There are many things in the digital and physical world that can threaten images once they’ve been captured. Corruption, loss, fire, theft, etc. Here are a few simple tips that will start you off on the right (and safe) path in your workflow.
Often overlooked and taken for granted, your memory card is the first place you images will land after the light hits the sensor. Ensure your memory card is in top shape by formatting it between each use instead of just deleting the pictures. Think of it as a “deep clean” instead of just a light dusting. It ensure all the areas of the memory card are in order and can help alert you to potential issues with the card.
Before you jump up and format your card to clean house or any other time you think you’re ready to empty your card, make sure you have at least two copies of your photos elsewhere. This can mean one copy on your computer and another on an external hard drive, in “the cloud”, or even on a CD/DVD. The logistics of how when and where to backup is a topic for another time but starting with this simple rule will go a long way to help minimize accidental deletion or other types of image loss.
Storing your photos on a larger number of smaller memory cards is typically safer than using a single large capacity card. Having all your eggs in one basket means all your images are lost if the card becomes corrupt or lost. Losing one of several smaller cards means losing only a portion of your images. It’s also typically cheaper to buy smaller cards. The downside of course is potentially needing to swap cards part way through a shoot but with a little foresight and eye on the “images remaining” counter it’s a breeze.
Many more steps throughout the workflow and beyond are needed to truly keep your images safe. Get the details in our upcoming backup class Keeping Your Photos Safe: From Capture to Delivery
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