Future-Proof Your Files
Amateur Photographer|October 05, 2019
Future-Proof Your Files
James Abbott explains how you can create a safe and easily accessible archive that will keep your digital images protected for a long time.
James Abbott

It goes without saying that digital technology completely revolutionised photography by making it much more accessible, arguably even democratising the medium; what was once a closed world of techniques passed down only from professional to assistant, has evolved to the point where you can learn practically any shooting or editing technique from a written or video tutorial with a quick-and-easy web search.

One of the problems, however, is that because of the ease in which we can now produce images, often in large quantities, how we edit, store, catalogue and back up our files has become a new challenge. Of course, it is easy, but bad habits and lack of time can have severe consequences. So how can we create a safe, easily accessible and future-proofed image archive?

One of the most difficult, and indeed undervalued, tasks for photographers has always been how to effectively archive their images. In the days of film, archiving was much harder because you’d only have one set of negatives and/or transparencies that would be kept in the home or studio, with off-site options being limited to archival quality prints should the worst happen. These days, things can be much simpler because digital files can be replicated infinitely, making multiple image backups incredibly easy. But the difficulty can begin as early as the point you download your shots from the memory card to your computer, and small mistakes at each subsequent step can cement headaches further down the line. The simple answer here is to create an editing and archiving workflow that’s efficient and secure.

Editing and workflow

Editing is a word that’s become synonymous with image processing, and today is most often used to describe this part of a photographers’ workflow. However, editing as a word is much more suited to its original photographic usage to describe selecting which images to keep and which to delete; in the digital age, this means to avoid using storage space for images that you would never need or use in the future.

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October 05, 2019