I know how ya feel lil guy. Chained down and impatient…

Thankfully I don’t have to feel that way any longer. I just spent this entire past evening, organizing all of my full format print files. Pulling each and every file out of their old folders and moving them all into one place for easy access and review. Good lord, I very much should have done this from the start. That was tedious beyond measure, but mostly done. I will not be letting my archives get in that state again.

In the end, with the recent NAS drive crash and Computer Reset, I have managed to only lose a handful of original files. No worries… no use in bitching over things that cannot be changed. Still have all the original files though so that is a major plus.

Now I know what files need to be recreated and I have FINALLY removed all those memory sapping fragment jpegs, tiffs and psd files. Not to mention the wonderful satisfaction of removing all the useless small format files and unnecessary duplicates. My computer is relieved, my backup hardrives are relieved…. and now I can say, I am relieved. For the record, I think I cleared about 10-15GB of dups and fragments… Insane!

For anyone out there curious of my current backup and storing procedure, I’ll be happy to obligue. It’s nothing special really. I personally use two separate external drives (250GB and 750GB) and my primary MacBook Pro. The MBP acts as a temp “primary” storage space, while the 250GB acts as my backup Field Drive. Generally I will upload all images into a Temporary Folder on my MBP and into my archives on the Field Drive. This gives me two separate backups while away from my office and the MBP files are those I can toy with. Then the moment I get home, thats when my workhorse 750GB Studio Drive steps in. This is the last phase of the backup process and in the end this grouping gives me two ongoing backups of my originals and three backups of my final print files.

I attempted to go down the route of NAS drives. But after twice being burned, I decided not to continue. Its handy to have those files on a network home cloud. But the transfer speeds are slow at best, and the reliability is MUCH to be desired. Keep in mind you are asking for a piece of equipment to be a master of many niche processes. Sadly it becomes a master of none.

The main thing to keep in mind… you cannot NEVER have to many backups. If you lose something without a backup, its gone forever. You do not want that… But also remember to organize appropriately. Do not allow all your post-production files to fragment over time. For all original Raw files, I upload to a folder by date, and then add descriptions to the file name. Sometimes dates just won’t do it, and its better to just throw in a location or event to associate that folder to memory of that day. On, and did I mention, Lightroom is King! But I just can’t rely on it being my primary point of organization. I must keep all my post-production files organized right on the drive. 😉

For my prints I have established a category structure. I keep two separate folders of each city I shoot in, one “Full Color” folder and one “Monotone” folder. This has turned out to be much easier than the all encompassing “Print” folder I started with long ago. That was a Big mistake…

All better now though and I can stop rambling your eyes away. Scroll back up and enjoy the urban pooch, at least that time spent wasn’t a waste, right? haha

… Cheers