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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.
Every now and then the question comes up: which images should I back up? Should I back up my entire library? Should I only back up the shots that have a certain rating; 3 stars or more? What approach do you recommend? My answer has changed over the years. Back when hard drives were more expensive, I think people thought more about which image is to back up, because space was more limited. But now, the price for saving our images has really dropped, and we recommend that you save everything. Save everything that isn't some sort of obvious horrible picture, and you probably deleted that on the camera anyway after you took it.
So save everything, and a reason for that is that images that you value right now, that you give a higher rating to, probably has more to do with the creative side of the image. You think it's pretty to look at. But there's another aspect to photos that are important also, and that's what I call point in time, or record. And sometimes a photo that seems very mundane right now, 20 years from now could become very important, because it's a historical record. Something that you didn't think was that important at the moment; that grows over time.
So by backing everything up using the Vault in Aperture, or copying directly from hard drive to hard drive as I talked about earlier. Backing everything up, I think, protects you both creatively, and the records that may become very important up the road.
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