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This post is meant to stir some discussion on how you manage your photo archives. I use Apple Aperture but the same discipline could easily apply to Adobe Lightroom or any other Digital Asset Management (DAM) system.

My management system is a little different. Like others I import new projects into standalone libraries. There I make all image selections, apply all adjustments, apply all metadata and ratings, etc. When I'm done with this I merge the project library into my master library. The machine on which this initial edit takes place has Time Machine so incremental backups happen every hour at worst. I can always tell Time Machine to make a backup right now so that I don't have to wait for the next hourly backup to roll around.

My master library is a managed library and is stored on an external 1TB USB-powered My Passport from Western Digital. I have three more of these exact same disks. I use rsync from a Terminal window to update these three copies from the master. The master and one copy are with me everywhere I go. The other two copies are kept at home. I keep a copy in addition to the master with me at all times in case the master fails while on the road. Because I keep my master as a managed library, I can lose the master drive and simply start using one of the copies as the new master until I purchase a replacement or have Western Digital replace it if it us under warranty. I don't have to worry about reconnecting images to a library.

I love these My Passport drives. They are commodity drives @ $90 each, and I can get them pretty much anywhere. I also like that they are USB powered so no extra power cords to drag around. They are also USB 3 so they are super fast on the MacBook Pro. Syncing them is fast and easy which encourages me to do it often so that I know I'm covered.

How do you manage your archives? Do you have a DAM?

   
Active Member
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 208
Location: Columbia, Maryland
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Walter, this is a great topic to put on TPN and I hope others add to this as well.  It was interesting to read some of your comments and may have to look into some of the tools you use, such as Time Machine.  Personally, I also use Western Digital drives for all my at-home and travel needs as so far they have been reliable and have not lost a thing yet.   Prices for them are also excellent, although much higher in Singapore!

When on the road I actually store 3 copies of my images.   I have used the Epson Media Storage device for a long time and I love it...too bad they have discontinued.   It comes in handy when I take smaller side trips that may last a couple of days and I cannot take my laptop as too much.  It also allows me to immediately store the images right off the camera as I do frequently.  Once I am back with my PC, I download the images to two WD 500G drives.   Therefore, I really do have four copies, but sometimes I do not calculate the card space that well and have to reuse cards if I run out.  

At home, I primarily use 2 3G desk drives.  When I finish a trip, I download the raw into one drive and copy to the backup.   THen depending on how much I do (taking and editing), i will backup on a monthly basis....all manual though.   For some reason I do not have a lot of trust for automated backups,but I really have not tried either that much.   I do occasionally..such as once a year, buy another smaller drive to store my MUST NOT LOSE images and keep that totally aside.  

For workflow..I also am basic.  I have Lightroom, but actually do not care for it that much.  I simply use BreezeBrowser to view, move/delete and tag my images as needed.  I store the images according to the continent,country and date.  So, my recent images from Kauai are stored in North America, Hawaii and Jan 2013.   I do divide between my raw and finished images.  From BB, I Ctl-D to open in CS6 and go from there where I primarily use Nik Software to edit the images, with a little help from PS though, such as cropping and such.  I do update the image in raw first though.

For panorama's, I use Panorama Maker as I like better then PS and Photomatix or Nik's HDR for HDR images.  I open the images directly from each application.  So....basic for me! 


Richard Schoettger

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 57
Location: Singapore
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I am interested in reading more about your woes with Lightroom. If you are using Breeze Browser, where is your metadata stored? Does it get saved in the raw file, create a sidecar XMP file that PS can consume, store it somewhere else? I like Lightroom and Aperture because that metadata stays with all derivatives of the raw file including the JPGs I post here on TPN. No image of mine leaves my "virtual" possession without all of the metadata included.

   
Active Member
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 208
Location: Columbia, Maryland
3 posts :: Page 1 of 1