Backing It Up

I’ve always heard that a photographer should keep every image they shoot, even if they don’t think it’s very good, or they don’t have a current use for it.  The image may be useful later on, or looking at it with fresh eyes may reveal something great in a photo that hadn’t seemed like much at first.  The modern-day example of this is the image of Monica Lewinsky and then-president Bill Clinton that hadn’t been much of a keeper until the scandal broke.  However, as an amateur photographer who may take 20+ shots of the same subject at different angles and with different settings, I’ve decided to bend this rule a bit.  I still keep a handful of shots from each session, but who really needs 24 photos of my uncooked Thanksgiving turkey?  I certainly don’t.  So at least 20 of these go in to the recycling bin, and the other 3-4 images go into the archives.  Will I regret this one day?  Honestly, probably not.  I doubt I’ll even remember there were more.

Even with this approach, storage has become an issue.  Since I’ve been shooting at least a handful of images every day, and since I shoot everything in RAW, I’ve quickly used up most of the remaining space on my laptop hard drive.  Enter the LaCie drive.  I’ve had a 320GB LaCie mobile disk for a while now that I’ve used to backup my hard drive, but if I want to keep going with my photography and still have a mirror drive I’m going to need quite a bit more space.  So I placed an order for a new LaCie hard disk, this time getting a terabyte.  Now my 1TB drive, which, while small, isn’t ultra-portable, is my backup drive, while my portable drive is my photo archive.  This allows me to easily have all my photos with me if I need to, or to leave them at home if I don’t.  And, since both drives are small enough and mobile enough to move around, I can keep them anywhere I want for extra security.

Am I being overly cautious?  Maybe.  But having had a drive crash and lose all my photos before, I’d rather be safe than sorry.  So safe it is.