Best options for storing my photos

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by luciafilley, May 19, 2020.

  1. Hi, everyone. A newbie here, looking for some storage advice.

    I had recently purchased a Canon EOS 800D and given the enthusiasm with which I make a thousand photos per day and the size of each of these photos, I quickly ran out of disc space on my rather old MacBook Pro.

    So I started looking at other options to store my creations. Since there is so much info out there & it's difficult to process everything, I decided to ask you guys for help. Which are the solutions you find optimal in terms of pricing, ease of use, etc. I would prefer a cloud solution, I don’t want to purchase any hardware. I would really appreciate it if you could share the reasons behind your decision so that I can make an informed choice.

    All advice welcome and appreciated.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  2. Storage aside, always back everything up in a separate place.
  3. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    May I enquire, How do you manage 1000 images per day ? I've never even managed 500 in a day, and that was on a Heritage Railway !!

    I use USB 1 TB drives for backup.
  4. You will soon find out that 1000 a day is completely unsustainable. Unless it has a scientific purpose, there is absolutely no point in 1000 pictures a day. No one, not even you, will be interested. Edit, edit, edit, delete, then your storage issues will decline as a first step.
    bgelfand and William Kahn like this.
  5. Hello,

    Best advice I ever got was to edit ruthlessly. Much of what we take is not worth keeping (at least for many of us). That reduces storage considerably. Think ahead to having to sort through all you store. Most of us develop a hierarchy of "goodness" to make it manageable. Personally, I sort int "Better....(whatever. The label helps me identify). I throw away anything that does not make this cut. Usually there are several shots, angles of each scene. Then I pull "Best of......". Periodically I go through all the "Best of..." and pull out a "Best of Best" grouping that I spend more time on. Eventually I (usually) discard the "Better" category to keep it manageable.
    William Kahn likes this.
  6. I'm an old fart and don't fully trust cloud solutions. I keep a multi-TB drive of backups in a fire box at home, along with multi-TB USB-C drive attached to my computer. I should keep another off-site, but this isn't my livelihood, so the risk is not so great. If you want cloud, take your pick. Upload speeds can be very slow with a large number of very large image files. Like others, I advise you cull deeply before saving. I once heard an instructor at the Nikon School note he was lucky to get one keeper from a roll of 36 exposures. I've found that's a very optimistic ratio, particularly in the age of digital and when shooting wildlife. I now do an initial, deep cull as a part of importing via LightRoom. This takes the number down to a manageable amount, and I then cull even deeper as I evaluate images for processing and printing. This was a hard lesson learned, and I have a couple of TB of older, poorly-culled image sets to get through before I'm where I want to be. (This is what I've been working on while locked-down at home the past few months.) That same instructor made the point that bad photographs don't get better with storage in a shoebox. The same applies, I'm quite sure, to digital images on a hard drive. But, for counterpoint, I've found a few less-than-perfect images my improving eye and PP skills have allowed me to make into something desirable that was not initially obvious. Still, this is by far the exception rather than the rule.
    AJG likes this.
  7. Do you edit first or save everything?
  8. SCL


    I know of no serious photographer nor newbie who shoots 1000 shots/day except you. My recommendation, for all the reasons others mentioned is edit and cool it. As far as storage, definitely make backups...files periodically corrupt for a variety of reasons, so do disks, hard drives (can't speak to cloud based long term storage). I would want immediate access to my stored files, so I'd be cautious of solely cloud based storage. Several TB drives should well suffice for a NORMAL (read "edited") collection of files. A secondary issue with a lot of files is cataloging them so you know what is give that some thought also.
  9. Print them.

    (You'll soon learn to be more selective)
    bgelfand, mikemorrell, AJG and 2 others like this.
  10. OP, portable hard drives and finalize on M-disc.
  11. Hi Lucia, good question!

    First- based on previous responses - just a comment on 'culling'
    There are a few days each year that I take close to 1000 shots (and sometime even 2000-3000 shots). These are always at sporting or people 'events', when I'm primarily shooting in 'burst mode (about 5 frames per second on my camera). In these situations, I know when I'm shooting that:
    - At the end of the day, I probably won't select most of the 'bursts' (of 3-8 fotos); at any one time, I don't yet know what's to come so I just take the 'promising' shots
    I can
    - Within any of my selected 'bursts' I'm going to make a final selection of only 1 of the 3-8 shots

    The same principle applies in most other situations. In any situations involving people and movement, I usually take a lot of different 'shots' (in burst mode and single-shot), knowing that when I come to review them all, I'll only select a few of these as 'the best of the bunch'.

    On culling
    So 'culling' is for me quickly deleting the vast majority of my RAW images that don't come anywhere close to making the final grade. That's not to say that I delete all but the 'very best. Using Lightroom, I usually go through a 3-step grading process: I give the photos that are 'probably good enough' 3 stars'. This represents about 25%-30% of my shots. I then go through these '3 star photos' (some almost duplicates) to pick the ones that 'stand out' while fully representing the shooting location and I bump these up to 4 stars. So now, I'm down to about 7%-10% of the total. I then go through these '4 star photos' to pick the very best ones which I bump up to '5 stars' (5% or less). I always immediately delete any RAW files that have less than '4 stars' (90%) of the total because these are completely redundant. The '4 star photos' fully represent the day/event. For some some shoots, I just keep the '5 star ' photos (less that 5% of the total). Storing all my 'shots' of the day would a complete waste of space and bandwidth. Unless you're a photographer that has an astronomically higher ratio of 'keepers' to 'shots, I humbly suggest that you have room to 'cull'' before permanently storing.

    On photo organization
    Taking lots of photos is easy. It's harder work being able to find them again, weeks, months or years later. So if your just starting out, my advice would be to 'tag' your culled photos in way that you can find them again. In many cases folders ordered on year/month and subfolders with names like 'vacation in ...', 'photo's at ..' are more than adequate. But you might - a couple of years down the road - might want to pull up photos of a specific person, situation, etc. The only way you'll be able to do that that is by assigning 'tags' to your kept photos and having software that bring up the photos when you search on 'tags''

    On photo storage:
    In general, it's worth considering whether you just want online storage for photos or cloud backup generally for your Laptop/PC/Tablet (including photos).
    As far as I know, cloud storage/backup tends to comes in two flavours:
    - synchronous (traditional Dropbox, Google Drive, etc) where you decide which photos/folders to upload and when
    - asynchronous, where 'cloud solutions' work in the background to keep a certain folder or folders 'in synch' with your cloud storage. For some some solutions you need to create a special folder that will be synched. Other solutions synch selected folders in your usual folder structure. Yet other solutions just backup your PC/Laptop (including your photos).

    As other members have noted, not everyone feels comfortable relying solely on a cloud service for storage and back-up. So many people - including myself - tend to go for a 'hybrid solution':
    - an external drive (for safety, preferably 2 drives) to which you can move the photos you want to save and delete these from your hard-drive
    - a cloud storage/backup service as extra security in the event that one or more of your external drives becomes unusable or is destroyed

    You can also look at the 'hybrid solution' the other way around: even if your 'cloud provider' goes bust or is unable to provide the service, you still have acces to your photos via your external drives. FWIW, the 'hybrid solution' is IHMO the safest way to go: the best of both worlds.

    Lucia, I realize that this a whole lot for you to take in at once! I also know that it's not the 'quick and easy' answer you'd prefer. But I honestly believe that it's worth exploring the different options before signing up to a 'solution' that might not suit you.

    Stay in contact. I'm no expert bit I do have some practical experience with cloud storage/backup services.


    David_Cavan and DavidTriplett like this.
  12. I use a combination of external hard drives and cloud storage.

    The cloud storage I use is BackBlaze which I find to be super convenient and relatively cheap. They will back up all the files on your computer and, astonishingly, as many hard drives as you have. The down side is that the initial backup is very slow even if you have a fast connection. Mine took several months! But once that initial backup is done, you can literally forget about it and it goes about backing up automatically. I have used it several times to retrieve files that I accidentally deleted or didn't back up when i should have.The advantage of cloud storage is that it protects against a Katrina-like disaster where your house and office and bank with safety deposit box all flood.

    I use Seagate external drives which so far have been very reliable. I carry a 2 TB drive with me everywhere I take my computer and store all of my photos on that drive. So to edit and access photos I have to have that drive along but now it is second nature and the drive has been through a lot of abuse with no problems (knocking on wood). I would argue that you need both the external drives and cloud storage. I actually have 2 other copies of the external drive, one of which I keep at home and the other in my office at work. Good luck!
    mikemorrell and DavidTriplett like this.
  13. I haven't read all the posts on this thread, but a friend of mine just lost his internal drive that had all his photos. I guess he didn't have any backups other than Backblaze. He was able to successfully download the lost drive once he replaced the drive that got smoked. I have my photos on multiple drives, internal and external, as well as Backblaze.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  14. I agree with the previous comments about the number of files you would have to save unless you edit down those 1000 shots. Being another old guy, I'm also am wary of cloud-based storage. My solution is to back up all your photo files on several different hard drives and portable drives that you can take with you when you travel. That way, you're covered in case something happens to your home-based storage while you're gone. (Did I mentioned that I'm a bit paranoid?)
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  15. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    The OP has not actually visited since two hours after her original query.
    bgelfand likes this.
  16. She probably has a life...
    Sanford likes this.
  17. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    We know she has - Photography ! What other kind of life is there ?
    steve_gallimore|1 likes this.
  18. That of a troll.
  19. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Meaning ?
  20. Meaning we are being had. The OP was a new member the day she (and I am not sure it is a she) posted, posted a message that was sure to elicit responses and perhaps contradictory responses, and has not returned to the site since the one and only post.

    Shoots a thousand photos a day. Really?

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