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DAM/Back-Up Software

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by Aspadora, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member


    At the moment I'm having an issue trying to figure out what software I should use for DAM and/or back-ups.

    I'm using Affinity Photo for editing, which I'm led to believe has no plans to introduce DAM in the near future. I have a mac, so have used Photos in the past which i've enjoyed, so should I just stick with this?

    When I'm looking to back my photos up, ideally i'd like to keep all my raw files. I have a habit of re-visiting old photos as I get more used to editing. This is something Flickr doesn't do. Is it even worth backing up raw files?
  2. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    You answer your own question there...as you say with improving skills and improving software sometimes it pays to return
  3. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Always. They're your negatives. JPGs are your prints. (and prints are your prints if you print stuff).

    I only worry about backing up RAW files, I never worry about backing up JPGs (unless they're from before I have RAWs)
  4. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member

    Yeah I think you're right. I've answered my own question with regards to keeping RAWs. But then, is it best to use an online storage site, or my own external hard drive?
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I'm the same. The only reason I make a jpg is to put it on Flickr and as I do this from Lightroom these days it isn't kept on disk. I print direct from LR too.

    For backup I keep triplicate copies of raw files and the Lightroom catalogue. I only have a few jpg only photos from 2007 before I switched to using raw.
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    If you go from LR to flickr, then edit the photo in LR, it will update the picture in Flickr for you. The only draw back is that you have to be careful with catalogues. I started making one per year but there is really no need, so I merged them, then found that the published collections (record on Flickr) had vanished, together with a Blurb photobook setup.
  7. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your help. I don't actually use light room, I use affinity photo! I guess maybe i should stick with Apple Photos and buy myself a hard drive for now...
  8. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    For DAM without software, just use directories with a useful structure.

    I use \ Year \ Event Name or Location \ YYYY-MM-DD

    I also include the year in Event Name or Location and usually the month, for reasons I've long forgotten. So I end up with this on disk structure, as an example,


    The screenshot is from Lightroom but it's the actual on-disk structure. That way, I know where stuff is.

    Then, every night, I copy all changes including deletes to another computer on the network.
    I back it up every day using Backblaze (which keeps deleted files for 30 days or something)
    I back it up 'adhoc' to a detachable USB drive
    I back it up 'adhoc' to a different detachable USB drive. Neither of those drives goes anywhere.
    I've recently started copying the images to Microsoft Azure as well (cloud storage)

    So 5 copies. Given it's not something I earn money from, some might suggest it's overkill.

    For me, the risk that I'm not mitigating well, is that I replicate deletes too, so if I remove a bunch of RAW files, then a day or so later the only place they exist is on Backblaze, and after 30 days or so they're gone for good. But, I'm pretty good at not deleting stuff I might need. Also, because I do adhoc backups to the USB drives, if I do delete something, I may have a copy there too.

    For me, I use Lightroom for DAM, but it's overkill if that's all you need.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    For me the main reason for choosing LR is the DAM aspect. Buy one hard drive and run Time Machine, buy a second and keep another copy of your photos. I usually do the second backup once a month.
    EightBitTony likes this.
  10. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member

    Yeah I think that seems like the best way, thanks. Can't believe how many back ups you have Tony!
  11. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    You have a Mac, use Time Machine for routine back up and then manually transfer image files to a separate hard drive on which you can create a filing system or use a proprietary one.
  12. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Me either. The two USB ones are mostly accidental, I only need one, but I've got two drives connected and I back up 'everything' to one of them and 'pictures' to the other. The Backblaze and Azure Cloud options are because I want an off-site copy, and I'm too lazy to move a disk off-site. Backblaze again does everything on my machine, but I've had some trouble with the client and I was looking for an alternative, and I wanted to play with Azure anyway, so one of those two is redundant and I'll probably drop one at some point.

    At a minimum I suggest,

    1. live data
    2. backup somewhere nearby
    3. backup somewhere out of the build.

    If you can automate 2 and 3, all the better, if you have to rely on physically moving stuff out of the building then it'll remain a risk. Only you know how important your photos are to you. Mine are worth backing up and getting out of the house every day, to me.
  13. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    Backup of raw files is important.
    8BT has posted some good stuff about what and how to do things, and it really can save headaches.
    I had lapsed in my backups over the last couple of years - manually copying things around (which I will still do for the next few weeks, til things are sorted to my satisfaction) but I recently lost a 1TB drive.

    The 1TB drive held copies of files, but the loss made me realise I had better sort things out - I had multiple backups on the same computer, with out of date stuff externally.
    I back up my photos to an external hdd, which took an age (560GB) as well as thinning out some of my internal copies.
    I replaced the 1TB HDD with a 1TB SSD - not the fastest (Samsung QVO 860) but a lot better, as I then used it as my primary photo disc. I also got an external SSD (WD 1TB) and have just copied everything over to there as well. The speed difference is amazing. From internal (SATA2) HDD to external HDD (USB2) took hours. Transfer from internal HDD to Internal SSD took about 3 hours IIRC.

    Transfer from internal SSD to External SSD (USB3) took 35 minutes :eek::) Sustained data transfer rates were around 220MB/S
    EightBitTony and Aspadora like this.
  14. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    This is a big factor. If backups are painful, you'll stop doing them.

    On Windows, I use SyncBackFree V8 (which as the name suggests, is free). It'll do replications of complex sets of files from source to destination, including or excluding deletes depending on how you feel and has a built in scheduler.

    I use it to automate the nightly backup from my machine to a share on the network. I then use it to run the two adhoc backups to USB.

    Backblaze has it's own scheduler which can work continuously or daily. I have an issue where running it continuously it eventually breaks, so it runs daily, automatically.

    You do also have to check the success of any automatic backup otherwise the first time you notice it's broken will be when you go to use it!
  15. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    For what it`s worth I use SyncToy for backing up files between drives.It`s simple to use and is not memory hungry.
    EightBitTony likes this.

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