Photography Workflow: Backups

I'm dedicating a separate section to backups because quite frankly, it's the most important piece of the workflow. It doesn't matter how great a photo is or what you do with it, if in the end you lose it. Since we were going to be traveling for several months being able to effectively backup photos was a big concern. At home I currently backup all of our computers to a central location (an Apple Time Capsule) and important documents are also are backed up online (Mobile Me iDisk). The important thing is that files are backed up and backed up regularly. On the road I knew backing up would be a little more of a challenge, ideally it would have been nice to just upload all the photos online, but that's not really possible with currently over 280 GB of photos and some internet connections so slow that you want to pull your hair out just checking email.

So we went with a 500 GB external hard drive (a LaCie Rugged Hard Disk to be exact) that would allow for a complete backup of everything on the laptop. I also thought the 'rugged' aspect would also help since our bags would be getting thrown around. Anyway, once photos are downloaded to the computer and processed we plug in the external hard drive and take a backup. As an extra measure of protection we travel with the hard drive and the laptop separately, meaning if I have the laptop, Abby has the hard drive. That way if a bag is lost, stolen or destroyed we should hopefully have another copy. However, if all else fails we have a copy of our favorite photos online at Flickr, but we hope we don't have to resort to that.

I urge everyone please, please backup your important data at home. If we can backup data while we're living out of a backpack, surely you can do it. If you have a Mac and later versions of Mac OS X, the easiest way is with an external hard drive and Time Machine and if you are on Windows Vista/7 you have the ability to set up backups to an external hard drive as well, but I can't speak to that process as much.

With that I've wrapped up my current photography workflow (and wouldn't you know my backup just completed). From taking a photo to backing it up and some of the stuff in between. If you have any questions please let me know. And don't worry, I'm sure I'll think up another nerdy/boring topic to write about soon.

For more info on the other aspects of my workflow, check the main post for links: Photography Workflow

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