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In this course, photographer Derrick Story teaches the concepts and techniques behind efficient photo management and backup, which becomes increasingly important as a photo collection grows. The course begins by showing how to transfer and organize photos "by hand"—that is, by copying them from a memory card to a hard drive without using software. In the second portion of the course, discover how to take advantage of the photo-management features provided by programs such as Lightroom and Aperture, by assigning descriptive keywords, by giving photos ratings and color-coded labels, and how smart album features can automatically collect photos that meet certain criteria.
The course concludes with a look at aspects of a good backup and archival strategy, ranging from the best file format for long-term backup to the best hardware options for offline storage.
Let's talk about hard drives themselves; those little mechanical wonders that we back our data onto. Now here's the thing about hard drives, the way I see it: one hard drive is good, and two or more are better. And there's very good reason for this. So the one thing that you do not want: you do not want your pictures just to live on the hard drive that's on your computer. So many cases of people losing their computer, or having something bad happen to the computer, and losing all their pictures. These are just heartbreaking stories to me, and I don't want you to experience this at all.
So one way that you can help protect yourself is to back up to a second hard drive. And right here we have -- this is a Western Digital drive. The brand, to me, is not particularly important; more the idea that you have a hard drive to back up to. Now one thing I do like about this Western Digital drive -- and we talked about them in earlier movies, so you might want to refer to those movies about hard drives where I am actually showing the physical drives themselves -- but the thing that I like about this particular hard drive is that it actually has two drives in it. And it has what we call RAID 1 Mirroring, so when I copy images to Derrick Pictures, let's say 2011, then it automatically copies them to that second drive that's inside that little container there, and that is really neat because that gives you the first level of protection against mechanical failure.
So if one of those hard drives goes bad, then all your information is on the other hard drive. Now the thing about having just one hard drive backing up to your computer, which is a good thing, it's a very good thing; that protects you at one level, but it doesn't protect you against something happening at the physical location itself: something horrible like theft or fire. Then it doesn't make any difference that these are backed up on two drives in here, because the whole unit will be lost. So that's where it's nice to have yet another drive; maybe something a little bit more portable.
This little external drive right here is a small one; it actually fits in my pocket. This guy right here. So after I do a back up to this drive, I could mirror that, do the same back up to this drive here, put this in my backpack, and when I go home then I have all of those pictures in a separate location. And since it's a small drive it's not hard for me to carry around. And then I go back to work the next day; it's in my backpack. If I add more pictures to this drive, then I just have to remember to also take another minute to add them here.
Now you may be wondering about version control here; making sure that they both have the same thing. Well this is where your basic organization comes into play. This is where you want to have things organized so that is very easy to see what you have on this drive, so that you can mirror that here. And if you go a couple days without backing up, you just open them both up, you compare, and then you move over the stuff that isn't on the other drive. Organization makes this process a lot easier.
So the big message here is that make sure you have at least one external drive so you have that first level of protection; so you are not just using your computer. And if you can, having that second level of protection: a drive that is in a separate location, that's even better.
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