Foto PhreakZ Episode 1 show notes

File handling and archiving your photo data.

Article by Rob Nyffenegger

Digital does not exist – A big point to note with digital imagery is that it does not exist until it takes on physical form. The digital information can easily be lost, corrupted or an original saved over into a thumbnail sized file – original high res version is therefore lost. A hard copy can be stored and remain accessible for many years – just like the photographs stored in photo albums or shoeboxes in the past. They don’t rely on electricity, a computer or having the right interface to view – the Mk 1 eyeball is all you require. Don’t go out printing everything you have recorded, be selective and print the best. You can even make a photo book as an easy way to keep a physical copy of your memories, a photo album of your work.

Setting up your archive – So, setting up your archive is an important first step. How will you do this? The simplest way is create a new folder where you want to store your archive and use reverse date style to name your folder. By that I mean, YYYYMMDD. For example, today’s folder would be 20190405. If you want to add in your initials or something else meaningful – try and keep it to three letters. I would then insert a hyphen and name the folder. For example, trip to Taronga Zoo. Within the folder I generate two sub folders. One named Archive and the other Product. All of your unedited, as photographed images are then saved into your archive. The next step is to rename those files. I use the same naming convention as I described with the archive folder, only here I use an underscore after my initials as a separator, followed by the sequence number for the images. Backing up your files can be done here if you like. You’re now done with setting up your archive.

Directory Structure – note duplicated “NEW FOLDER” to save time re-creating
Archive – CR2 Canon RAW files from CF Card renamed
Product – JPG Edited files

Selecting photos – a crucial point. Make your selection within your archive and COPY those files into your PRODUCT folder. You NEVER, EVER edit archive photos. They are your backup if something should go wrong during editing. Now there are non-destructive editors you can use, but I find if you make copies of those few files you selected for editing, you’re building in a bit of safety into your processes – and that’s a good thing. Once you have your files in the product folder, you can get to editing. Backup – What value do you place on your imagery? Having spoken with many people in the past about photography, conversation always brings up the how, why, and what is the best way of archiving your creative visual gatherings. There are many methods – some are as simple as copying information off your capture device and storing it onto your computer into a folder as is, to setting up a full raid system with offsite backup. What value you place on your imagery and how much money you want to or can spend will determine the type of system you end up with. It is important to note that whatever way you choose, a duplicate backup HDD should always be planned for.

Backup and storage devices – USB HDDs and sticks
RAID Array with intelligent backup

And finally – Remember to backup again once you complete editing. There is software out there that can assist with automating the backup process and lets you alter frequency, time of day, locations etc. Research and see what fits in with your taste and wallet capacity. Below are some free programs you can experiment with.

Backup software to experiment with

Or, check out this link:

Remember Foto PhreakZ – get out there, get Phreaky and look after those digital files from capture to backup and you’ll avoid disaster. Get your best files printed in one form or another and your images will live on even after the power is turned off.

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