Photography Tips and Advice

Getting In Control Of My Photographs

Since I started exploring photography in 2009 I estimate that I’ve taken well over 50,000 photographs. That’s encompassed one entry-level DSLR, one upper-level cropped frame DSLR, and now one full-frame enthusiasts pro DSLR. In any case, that’s a whole lot of photographs.

Obviously, not all of those photos were good enough to keep. Some were deleted, other lost to file corruption, others to dying computers. Still, even with a totally minimalist approach to photo storage, I have around 150GB of photographs in my photo archive. Eight years of photographs, thousands of memories. Too precious to lose.

My method for protecting those photos at present has been a bit all over the place. I keep some of them on my computer, some on a hard drive back-up of my computer, all of them on a drag-and-drop hard drive partition, and all of them on an old iPod classic. The iPod is my ‘fire-safe’ backup, because I keep it in the car just in case our house goes up in flame. The only issue is that all of these methods are a bit precarious. I know that hard drives fail, I know that computers fail. I’ve experienced both, and in the case of the hard drives on more than one occasion.

There are so many totally safe options out there for photo backups, and I wanted one that would allow me to access my photos wherever I was, in a way that didn’t involve carrying around precious hard drives all the time.

So, I bought a Dropbox pro account.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Oh it’s just another sponsored post. Wrong. This post is absolutely unaffiliated with Dropbox. I looked for a long time for something that was seamless on my computer, and that allowed me to easily upload and download photographs, and Dropbox was ultimately the best one for me. At AU$129 a year, it’s a pretty reasonable cost for 1TB of online storage, and that’s more than enough for me and my photographs. I could have made this a sponsored post, but I wanted to keep it unbiased because I really am using this service, nobody paid me to say it, and I really feel that it’s the best one for me.

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Why? Well I’ve already been using the free version of Dropbox for years to backup the thousands of photographs that I take on my phone. I’ve got it set up so that every time I plug my phone in, photos are downloaded to my computer and uploaded to Dropbox. Even though I take quite a lot of pictures on my actual camera, I tend to carry my phone around more so when I’m snapping little day-to-day things, it’s often on my phone. I like the fact that Dropbox automates that, and that it’s easy for me to curate and archive my photographs.

As for the cost, I know that there are other places that do cheaper prices, and that iCloud has also lowered their costs (I’m on a Mac). But as I don’t use the Photos app to store my photographs, and I want to be able to navigate and flick through easily, Dropbox made more sense. It’s basically like any file system, and for just over $10 a month it’s totally worth it.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s fast. I’m in the process of uploading my photos to my Dropbox account now and it is time consuming. As I now shoot in RAW my photos, even when they’re edited and exported as jpgs, are bigger than they were before. It’s probably going to take me weeks to get the entire thing uploaded, but at least then I’ll know that it’s safe and something that can be enjoyed even if all my technology and hard drives die.

Here’s to faster internet speeds!

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