How do you store your photographs?

  Forum Editor 13:56 12 Jan 2013

In another thread we've been discussing the demise of Jessops, the well-known chain of photographic stores. Reasons for their collapse have generally been agreed to be the changes in the way that people buy cameras, and possibly the fact that phone cameras are nowadays being used by young people as their only way of taking photographs.

I was struck by one of Quickbeam's posts, in which he said (about younger people)

*"When they change phones they don't even keep copies of the photos that were taken on today's iWow phone. The photo content is considered as obsolete as the phone. Which means in 20/30 years time they won't find happy memories of the past at the back of the sock drawer when they find the postcard prints and negatives of holidays taken when they were still slim and fresh faced."*

and I got to wondering how you store your photographic images. Do you archive them on your computer hard drive, looking at them when the thought strikes you, or do you back them up to removable media, leaving them for some future time, when you promise yourself you'll sort them out somehow?

I confess, right at the start, that I fall into the last category. I'm a keen DSLR photographer, and I have thousands of images stored in date order on memory sticks and CDs - all waiting for the moment when I have enough time to sort through and delete those that aren't worth keeping.

In days gone by people had photograph albums containing prints of photographs they took on holiday, or of the children growing up, etc., but does anyone do that nowadays? Film and processing costs were quite expensive, but now we can all take as many digital photographs as we like, at virtually no cost. Are they ending up in a way that makes it a pain to show friends and relatives, or to browse through on the spur of the moment?

Please tell, I would like to know if I'm among friends.

  alB* 14:20 12 Jan 2013

I keep mine on my main computer hard drive and use Picasa to catalogue and view them (currently 4552), I also have backups on two different external drives just in case, I would hate to lose any, I also upload a few of my better ones to an online photo website where other members give comments and constructive criticism etc. Obviously these are all digital images and I'm now in the process of scanning many old photos from a variety of 35mm cameras, should only take me a couple of years...happy days ...alB

  Ex plorer 14:33 12 Jan 2013

Independent external Hard Drive, With three sons and one daughter who are now in there 30s and always going on holidays they can down load onto the Ex HD and I sort them out and improve if need be.

They keep them on the PCs.

  OTT_B 14:40 12 Jan 2013

I'm in the same category as FE: they're on computer various hard drives, waiting for the day that I finally get round to sorting them out!

I print very few photos, and those that are, are printed for specific purposes and tend to go stright into frames around the house. If for any reason the photo is changed or is no longer needed, the picture is thrown out as the digital copy is still on hard drive.

When the big picture sorting day (or month!) finally happens, I'd like to set up the TV so that it operates as a big digital picture frame when it's not in use. That way the archives can be seen more regularly. It's all a bit of a pity at the moment that I've got 20 years of photos that are never seen by anyone.....there may be some that are quite happy about this though!

  Nontek 15:03 12 Jan 2013

I don't have that many photo's, even after 78yrs, so mine only count in the hundreds. I have many actual printed photo's, from before PC ownership, and from around the World from S. America, West Indies and Middle and Far East - mostly in albums, but some just loose (must get round to sorting them sometime). Main form of storage now is of course DVD/CD and external hard drive.

I am a pretty keen amateur and in fact have only recently bought a Nikon Coolpix P510 from Jessops, my local shop (as was), but having to depend on a Mobility Scooter as my only form of transport I do not get out and about anywhere near as much as I used to, so my photographic options are somewhat curtailed. Fortunately I do live in a very interesting location on the South coast, within a few hundred yards of the seafront so I generally carry my camera wherever I go.

  Flak999 15:06 12 Jan 2013

Mine are stored and catalogued on my PC's hard drive and backed up to large capacity memory sticks. I actually print very few, although my wife does tend to have printed those pictures of holidays and special occasions which she considers memorable.

  Quickbeam 15:15 12 Jan 2013

I keep the current years working photos on my main PC HD, Once a month I sync that to an off PC backup HD, and now also to a WD My Book Live that I bought last month. With that I can now view and show pictures from anywhere to anyone and grant access to anyone I choose going back to 2000 when I went photo digital.

I've got thousands of negatives and slides going back to 1970 when I first got interested in photography at school. I keep thinking shall I scan them, then when I think of the hours of tedium involved to do it I think nah!

  Quickbeam 15:40 12 Jan 2013

I've never bent my head around this 'tagging' thing. I have a folder for the year, say 2012, and then sub-folders for the month with maybe an exception for a family wedding named just so. With modifications, I retain the given camera numbering. A modified file originally called 123456789, becomes 123456789a/b/c etc in my system. I know no-one else thinks much of it, but it's what I started with and it works for me!

I delete before I sync to backup, but only the beyond hope stuff, with digital there may be a usable element worth keeping in below par shots.

  chub_tor 16:14 12 Jan 2013

You know that is a really interesting question that has been posed. As I sit here in my study I can look along the top shelf and see 40+ large albums dated over 50 years all crammed with photographs taken with film cameras and all carefully annotated. BUT the last one is dated 2003 which probably means that since then most of our photographs have been on digital cameras that are stored on my desktop computer and categorised in folders dated from 1998 onwards.

They are backed up on a plug in USB 1Tb drive although that itself is only updated every couple of months or so and if it went down I would lose the latest of them. The very special ones have been printed - maybe 100 or less out of 2000+ but all of them on my PC have been run through Photo Gallery's face recognition so all the known people have been tagged and can be recalled quickly should I need to make a DVD of a certain person.

I really should think about a more permanent back up as I would hate to lose some of them.

  caccy 16:37 12 Jan 2013

I'm with Quickbeam, ours are all stored on a pc using nearly the same method and backed up regularly. The boss lady keeps saying we should have a selection printed each year but we haven't got round to it yet. My main concern is that in 20 years time the format will have changed and it will be difficult to display them. How many spreadsheets, letters and scanned items have you got that cannot now be easily read???

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:40 12 Jan 2013

Copied from camera card to internal HDD and sorted into categories

Printed and stored in Photo albums (wife has not yet grasped the idea of digital storage) and it's cheap enough when you do 200+ at ASDA.

Internal drive is backed up to external drive

Photos also burnt to CD or DVD.

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