Photo Storage (both computer and hard copy)

buagirlMarch 1, 2007

Any ideas to keep digital photo storage up to date?. I'm moving away from scrapbooking and hardcopies and moving toward showing slideshows from CDs instead.



Here is a link that might be useful: home organization

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A couple ...

1) find the program you want to use for digital photo storage. On Windows, the default is either Explorer or Photo Editor. On Macintosh, it's iPhoto. They're OK, but there are better programs out there for not a lot of money that can do a better job of cataloging and, for some, photo manipulation (fixes "redeye", crops, does some contrast alteration, etc.). I would hit sites like,,, and maybe even the Web site for your brand of digital camera to see what is recommended. There also is some software which can identify duplicate images and manage those so you don't drown in four versions of the same picture with the same name but a different file-access timestamp.

2) Think seriously about how you want to store your photos. Better digital cameras have a picture format called RAW that usually is proprietary by brand. The nice thing about RAW is that it lets you use the picture like you just took it -- all the picture information is there so you don't end up dumbing down a picture that already has been compressed (this leads to jaggies and noise). The bad thing is that Nikon's and Canon's and Olympus' and Pentax's RAW are all different, so you can end up locked into a lousy storage application because it's all there is which will read your particular version of RAW.

Better for long-term storage is JPEG or TIFF, both of which have been around for years and likely will be supported by many programs in the future. You can't modify JPEGS very much without seriously degrading picture quality, but to store pictures you don't plan to modify, it's good.

3) However you assemble your pictures, make sure you have a backup! The cheapest way to get one probably is to buy an external hard drive for your computer and periodically back up your picture files to it. Then disconnect it from your computer and take the drive someplace else: to your safe-deposit box, to your desk at work, to a kid's or parent's house -- anywhere away from your computer and, ideally, away from the elements (don't store it in a frozen garage or musty basement). Geographical dispersion is the key. You don't want your copy right next to the original. If you have a Web site and a big enough hosting package, you could move the files there, too. But that can be time-consuming and could exhaust your storage allotment quickly.

Hope this helps....

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 10:07AM
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I think if you store your pictures digitally, nobody's ever going to look at them again.

One thing that has been happenign w/ the advent of digital pictures is that people look at them WHEN they take them, and never again. They transfer them to the computer's hard drive, and never show them to their kids, or anyone else.

There's a big move afoot (partly driven by marketers of photo-print mechanism, I admit) to get people to print some of those photos out. They can't help preserve memories unless you LOOK at them.

I've become a fan of the idea of printing out only a FEW pictures, but keeping them, on paper.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 3:15PM
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DS set my screen saver up to show the photos in the file I named Photo. It is a surprise what I see on the screen sometimes. Maybe a snowstorm in February or one of my cats.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 12:50AM
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great topic as I'm overflowing with digital pictures and film ones. any one have any suggestions about how to quickly (and cheaply) convert the thousands of film pictures (and/or negatives) that I have to digital format? I back up by digital to CD disks as well as to another hard drive as I have heard too many horror stories of "tommy's baby pictures (or our once in a lifetime trip to the Outback) were lost in our hard drive crash of 2003"

I recently had California type closets installed with shelves foe my photo equipment and pictures as part of my goal of being better organized, but that now lets me see how many boxes of photos I have and that I need to do something to organize them. thanks

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:29AM
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Quickly and cheaply isn't going to be easy. My best suggestion would be to go through the pictures and just save the very best ones and then digitize those (if necessary). I probably have a couple hundred prints in a box, waiting for me to get to them some da^h^hyear. Most of them can be tossed or given away, either having been duplicated or the context of the pictures now gone. I'm more a "theater of the mind" guy anyway. The pictures may disappear; the memories can live on (at least until the Alzheimer's kicks in).

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:41AM
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I just purchase Adobe Photo Elements and am trying to organize everything in it. It is pretty neat beacuse it 1)automatically fixes red eyes 2) "stacks" pictures that are similar (like 2 shots with same pose) 3)allows you to tag each picture so you can search easier (like I can tage all pictures with my brother in it with his name "Joe" and can find it even if he is one in a group of 4 people) 4)has a back up feature that allows you to back up all your pictures with the tags and organization with minimal amount of work. This software also allows you to make changes and play with the pictures.

For hard copy pictures- I use Creative Memory's Photo Sort Box. It holds a ton of pictures and has these reuseable dividers. I absolutly love them and have been buying them for gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I figure if I can help them get their pictures organized now- it will make my life easier one day when I have to sort through them and divide them among us kids.

Best wises!
bluejean in ohio

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 10:50AM
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