Storing And Managing Digital Photographs

After the invention of digital photography, your camera rolls became obsolete, which made capturing multiple pictures much less cumbersome. Also, the possibilities of damage to photos were higher with film-based photography. However, there is one major issue with digital photography – storing the images. Storing images securely is among the many digital photography basics that’s theoretically easy but hard to practice. Since you can capture several hundred more images on a digital camera than what a film camera could achieve, it’s easier to lose these images or get bogged down by the sheer enormity of the number of images captured.


Backing Up Images


After a long session of photography, the first thing you must do upon entering your home or office is send copies of the images to your computer. Now you’ll have two copies of your pictures – one on the memory card and the other on your computer. But if you’re a professional photographer or someone who likes capturing images time and again, you’ll soon exhaust your memory card limit and have to erase older captures to make way for new images. As a result, your computer is now the only device with the images. This is a dicey situation since a computer or any other electronic device can fail you anytime. Therefore, having a backup plan is important.


The following are your options if you’d like to have your digital photos safe and secure in multiple locations:


• Network Attached Storage


You’ve probably not heard about network attached storage (NAS) because it’s the most expensive way (on this list) to save your memories. But it’s also the most secure and flexible way of getting backups done. Basically, NAS is a mini computer that has its own memory, processor, and operating system. However, its packaging makes it look more like an appliance that’s dedicated to store and share files.


All the photos stored on the NAS can be accessed anytime via Wi-Fi. The appliance makes it much easier and convenient to view photos on tablet PCs and smartphones, and also desktop computers. An NAS box is compatible with almost all operating systems, which includes iOS, macOS, Linux, Android, and Windows, with the option to access them remotely.


Usually, NAS boxes don’t come with inbuilt storage. They come with multiple bays to install compatible hard drives. In case you exhaust your available space, you can make replacements. If you have two or more hard drives installed, you may have one drive serving as backup for other drives, in case anything goes wrong. NAS can also be backed up to an external hard drive that can be stored elsewhere.


• Cloud


The cloud has made it quite easy to upload files off-site. There are several premium and free cloud storage services on offer, with quite a few renowned for their photo backup capabilities. Whether you choose a free or paid service, make sure you stick with something that suits your needs.


There are multiple cloud services that do not excel at hosting pictures. Also, there are Internet-based backup services that would take your entire hard drive and store it safe. The cloud backup space is a vast domain and we are not trying to cover all its essentials here. However, it’s recommended you’re aware of the major differences between websites that are extremely committed to storing photos online and websites that store all kinds of files.


• Photo Organizers


The biggest task when managing digital photos is organizing all the photos in a single folder so that backing them up later becomes easy. Generally, it’s most convenient to amass images in the camera’s sub-folders. When creating different folders under one major folder, it’s wise to differentiate the images on the basis of the year they were taken in. If you take a lot of images in any calendar year, then have several other sub-folders under the “year” folder so that you remember on what occasion or event those pictures were captured. These are called “topic” folders.

Separate folders for topics such as topic folders could be weddings or holidays, which would be easier to remember by their names and not the period they were taken. Some people like to differentiate between their family and non-family photos.

Once there is an expandable and logical structure in place, you can put software into play for cataloguing your images, making individual images easier to locate. Photo organizer software tools come in dozens. Even the ones that help process images can function as image organizers. But most people don’t look at those software tools in that vein, often not making use of that functionality as a result. The software would also help with organizing your pictures on your hard disk. EXIF data can be used for sorting them, moving them into newly created folders, and easily renaming them.

If there is a specific software tool such as Lightroom that you are interested in, there are several how-to articles and videos online for assistance.