Best storage for photos?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ardvarky, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Ardvarky macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    Hello all,

    Apologies if this has already been covered.

    I have a Mac which is gradually running out of space. Majority of the space is being consumed by years’ worth of photos.

    Would anyone be able to suggest the best method of storing these photos outside of my mac (hardware or cloud), but would still like to be able to view via iphoto? (Not sure if that is possible) as I still have the need to view and send certain ones off to be printed.

    Many thanks for your guidance.
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    On my rMBP I have no ot, OS, and apps on the internal SSD. The rest of the SSD is for photo collection in the field. When I get home the edited photos are moved to my Lightroom libraries on my LaCiie 2Big 6TB (running RAID 1 as 3TB mirrored). The LaCie set and SSD are both backed up by a 3TB Time Capsule.
  3. MiniD3 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2013

    I and the same problem when deciding to buy a new iMac
    I ended up with a 27" iMac and a 750GB SSD, noting full well I would have to store images, or at least most images somewhere else

    I did have to make some investment choices
    For the price comparison, (LR/Aperture), I decided to purchase Aperture
    For the current years work, I'm working with 2 x 4TB WD external drives
    You have the choice to have referenced or managed images,
    You have all your images on the external drives and need the drives connected to make adjustments but are still able to see the preview of all the images in the library even if the external drive is not connected

    All images in the library are stored on the macs HDD

    The great thing is you can split them up and have some managed and some referenced, I chose to have current year managed until I have finished with them and then shoot them off to referenced

    The other good thing about Aperture is that you can save your originals to a folder on the external HDD on import

    You can establish backups in the library which they, (Apple), call vaults
    I have 2 vaults,
    For example, when you back-up vaults, and you can do that at any time,
    Both dedicated drives are backed up with the same data

    FWIW, on import, as I mentioned, you can back-up at the same time,
    I set up a folder in the portable HDD and called it Back-up 2013_1
    I then did the same to the other drive and called it Back-up 2013_2
    Once all images are loaded I then just drag those images from BU_1 to BU_2 folder
    One more step but is very quick, pity it won't back up to both drives on import from the card, perhaps it does but I have not worked it out yet

    Aperture is less than $90 at the moment, you could go LR but it is going to cost you a whole lot more
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR

    One thing you didn't explicitly mention: Aperture vaults do NOT backup any referenced originals (only managed originals). The user is on his own for backing up referenced originals.

  5. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Two external drives, one stored at home online and one offline at the office, a relative or friend's house. Swap them each month.

  6. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    Not to be painfully obvious, but have you considered portable external media? Or perhaps a NAS device if the budget allows?
  7. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    Well, what kind of Mac is it? iMac, mac mini, a macbook, an air? Depending on the model and year, you may be able to expand internal storage which could make it a smoother experience than fiddling with external drives, depending on your usage patterns.
  8. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    With the caveat that fixed internal drives are a single point of failure.

  9. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    So is keeping your data on a single external drive. Or keeping it on a third party online system. Either way requires a backup strategy, but that was not the question.
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    This is a touchy subject as those that offer advice base it often on how they do it themselves. There are several solutions but one that was missed here is - if you really need to archive then consider archival disc media.

    There are DVDs and CDs that are meant for archiving data that have expected life of at least 20 years. These are not typical discs but designed for this task.

    Some folks might do work local, have a back up hard drive and then DVD or CD archive discs that go off site and are replaced at various intervals if more is to be added or simply continue on another disc as needed.

    This is a typical run down on the idea of using disc media -

    I am sure there is more information you can find just as easily on the Internet. Assuming you protect the discs, they are less likely to be as "iffy" or problematic as electro-mechanical drives or for that matter SSD which do have failure rates. The disc when burned properly (once only) and checked is pretty much good to go.

    Much of my work exists on my internal drive, a back up drive and NAS. Only the most important files are backed up to disc and stored elsewhere.
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    My photo storage system:

    Primary storage: external RAID-6 Array
    Time machine backup: Raid-5 Array attached to mac mini server
    Secondary backup: external HD backed up monthly, put in fireproof safe in my basement
    Offsite backup: Crashplan

    If you're serious about your photos, just adding an external drive does NOT cut it.

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