Most of you are aware by now that the majority of the photos on these pages are by my husband Nick who has a wonderful eye for creating gorgeous images. And in this monthly series, Nick is back guest posting today, offering photography tips and tricks he’s picked up over the years through our travels. From some of his favorite lenses to travel with to how he gets the shots he does and so much more, welcome to the next installment of Travel (Photography) Tips!
I recently heard a story about a fellow traveler spending an awesome photo-filled week in South America. He got home with a bunch of great images, a week later they were gone forever. What had happened was his computer crashed, with his hard drive corrupt he had no way to recover his precious memories. This is a really tragic story and it hits really close to home for me. When I travel I spend quite a bit of time planning for photo locations before we leave, shooting during the trip, and finally keywording and importing the images onto my computer after the adventures are over. If I lost all of my images I would be devastated, all that time wasted and the photos gone. Even if you don’t spend as much time on your photos as I do, those lost images are lost memories.
In a hopeful attempt to prevent you from losing your precious memories I wanted to write a little bit about my strategy for keeping my images and other content backed up. I use a very well-known strategy called the 321 system. How it works is this… Your data needs to be backed up in 3 places, 2 different types of media, and one 1 storage location offsite.
You want three different locations because if any location fails you have access to the other two.
My three locations are:
1. My main photo drive on my computer
2. A secondary backup drive that is connected to my computer in my home
3. An online cloud storage service called BackBlaze
Shooting in Amsterdam.
The reason why you want two different types of media is because if one media type becomes obsolete you still have access to the data on the other kind of media. Do you remember zip disks? I used to have a bunch of photos on zip disks, now I couldn’t tell you how to access those files because no one makes the readers anymore. There are a bunch of types of media available: CDs, DVDs, hard drives, USB drives, cloud storage and even some people still use old fashion tape storage. The two kinds of media I have chosen to use are local hard drives and cloud storage.
The last piece of the 321 system is offsite. This is designed to protect you from a local event. A local event like your home or office being burglarized or what if there was a fire and your house collapsed, destroying your computer and hard drives. It would not do you any good being backed up if your back was also lost, everything would be gone.
If you have storage off site either in the cloud, at the bank in a lock box, even at your parents’ house, you’re protected from physical local data loss. One of the reasons I like using Cloud storage for my offsite backup is that it’s done automatically and without me having to work at it. I have a app installed on my computer that monitors all the work done and then uploads the changes automatically to a server in the Cloud. It does this for my photos, documents, music and other content. If you have a lot, it can take a while to get it all up in the Cloud, depending on your internet connection, but once you’re there, it’s great. There’s a number of different cloud storage providers available, I chose to use a service called Backblaze ($5 per month). I’ve heard great things about other providers like Carbonite and Crash Plan as well.
The point is to be backed up and ready for any situation that could compromise your memories and data. You don’t want to lose that photo from your honeymoon, the images of your child’s first steps, that awesome trip around the world. These are all memories that need to be protected. The digital world makes it really easy to create content but it also means it’s really easy to destroy it. I myself have lost numerous photos by accident, it’s too bad and that is why I try to be really careful about managing my data now. I hope that this article can help save at least one memory for someone and that would make all the difference.
Happy traveling and good luck behind the lens!