Among any family’s most precious objects — the things they would try hardest to save in event of a fire — are their photographs. Photos are more than just pretty pictures; they’re memories, a record of a past that can never be recreated. In today’s digital world, it’s trivial to make plenty of copies of photos in both electronic and print formats, but at the same time, there’s a different threat — that of losing every photo, instantly, due to one of many events far more common and likely than a house fire: a hard drive crash, dropped laptop, burglary, and so on. Paradoxically, because of how they’re stored, digital photos can be destroyed far more easily than print photos.
Luckily, they’re just as easy to protect, and in Chapter 8, “Back Up and Archive Your Photos,” of our streamed ebook “Take Control of Your Digital Photos,” Jeff Carlson explains the best ways of protecting your photos, starting with a solid backup strategy for your data overall. That’s key, because if you try to pick and choose what data to back up, you’re bound to make a mistake or miss something. But since your photos may in fact be the most important data on your hard disk, Jeff also suggests making separate backups of your photo library, and offers advice on the best ways to protect both the actual photo files and the keywords and other metadata that you’ve worked to hard to apply. Finally, he closes out the chapter with recommendations for how to archive your photos for the future. Given the impossibility of predicting the future, Jeff offers a technique that’s guaranteed to work, but does require ongoing maintenance.
As with Chapter 7, “Organize Photos into (Smart) Albums,” Chapter 6, “Assign Keywords and Other Data,” Chapter 5, “Judge Your Photos,” Chapter 4, “Best Practices for Importing Photos,” “Chapter 3, “Choose a Photo-Management Application,” and Chapter 2, “Shoot Smarter,” this chapter is available for free, but only to TidBITS members; everyone is welcome to read Chapter 1, “A Smart Approach to Photo Management,” to see where Jeff is headed. The full ebook will be available for purchase by everyone in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats once it’s complete.
Publishing this book in its entirety for TidBITS members as it’s being written is one of the ways we thank TidBITS members for their support. We also hope it encourages those of you who have been reading TidBITS for free for years to help us continue to bring you carefully considered, professionally written and edited articles each week (for more details, see “TidBITS Needs Your Support in 2013: Join Our Membership Program,” 17 December 2012).