The Importance of Backing Up

This image from Nova Scotia in 2002 is one of a handful of images that made it onto another hard drive before the one holding the original files crashed.

We’ve all taken trips that were special to us, maybe even “once in a lifetime”.  These trips cost time, money, and take a lot of planning.  For those of us addicted to capturing these trips with our cameras- either photo or video- in the digital age, it is more important than ever to safeguard these memories.

In 2002, early in my “digital” career, I took a trip with my wife to the Canadian Maritimes.  We flew into Halifax and proceeded to drive from Nova Scotia, to Prince Edward Island, to New Brunswick, and back to Halifax. Along the way I captured some beautiful scenery with my EOS 1D.

Sadly, of the few hundred photos I took on the trip, less than a dozen survive. Shortly after I returned- maybe a month or so later- the hard drive I had stored the images on failed. A few I had worked on managed to find their way onto other drives, or burned to a CD, but I wasn’t obsessive about burning those images to disk the way I should have been.

So today, as I return home from my second, and for all I know, my last trip to Alaska, I have yet to even view my images.  Why?  I am burning every last one of the over 1600 RAW files to DVD so I have a backup in case, Heaven forbid, my hard drive crashes again.

So the moral of the story is PLEASE back up your important images. It’s easier than ever to lose them in the digital age.  Redundancy is key. DVDs, portable hard drives, online storage- whatever your backup of choice, please be sure you make that backup happen before you do anything else.

FYI- last time I checked, failed hard drive recovery can cost upwards of $2000. It’s just so much cheaper to back things up as soon as you can.


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