Management of Images - Preserving DATA

Hello My DT Family,

Today I've realized that being a photographer I must try to exchange knowledge. As we know many of us are unaware of some of the facts about photography. Today Digital world and Digital word have made photography very easy. But I think Digital age has brought many complications to photography also. One of them is management of huge GB's file DATA. Most of us talk more and more about taking better picture, better lighting, gears, etc and these thing are very important. In the race of these things we forget management of DATA.

Management? Of what?

I am talking about “Management of Images”.

Question: Why this is so important?

Answer: We must agree that without proper management nothing could be done easily and successfully. That’s why the world is giving more importance to management these days. Though doing things without management can also bring results to us and this could also be said a type of management. But results wouldn’t be satisfactory or up to the mark as we imagine. Some losses are also part of mismanagement.

Due to not being organized and well managed I had lost my 4532 images and unfortunately I can’t get them back. These photographs were results of my 11 months hard work. For a photographer this loss is more than anything (money, time, health). It is said that we learn from our own mistakes. I got a lesson too. Last week one of my photographer friend came across the same loss (about 1200+ images including his recent clients work for which he was per-paid around 1500$) and tried to commit suicide (finally he’s saved). Hearing this I immediately decided to write articles about these things.

So I think it is important to discuss.

Question: How to preserve digital images?


(1) General things to know for Image storage devices:

(a) Never compromise with quality of image storage devices. From camera card to HDD, from CD to DVD or BRD, buy the best thing you can afford.

(b) Additional FM card, MM card would be better to have.

(c) Never let your card fully filled with images while shooting (use up to 80%).

(d) Cards with large capacity (16 GB or more) can often deceive you. If you lose data you are more likely to lose more of your data. Medium capacity cards (4 GB to 8GB) are better for some reasons: [1] cheaper [2] camera and computer both take less time to read/write, format.

(d) Avoid exposure of your storage devices from direct sunlight, high energy fields, magnates, audio devices, moisture, and heat.

(e) Keep them clean and dry.

Indoor or Studio Photography:

© Nyul

(a)Transfer your image from camera to computer via card. Never try to attach your camera to computer for two reasons (1) if at any instance computer is infected with virus or hanged you may come up with data loss or corrupt camera software (common problems) (2) camera is busy and you might miss the memorable photograph

(b)After transferring images (unedited original data: RAW, JPEG), write them to CD or DVD (I prefer DVD).

(c)Make 2 different backups (1) in another DVD (2) another folder

(d)Finally I make external HDD (2 TB) for all images of the year/month (depends how much you shoot)

Outdoor Photography:

(a)Same as described above but done with safety as probable you would be using laptops

(b)Carry extra cards, DVDs, or even HDD (if you can afford)

(c)Make extra backup on DVD at that place when you are free

(d)Have a good eye on your devices (especially at night) if you are in any area where riots, fights, snatching or theft may possible.

I hope you will find this article useful. I’d be very happy if you please suggest some more useful tips that you use. I would be writing more articles that would help my Photographers’ family and make them their life happy, safe, and secure.

In preparation of next article…

With lovePrashant ZI

Photo credits: Nyul, Penywise, Starfotograf, Jimmy Lopes, Ziprashantzi.

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November 15, 2009


Great advice... thanks!

November 15, 2009


Good advice/reminders to all on developing the discipline to put aside the time necessary to back up your data. I use two externals and the box I am working on. My next step is to keep the data in two separate locations. Thanks for sharing your experience and sorry you lost so much work. Eti

November 15, 2009


Hello Mani33
I m sorry to hear that. hoping you will get your data soon. Thanks for sharing your experience and reading this article.

November 15, 2009


Very useful reminder - I know I should backup more often, but I'm lazy, and no doubt that will backfire one of these days and I'll lose images. Will follow your advice about downloading to computer via my card, rather than attaching the camera (it didn't occur to me that any computer viruses might also infect my camera!).

November 14, 2009


Unfortunately only with those mistakes we learn more!
I had an awful experience with my hard disk recently & still recovering!
Sorry for your loss & thanks for sharing. Cheers ;)

November 14, 2009


Sorry for your and your friends losses! I've read somewhere that hard-drives are only usable for up to 10 years. The manufacturers can't guarantee them for any longer as magnetic storage deteriorates naturally over time. I back up on DVDs but find that retrieving files takes a long time when I'm in a hurry especially if it was a very productive photo shoot. I'm looking at buying a large external hard-drive to store my work in progress files in and images that I want to retrieve for use in collages etc. Great blog thanks :0)

November 14, 2009


Oh my! I am also so sorry for the images you and your friend have lost. I couldn't agree with you more. Your advice is a good reminder for all of us. I have had a number of external hard drives fail on me, so I always recommend redundant backups as you mentioned, on different media. Also it is a good idea to store one of the backup hard drives in a different location, or in a fire proof safe, in case of fire or theft.

November 14, 2009


I agree with you and I'm so sorry for you and for your friend!
A good management is always the key for success, because is teaching us how to control internal and external factors. I wish you good luck and success! Take care, Dragos

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