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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.
Making prints like this might seem out of place in a title such as archiving your digital images, but these actually started out as digital images. All of these shots here were taken with a digital camera. Now, the reason why we're going to talk about printing is -- well, let me tell you a couple stories. I will tell you a couple stories, and then I think this will make more sense to you. The first story happened when I saw Brett Weston, a very famous photographer, burning his prints. He had prints like this that he was actually putting in the fire. And the reason why he was doing that was because he wanted to leave only his best stuff behind, and didn't want all the clutter, all the extraneous stuff that he shot before: his failures, in his view -- his view, not necessarily mine -- to be left behind as part of his legacy.
And I thought, well that's interesting. And then a while later, I saw another story. It was actually a university photography professor talking about the iPhone, and saying that people are taking more and more of their memories, or capturing their memories, with iPhones and devices like that. And she was wondering that 10 years from now, 15 years from now, will people be able to retrieve those memories? Are people loading them onto the computer? What are they doing so that when you see a picture on the iPhone, you have some sort of confidence that you will be able to see it again ten years from now? What if it's your parents anniversary that we are talking about? So I was thinking about all of that and I thought, wow! We are talking about hard drives, we are talking about computers, and digital media. What is one thing that we can do to really increase our odds of having our most special memories saved for us 10, 20, 50 years from now? And my thought would be making prints; making prints.
With inkjet printers that you can have in your home right now, they're capable of making prints that are good for 100, 150, even 200 years. Now think about that: 200 years. 200 years from now we're not going to know what file formats are acceptable, we are not going to know the type of storage devices that we are using, we are even -- we don't even know what kind of computers we will be using. But we do know that 200 years from now that this lovely piece of paper -- and doesn't it, can you just feel this, how good this feels? This lovely piece of paper will be able to be viewed by anyone.
So what I'm recommending, in addition to everything else that you do with your archiving and backup, just take time to figure out your 6, or 10, or 12 best images that you captured in a year, and make prints. Make prints of them, put them in acid-free sleeves, pull them out, share them with people. Take good care of them, but by doing so, then 50 years from now, or 100 years from now, you'll still be able to have your photos viewed by someone who goes, wow! He took some great shots!
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