Best Way To Store Digital Photographs

Wing of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737
One of the surviving digital photographs taken with the Nikon Coolpix 3100.

My first digital camera was the Nikon Coolpix 3100. I must have taken some 8,000 shots with this tiny camera until I upgraded to the Canon Powershot A610 some time in end-2005. Most of the images taken with the Coolpix 3100 were kept in the hard drive of my desktop computer in Penang. Unfortunately, the drive failed when I wanted to back up the images to CD-R. All I have left are the images stored in Wuan’s computer the times I visited her here in Kuala Lumpur before I moved down.

Theoretically, digital images last forever. However, their longevity are dependent on the media that they are stored in. Most of my hard drives last an average of three years. CD-Rs last a little longer if they are properly stored. I tend to leave them lying around unprotected. They usually accumulate dust and scratches over the years. I lost some images that way too. Those lost images leave a gaping hole in the chronicles of my photography journey. I am determined not to lose any from now on.

I have learnt my lessons. Between Wuan and I, we have 40,000 digital photographs. For us, backing up images has become a continuous process now. The images from the cameras are downloaded to my 160GB external drive or Wuan’s 40GB external drive. From there, the images are then transferred to DVDs. They are stored in two separate copies and those copies stored in different locations. That is what we are doing for our existing digital photographs. I am also looking at a 1TB external drive for primary back up as the current 160GB external drive is fast filling up. At the same time, I am looking around for better quality DVDs for this purpose too. Please do share with me how you store your digital photographs.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

3 thoughts on “Best Way To Store Digital Photographs”

  1. for my case I’m uploading it to Flickr. USD 25 for a year, quite a worthwhile investment.

    It will be a pain for me to upload 100 photos/400MB of data every now and then.

  2. I still think getting 2 smaller size hdd is more secure than 1 gigantic hdd. Putting everything in 1TB hdd kinda dangerous also.

    2 500GB is a good idea also. Very redundant but twice more secure. 😀

  3. My first digital camera is a Minolta Dimage S303 with 128MB compact flash card in 2002. My second digital camera is a Lumix DMC-FZ20 with 1 GB SD card in 2006. This camera has a 12X optical zoom. Initially, I copied all my photos to CDs. Now, I copy them to DVDs. External drives can fail because of moving mechanical parts. Make 2 DVD copies for photos which you treasure the most.

    Thank you for sharing. I make 2 copies of all the photographs that I took – good or bad. 🙂

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