In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2010 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
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Saving your Photographs
Where are all the vacation photos you've taken over the last few years? And what format did you use to save them? Here's a list of formats that you might be familiar with: if this all looks strange to you, don't worry about it -- just look at the photos you've taken and you will probably see a photo name like this - IMAG0001.jpg (.jpeg) This is a common format for most digital cameras -- and there's nothing wrong with this format -- in fact it's pretty universal!
BMP (Windows Bitmap)
JPG or jpeg (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
PSD (PhotoShop Document)
TIF (Tagged Image File Format)
RAW (This is your negative)
These are all the common file formats used in photography. The RAW file formats will differ depending on the make of the camera.
The image to the left was first taken with the output image being a "jpg". It was then taken as a "raw" file, so we ended up with two photos, "jpg" and a "raw". Now here's where this is a concern if you're shooting in "raw" mode a lot, your going to end up with a lot of large files! The file sizes to the left indicate that the "CR2" (which is Canon's raw file designation) is almost 3 X larger than the "jpg" file. Basically this means that you'll need 3 X the storage space for "raw" files, but you will have the original negatives of the photographs. It gives you a little more to work with when correcting images. Is it necessary, the choice is yours. We seldom use it - not because of file size but for other reasons we'll get into on another topic. File size and storing the images is our main concern here.
Above Image - File Sizes
".jpg" = 4.73 megabytes
"CR2" = 12.9 megabytes
File sizes above are based on a 8 megapixel Canon camera, yours will vary depending on the camera.
In the past storage of photos and files was limited to floppy discs, then Iomega ZIP discs came along. Then along came the ultimate storage solution - the CD and the DVD discs. However the storage life of these mediums are limited too. Now with cameras taking larger file size photos these have become impractical. Not only because of the amount of storage available on these discs but because of the life expectancy of the disc. Sometimes they last for 6 to 8 years, we've had some fail after only 4 years. "Unreadable Files" or "Corrupt File" is not something you want to see when trying to access your photos or other files you've saved on a Disc. This does happen. They make gold plated discs that supposedly have a life span of 100 years, but they are expensive, to the point that our solution for storage is less expensive, much better, easier and quicker to access.
External Hard Drives
Most people think that the best solution to this storage dilemma would be get a really big hard drive in your computer, or a new one with a large hard drive. Have you ever had your computer crash? Did you lose the hard drive? Well there are a lot of people out there that take literally thousands of photographs (and why not with digital) so they end up with thousands of photos that need to be stored in a safe place. Your computer is not that place! If you lose it or the hard drive, they're all gone. What a loss that would be!
External Hard Drives. Notice the plural there -- drives, not just one drive. They are cheap now. And we'll show you how to back-up an external hard drive with easy to use - free software. The one shown here was a little more expensive, at $80 including shipping. It's an Iomega 500 GB (gigabyte) external hard drive. Nice unit, here's why.
When looking for an external hard drive look for the more expensive models. We've had some cheaper Seagate Free Agent drives that just didn't last. So now we use Iomega for a couple of reasons. They last, and they have a switch on the back to turn them on and off; no need to unplug them at the end of each use -- which saves time and is real handy. Iomega has been making storage devices for a long time and it shows. It also runs cooler than the others did -- which adds up to a longer life. Other brands are also available!
If you don't need that much storage space then you can buy two much smaller external hard drives for the price of this one drive. Don't forget this is not just for your photographs -- you can store all your other files here also without worrying about losing them. Now a big hard drive would be necessary in your computer if your working on large video files all the time or a lot of movies. Otherwise save you money and get two external USB drives. You need two -- one could always fail -- electronics gear is like that!
We tried a few softwares for backing up one of the drives to another one on a daily basis and at times even more often (manually). Windows has a back-up software that's free and there are a lot of softwares for this purpose out there that you can pay for too. So we asked the professionals what they use and the majority came back with Karen's Replicator. After using it for over 16 years now, it is the easiest and best one available. It just works flawlessly and it's easy to program to back up whatever you want to back-up. Whether it's your whole computer of just certain files or back-up one hard drive to another one.
This is the program interface. It is very simple to use and infallible. After you've loaded a lot of photos you just click on "Run Highlighted Jobs Now" (after initial set-up) and it will back-up your drive, it's that simple! It's very easy to set up also. This program is only 1.9 megabytes. The author Karen is now deceased, and we will miss her! This was a great piece of programming.
Download it here --
This is the best information available to date for saving your files permanently!
When you get to the download page click on "WINDOWS EXECUTABLE" See below -- Save it to "program files" then right click on it and send to - Desktop (create shortcut).