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Do you need a reason to back up your photos?
I'm now the owner of my family's slide collection, which were taken between 1966 and the late 1970's. My mother was shooting slide film with a Canon AE for years, and 400+ of the slides were preserved in a strong metal box with notes on the mounts of many. After that, she switched to film negatives, almost all of which have been lost. Some of the prints remain, but the originals are gone forever. It's something to think about as we deal with our own issues of digital asset management.

[Image: 004-firstlunarlanding-SEP69.jpg]

It's not hard to realize the importance of photos for documenting history, and it's also true that the older a photo gets, the more valuable it becomes. Part of the value is because of their scarcity -- not many photos were taken 80 or 100 years ago, and even fewer survived. Digital images should not suffer from this problem, because they can be duplicated with no loss of quality for minimal expense. It's no longer necessary to lock slides or negatives in a metal box because there's no other copy in existence; there's no need to risk losing everything in a single disaster or unlucky accident.

Some care still needs to be taken, because magnetic media fails and optical media ages. I know a business that needed photos of its clients for before-and-after images that would span years; they stored them on Zip disks and recently lost several hundred to a media failure. Make duplicates, use different types of media and select it with care, and distribute it widely.

The media may need to be refreshed and updated every decade or two, but perhaps this inconvenience will be solved in the future. Is there a better record of your life?

[Image: Matthew-18-months-peach-SM.jpg]

That's me at 18 months. (I'm posting it here because people can't blackmail me with photos that I've already made public.) It was taken around Christmas in 1975, and the slide is date-stamped for January 1976. It's thirty-one years old. And yes, I've changed a bit since then, and have learned how to eat a peach.

[Image: 001-APR69-SM.jpg]

This photo was a quick vacation snap taken in April of 1969. It's thirty-eight years old. Besides the revelation that I inherited my father's sense of humour, it's remarkable because I can see my then-two-year-old brother's face, and recognize my mother sitting in the front seat of the car. My brother now lives in Ireland, and my mother died last summer. Tonight I made an 11x14" print of it, which is so similar to ones I have taken myself. It's my most valuable print.

My task now is to scan the irreplaceable slides so that my two brothers and father can also have copies. Then the originals can be safely locked away somewhere, and I'll sleep better knowing that high-quality copies are safely distributed to four different cities in three countries and two continents. It's a minor effort compared to the protection they've needed to get to me safely, and just a small fraction of the images that must have been lost along the way.

Do you need a reason to back up your photos? • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
Good point.

I was just checking my CDs over the weekend, and one with my first digital attempts was corrupted and didn't work.
(A friend had burned it for me over two years ago, using re-writable CDs which I abhor)

But because I believe in redundancy, everything on the failed CD was already on my external drive.
A new CD has already been made using my preferred media.

Until I get copies made to store at my brother's house, I'm still at the mercy of a fire or other disaster taking out my home--so more needs to be done before I'm fully covered.

Peachy advice, Matthew.
Copy you digital pictures lots, keep them on numbers of CD/DVD, upload them to various online picture sharing sites.
Alastair says "Visit My Blog?"
Here's a recent article on the cost of storage and a company that provides data backup:

Keith, "peachy"? Funny, but after only a few hours sleep, that might haunt me all day. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •
Good advice matthew, and thanks for sharing.

I'm reminded of the numerous 6x4s sitting in albums (or in some cases, piled in boxes) holding memories of my childhood, that are beginning to, or will eventually fade away. I should take some time to scan them in to preserve them digitally before it's too late...

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Do you need a reason to back up your photos?00