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Gear & Apps

Local vs Remote Storage Solutions Discussed By Celebrity Photographer Michael Grecco

By Kishore Sawh on September 27th 2014

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It’s got to be one of the banes of my existence, dealing with back-ups and storage of my digital life. Photographs, make up the bulk of the work, and also the bulk of the stress. I also know I’m not alone. I’m not really sure why, since everyone talks about it, but there is just such a small percentage of photographers I know who have proper, efficient systems in place with adequate redundancy and contingency plans in regards to storage and filing of their digital images.

Maybe because it can get expensive, maybe because it’s not sexy, and maybe because we just can’t be bothered. Whatever the case is, its importance cannot be overstressed, and even though most people won’t see the fruits of this labor, it’s necessary. Like having nice underwear, this stuff matters.

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Professional and celebrity photographer Michael Grecco has released a sort of intro video on how to think about the different storage solutions available, listing their strengths and weaknesses, and giving some words of advice on how to approach your own storage solution.

While many of you savvy ladies and gents reading this, will, no doubt, have some varying degree of understanding of the solutions discussed, it’s always interesting to see how working pros do it. It also seems that this is the first video in a series Michael will be putting out on the YouTube channel How To Archive. The next video will be about file naming, probably the part of filing I hate the most.

Further Thoughts

It’s somewhat clear that though it’s not the focus of the video, there is enough mention of a particular product to see it’s somewhat of a plug. That said, it’s not a bad one. ProStorage is a product that aids in the storage ofyour storage. It’s essentially a an inexpensive closed cell, anti-static foam that protects your drive from static electricity and shock. It can secure 18 – 24 3.5” IDE/ATA/SATA hard drives as part of a cold storage system, and I like the idea.

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You can find out more one their website, and can purchase them here. You can also look at and marvel Michael’s work on his site.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ralph Hightower

    Local Storage: No mention of the other levels of RAID. He did mention disk mirroring, which is a RAID level, but I think he used a manual process instead of an automagic process.

    Cloud Storage: Other cons to consider: 1) Bankruptcy; 2) Company bought and Terms of Service changed.

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  2. Peter Nord

    For professional work a fire proof safe is probably fine. For hobby work, the delete button is your friend.

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  3. Eric Sharpe

    I don’t find local storage particularly useful. It’s cloud all the way for me.

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  4. Jeff Morrison

    Thanks for sharing

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  5. Kim Farrelly

    Local backup for all my files, copied (slowly) off site through a network connection to another drive. I also use Flickr to upload the finished JPEGs to, set to private. The bigger problem, for me, was trying to find old files. I found using keywords a lifesaver there, usually month, client name & job type.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Kim, I’m looking forward to his next video in the series in which he deals with file naming, and I suspect, as it would make sense, discusses not just naming of files, but also the system of filing.

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  6. Chuck Eggen

    Another vote here for local storage. Then again, I don’t have a bunch of client files to backup. My question on this subject is, what happens as storage solutions change as technology moves forward. I’m old so I have stacks of floppy discs in boxes that I now can’t access.

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    • Stan Rogers

      The starting point is this, Chuck: bits are never forever. It doesn’t matter how you store them, they will eventually become less bit-like. Recordable opticals all cloud eventually (some used to de-laminate quickly), magnetic domains on spinning rust become less-aligned over time. Every couple-three-four years, you should be re-writing all of your data anyway. Yes, that is extreme drudgery, but it also encourages you to move to more modern and higher-capacity drives just as a matter of course, if only to save yourself from a bad case of disk-swapper’s elbow. Those five hundred floppies represent what, one-fifth of one percent of the available space on the cheapest hard drive you can get these days? And they take about ten seconds total to copy from HD to HD via slow USB now (as opposed to the three solid working days it would have taken to get them onto that first HD).

      As with everything in life, it’s easier to keep up than catch up. (You can get floppy drives that will work just fine via USB, BTW. They’re just as slow as you remember them being, and they’re specialty items that may not be on the shelf at the bix-box store. Well, there are drives for 3-1/2″ anyway; if you need 5-1/4″ or 8″ you may need to get a whole computer and read through the serial port.)

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  7. Daniel Thullen

    The least enjoyable part of photography, and one of the most important. I too, store locally.

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  8. Brandon Dewey

    I agree I store everything locally.

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  9. Stephen Velasquez

    I know it is important but I just can’t be bothered. I back up to remote storage which is slow and local which I love.

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