During a recent wedding that I was photographing, I had a short chat with the videographer during the customary “how we were born and met” slide show. He commented that nowadays, with the plethora of digital cameras, the weddings of this coming generation might just have a slide show that will last over two hours instead of fifteen minutes. My reply was maybe or maybe there won’t be a slide show because the disk crashed and they have no photos left. Don’t laugh. This actually happens. A colleague of mine just remarked that he lost a year of photos of his two kids due to a disk crash. Even DVD backups didn’t save him. One DVD was unreadable after two years. The second one was partially readable. When making backups, do we even bother to test the backups? Another story I heard was that of a notebook theft, resulting in the lost of all the photos. Backup? Well, a flaw in the backup to portable hard disk methodology. The backup hard disk was kept in the notebook bag. Oops!
Right now, my main PC stores the recent 1.5 years of photos, backed up every fortnight to my storage server where it sits on two mirrored hard drives. My storage server is locked down to prevent anyone opening the case but also cable locked to my desk. Anyways, big heavy (15kg) boxes aren’t easily stolen. I’m still working on an off site backup solution. In a nutshell, duplicate, duplicate, duplicate. I buy a pair of disks every 18-months. This allows me to retire the smallest pair after 3-years. Experience since 1990 has shown me that chances of disk failure increase tremendously after three years. All my disk failures were disks four years or older. Of course, there was one odd case but generally, three years is a good time plus it allows me to hit sweet spots of disk prices. Such as when I got a pair of 320Gbs. Next came my 500Gbs. Soon, it’ll be a pair of one terabyte disks. So I almost never burn to DVD. What do you do? Sound off in the comments if you have other ideas or methods.
Three-frame HDR attempt from my Condo window