The best way to store your digital photo

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by tze_leung_ho, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. I both back up my digital photos (Jpeg format) in my harddrive and CDR.
    However, I find that the old imagine (around 3 to 4 years ago) become a lot
    blurier and a lot of noise appear in the old files. I have compared the old
    print to the new print!It seems that the digital files will not last long.
    Do you guys have the same problem? And what is the best way to back up your
    files other than making a physical print?

  2. ???<br/>
    Digital files don't degrade over time.<br/>
    If you don't backup them properly, you may simply loose the files, but the copy will always be like the original.<br/>
    Another question is the print. It depends on the quality of the paper, the ink, etc... Usually prints made with your own printer don't last long.
    PD: Never use a print as a backup. Store them properly on CD/DVD/HardDrive/Whatever.
  3. Important backup files should be stored only on archival CDs or DVDs, making two copies and keeping one in secure storage. Conventional discs have a relatively short lifespan.

    Mitsui Gold discs may be found at
  4. Digital images can't fade. Adjust your brain.

    The ultimate archive for an image? Post it on the Interent. It will be copied, cached and live forever, for better or worse.
  5. The 'best' way to back up digital files is with silver based film negatives. For color, tri-color separation negatives and for B&W one traditional negative.
    Any digital media will lose bits as it ages.

    If you prints look softer or 'blurry' it is more likely your printing and materials than the digital files.
  6. For what it's worth, I was listening to a technology show on the radio this weekend, and they said that indeed, images stored on standard CDs do start to degrade fairly quickly. The companies that produce the CDs just don't want you to know that. They recommended storing images on the internet. Apparently there are services that allow you to do this, if you don't have a way to arrange it already.
  7. For what it's worth, I was listening to a technology show on the radio this weekend, and they said that indeed, images stored on standard CDs do start to degrade fairly quickly.
    Either they are wrong, or you misunderstood them
    IMAGES don't fade or become blurry or noisy, etc. The FILE may become unreadable, but if you can read the file it's unlikely that image itself will be faded or blurry.
    As to archival CD/DVD brands, we have no objective data to support the claims that any particular brands are better than any others. We have no basis to trust/believe/have-any-confidence-in the manufacturers' own claims. And there are no reliable outside testing agencies that have published any long-term studies of CD-R's and DVD +R/-R's. Furthermore, any claims about "accelerated aging tests" must be taken with a grain of salt because any such tests are based on the assumption that you can guess ahead of time the failure modes.
    Back in the 1980's some early CD's had a high failure rate within a year or so after consumers purchased them, because even though they had been subject to heavy accelerated aging tests, they didn't test the actual failure modes because no one anticipated them. (there were two, at least - one had to do with the inks printed on the CD's and the other had to do with packaging material.) So who knows what they're NOT testing for today? Maybe they'll discover that photochemical smog, or some fungicide they put in the air in bank safe-deposit boxes to prevent mildew, erases data. It could be anything.
    As to storing files on the internet - my Nikon V-ED scanner produces files that are 133MB. Kinda big to be uploading and downloading from the internet.
    Bottom line - we're all guinea pigs in this so your best bet is to make LOTS of copies on LOTS of different media and store them in LOTS of places.
  8. Response to The best way to store your digital photo(Category:Storage)
    Hi! Guys, thanks for the answer. It seems that a lot of people believe that image in CD or harddrive would not degrade over time. However, it happens in front of me now. There is no question about it and that's why I post the question online.
    May be I didn't explain clearly. I had back up some photo in a CDR-rewritable disc around 8 years ago. And I find that some of the image have so many 'nosie'. What I mean noise is that it is like a lot of 'red', 'green', 'blue' pixel over the whole image. ( but It is not like the normal 'nosie' we talk about when we shoot photo in low light). Even though I can still see the photo, but I can tell right away it is not the orginal photo that I have 8 years ago. Then, I think it may be because I use CDR-rewritable instraed of CDR.

    However, same thing happen in my back up harddrive recently. When I reviewing some of the photo in the computer that I took in 2002, the photo have similar 'nosie' issue. but this time it is not as obvious as the photo I talked about earlier.

    So I'm kind of worried because I don't know where to save now. I do understand the concept of digital file make the information really reliable because it only contains 0 and 1 digit. As long as it written on something and read back correctly, it is 100% accurate.

    However, please don't forget the the medium that we store the data degrade over time. For example, the harddrive is not a digital medium at all! It is still an analog medium just like an cassette tape. And for CDR, I have been heard the professional said it is not a reliable medium either.

  9. Tze, what format were the files? If they were JPEG, what you describe would be almost impossible. As Peter mentioned, bit errors would result in unreadable files, not image noise. If the files were in some uncompressed format (e.g., TIFF without compression), then it is possible that bit errors would translate to image noise. But I am highly suspicious that this is what you are encountering, since you mention you are seeing something similar with images stored on a hard drive. You should run a chkdsk on the hard drive -- if there are no errors, then it is unlikely that your images were corrupted.

    Could you post a sample?
  10. Tze, this is just plain impossible.
    If a media degrades, you just loose the files, but they do not degrade. What would happen to DOC files ? And Excel files ?

    If you store a file, the copy will always be exactly the same as the original. No difference. Period.

  11. However, same thing happen in my back up harddrive recently.
    If you are seeing the same or similar pattern of 'noise' on images from both your HD and optical media then the most likely culprit is the software you used to create the images, or the software you are using to read or unpack them, or some incompatibility between them.
  12. The new printers and LCD monitors can possibly give you a different result in picture quality ... even the new version of photoshop can change your color perception ...
  13. One other thing to consider when viewing older digital photos is that the technology has improved over the years. Digital photos taken 5 to 10 years ago will likely be a lower resolution than newer photos and the screens you are using to view the photos have improved with time. As a result, pictures that may have looked fine on the 800X600 screen you viewed them on 8 years ago will not look as good when you view them on your new 1680X1050 screen.

Share This Page