Digital Photo Storage

If you want to get the best out of your digital camera then that probably means you will be using it at the highest settings for resolution and picture size. If you use a DSLR it is also likely that you shoot RAW or RAW+JPG. That in turn means that the size of your file will be large. With today's modern cameras your file size will usually be well above 2 Mbits. If you do not religiously delete all the files you do not want it will not be long before your hard drive on your pc has more space taken up with photos rather than programs and operating software. The end result is your pc becomes clogged up and possibly it could well slow down..

Photo Organising Software

There is a lot of photo organizing software on the market, mostly the organisers come bundled with the photo editors like Adobe Photoshop Elements, Corel Photo Director, Lightroom and Google's Picasa (which is free). They all help you organise your files but they will not resolve the problem of photo storage. Most photo organisers, and download software place your photos in a directory named My Pictures which can be found in the My Documents directory on a windows pc. This is not the ideal place for your digital photo storage. The advantages of photo organising software is that it does it all for you and with a good package it's simply a case of opening the organiser and letting it find all your files for you. The big downside is that it hogs pc resource and it can often trundle away in the background when you open your photo editing software.

If you don't want to use an editing package there are viewers like FastSone and Infranview which can help you view your files with the added advantage of having a bulk renaming and resizing capability. Or there is always Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011.

An other solution is to organise the files yourself. This has the advantage that you are adopting a system tailor made to your needs. Personally because of the large number of files I shoot, in RAW+JPG, I organise my files in folders by date and name and move them about using windows explorer

Storing your digital images

Digital Photo Storage - holly2

So what is the best place for photo storage? There are a number of solutions but what is best for you depends on how much money you want to spend and how much time you want to devote. You can store several gigabits on Windows Skydrive or similar cloud storage systems, but thats best used for sharing, or write to DVD or download to an external hard drive. Uploading to cloud storage usually takes much longer than downloading to a hard drive and it is also less secure. Cloud computing and cloud storage should never the less be utilised as a additional back up area for non sensitive data and images.

If you are a keen photographer who takes loads of pictures you should consider purchasing a hard drive. This is the easiest solution in terms of time. A 500 Gigabit hard, capable of storing 100,000 large size digital photos, can be purchased on Amazon for less than $70. If you prefer shopping on eBay you might be able to pick up a new one for less than that. It's always best to buy new. You never know how a second hand hard has been treated. It could be prone to hanging up or crashing or simply near the end of its life.

Backing up

I recommend a new USB hard drive purely because of easiness. Most USB hard drives are plug and play, that means you just plug it in and windows does the rest. Your computer recognises it as new hardware and automatically installs the driver to allow it to run seamlessly as part of your pc. Now all you have to do is transfer all your photo files across to your new digital photo storage hard drive. You can drag and drop all the files, folders and directories using Windows Explorer

Digital Photo Storage - calpe

If you do not want to spend money on a hard drive you can always save your files to DVD or CD. It is also worth while checking to see if your hard drive on your pc is partitioned. Some manufacturers partition their hard drive into 2 segments to help them run faster. You can check by looking under My Computer - if you see 2 hard drives, usually one is named data, then use this for your digital photo storage.

Even if you use a hard drive it is also a good idea to burn a copy of your favourite pictures to DVD as well. This simply ensures you have a good back up of your favourite pictures.

A word of caution about storing digital photos on CD or DVD, always ensure you purchase good quality blank DVD or CD discs as there have been reports of earlier cheaper ones becoming corrupted with time probably as the dye fades with age. You can slow down the aging process of dye fading by storing your media in a dark place.

As I stated earlier I prefer to use windows explorer to create and organize my digital photos I want to store them. As well as saving and storing my pictures I sort out the ones I want to keep on my pc and resize them. The quickest way to resize your pictures is to do this automatically; I use a free utility called Infranview which allows you to do a batch resize. Resizing your digital photos only takes a few minutes for several hundred files, of 2 to 3 Megabits. You can resize down to less than O.5 Megabit with a picture size of 1000 X 700 approximately.