Back In The Office Studio

Reworking My Photo Backups

I’m taking a short break from actual photography this coming week so I can get my photo backups reorganized. This means I’ll be parked in front of the computer for a few days while I copy some 500,000 images to backup hard drives. Boring but necessary.

I’m changing the way I deal with image backups. In the past, I backed everything up to hard drive based on subject matter. This made for a lot of backup files, and it was getting cumbersome to manage all these different directories on my computer’s hard drives. It also resulted in me making duplicate backups of some images because they may exist in several different subject catalogs. What I’ve decided to do in the future is simply backup all images by the year the photo was made. The first thing I did was create Smart Catalogs in Adobe Lightroom for each year. My digital photos go back to as early as 2003, so I have a smart catalog for each year since 2002. I then export all images from each smart catalog to a hard drive, which will be stored in my cabinet with other hard drives, containing each year’s images. Once created, I shouldn’t have to update the backups, because once a year is over, I don’t need to replace or duplicate any of that year’s images in another catalog that needs backing up.  Simple in thought, but time consuming in reality. Some backup catalogs can take 6 or 7 hours to create and backup to external hard drives via my USB C interface. All in all, I have about 10 terabytes of master images to duplicate as backups. I’ll have an exact storage requirement in terabytes once I finished the process.

As part of this process, last week, I purchased two brand new 4 terabyte, 7200 RPM, internal Western Digital 3.5 inch hard drives to expand my working disk storage for the laptop. That should get me to a working storage space of about 20 terabytes. I got a screaming deal on Amazon at $35 each for the two new 4 tb hard drives. This should give me some needed disk storage for the docked laptop and also free up some smaller hard drives to be used as backup drives. I think I have enough disk space on the spare drives to cover everything stored on the live system. If not, I’ll buy a few more 4 terabyte drives for backups. I’ve learned the hard way to not neglect my hard drive back-ups. I had a system crash a few years ago and lost some of my images because I didn’t have everything properly backed up. That will never happen again.

The wife is heading to Indiana this week to visit her son’s family. This will give me and the dogs plenty of time to blob out in the office while my image files copy to backup drives. All l will need to do is keep the coffee hot, rub some dog belly and swap some hard drives from time to time. I’ll be back out in Mooseville in no time, making more photos and backing them up too.