 184GB using this method, but I’ve still got a lot more.
Ideally, I’d like a RAID array stored in my garage to back up my photos over a fast, secure, wireless network. Sounds a bit pricey, though!
CDs/DVDs are a pretty safe and cheap storage method. Burn them to a DVD, check the disc for integrity, and store the disc in a fire-proof safe.
You could use external USB or network drives, but those would fill up quickly and the files still run the same risk of being edited or wiped as they do on your internal hard drive. Online storage for such high amounts of data is also a bit extravagant, when compared to cost and the time it’d take to upload them.
CDs and DVDs are cheap, safe, reliable, and can hold a considerable amount of data in an uneditable way so you don’t have to run the risk of accidentally having one of your original files being saved over.
Personally I store them in a HDD, because optical media like DVDs(CDs are passé) are a bit unreliable than HDDs & anyways HDDs are getting cheaper every week. A 500GB or 750GB HDD is quite cheap these days.
Right now I’ve just 1 500GB HDD for storage which I don’t keep plugged into my PC all time but sometime later I plan to get a RAID compatible HDD Box in which I’ll plug in 2x750 GB HDDs joined in RAID 1 and store my data there, so in case of a failure of 1 HDD my data will still be safe & retrievable from second HDD.
I pretty much use my HD like others here. Then again, while my pics are valuable to me they are not priceless and while it would be a crying shame to loose them in some nightmare data corruption, it wouldn’t be the end of my world.
I did look into online backup such as jungledisk, but it seemed pointless for me as of the moment. I do think safe storage will become a greater issue for me in future, so I’m keeping my eyes open for solutions
I’m using an external USB hard drive (Maxtor 500GB) as a backup but I don’t shoot very often. I don’t want to lose my kids’ pics though and I don’t know if this solution is enough to protect them. I do store DV videos on the same drive too which is making it full very fast.
How about Blue-ray discs, anyone using them?
I haven’t used Blu-Ray, but have you considered an online back-up service such as Mozy.com? They offer a free 2GB account so you can try it out. I think I’ve a promo code somewhere that’ll give you a bit of extra storage… I think it’s really worth considering especially if you don’t shoot often.
I store my images on my HDD with LightRoom2, but the best images I copy to another folder in psd format, then I’m working with them in photoshop…
and sometimes I’m burning new images from that folder to DVDs.
My strategy is very similar to what has been stated here, with one exception.
I transfer all photos from the camera to my PC. In the Startup group on the PC is a batch file that copies (only those that have changed) to an external USB [500B] Maxtor.
The major problem with this approach is that the backup device is very close to the PC. So in the event of a fire/flood/catastrophe it is likely my PC and my backup would be effected.
The wise thing to do is copy to another medium and store off-site (or, at least, in another room).
They start off on my hard drive, and if I remember, they get archived to optical media. I’ve pondered getting an external hard drive to store my images as well as various other files I have on my computer and laptops, including some video that I have shot.
I do not trust any of the media types so i use multiple - I am storing RAW on a separate HD, archived retouched TIFFS on another one and DVDs and final Jpegs on DVDs as a last chance of recovery. I can’t store RAWs on optical media as i need them from time to time.
RAID 0 seems pretty attractive, but has a single point of failure as well - the PC itself.
If i will try Serious photo business as a photographer one day, i would suggest using hosted storages and uploading encrypted archives there.
I’ve recently become a huge fan of JungleDrive and Amazon S3. I’m able to backup my MacBook, my PC and my Linux server each to separate buckets on the same S3 account for less than $10 a month. Before this I was using Mozy but it didn’t support Linux.