I am back. This post has been pretty hard to get out. Call it writer’s block. Stage fright. Or just good old procrastination. We talked about this in the past. Procrastination. You may remember. Anyway, back to the topic. I am back.

Two months

My last post here on the blog is two months old. And after our ever so epic toy safari in Denmark, a month ago, I kind of fell in a black hole.
A rollercoaster of Big Inc. keeping me more than busy, shooting some non-disclosed sets for The Mothership like the epic Tree House, familiarize myself with a new mirrorless body, squeezing some holidays in between and trying to renovate a kitchen with another Scandinavian brand that at times felt like LEGO for grown-ups.
You know.

The Tree House

And so I had to come up with my first post for the blog after two months.
I could act as if it was just another post.
Feature the awesome LEGO Ideas Tree House in an online review (still coming) after LEGO featured “our” toy photographer take on the Tree House.

LEGO did mention me, but only showed the image of Maëlick.
If you wonder how my summer entry looked (which was selected to go together with Maëlick’s awesome autumn shoot), then here you go.
The tree comes with two sets of leaves and is just gorgeous.

The LEGO Idea Tree House. An awesome build

Or I could have invented some epic story about awe and wonder, lost tree houses and big fat tires.
Writer’s block.
Stage Fright.

Black. Back. Back up.

And so I started to clean up my desk to start writing my first post. Thinking about the title. Back. When I moved the little black hard disk to the side.
Black Hard Disk.
Black. Back. Back up.

For those of you that know me, I have this weird thing with word associations, and from back to black to back up is just normal. A post started to take shape.


Let me rewind and tell you how I back up my images.
I like my images, and I am one of those types that cannot throw away images.
One day Google, Adobe or Netflix may come up with some crazy awesome AI that turns all this half sharp, wrongly timed, just off stills collecting digital dust into an epic video. I cannot throw away such an opportunity. I need to hoard my digital negatives.
And over the years I have collected close to 6TB of raw original images and this number keeps on growing.
My 2018 folder is 1TB, and 2019 is well on its way to going beyond.

The speed of ADSL.

I live on the countryside and today we only have ADSL (for those of you who are born in the day and age of broadband, ADSL goes over a classic telephone line and has a much slower up and download speed). And my ADSL upload speed is around 1.4 Mbps or 0.175 MB/s. This is 137 seconds or just over two minutes to upload one RAW image of 24MB to my online backup repository (and putting the rest of the family hostage with their internet needs). And if I ever have to collect this 6TB of images at an average download speed of 10 Mbps it would take me something like two full months of download.
No Netflix.
No YouTube.
Just me trying to get my images back from the cloud.
No thank you.

My little offline black hard disk.

So back to my little black hard disk that was laying on my desk.
The star(t) of this story.
For years, I’ve followed a simple backup strategy of local, online and offline backup of my images.

My originals are imported and stored on my LaCie speedy RAID 0. No failsafe there, and I should consider investing in a RAID 5 set up, but that ain’t cheap and I have other priorities. The local backup on my Mac goes to a cheap and cheerful Seagate hard disk controlled by Time Machine and acts as my first line of defense. The next automated stage is my online backup. It goes to one of the many great online providers out there. But it runs a continuous backlog as the upload speed is throttled and so there is always a good month or two missings.
And then there is my offline backup.
I have a third hard drive that I keep in the trunk of my car.
And it just keeps a copy of my images.
It is a manual process, which is never good for backups.

So last time I checked in May when cleaning the car, I noted that the latest offline copy was from December 2017 and the hard disk was only 4TB large.
So much for my manual offline strategy.
And here I was.
Cleaning my desk.
I had purchased a new 6TB hard disk at the grocery store in June.
Placed it on my desk, somewhere just before #SiPgoesDenmark.
And I had not started the copy.

Now I still need to finish it.

Backed up it is.

Right now the offline back up is running.
And I am back.
My first little post is done.
With one question for you.

When was the last time you took a backup of your precious images?
Be it snapshots and memories of the holidays, or awesome toy photography to keep for generations to come.
Are you sure they are safely tucked away in the cloud or on a safe place, be it your treehouse or the trunk of your car?

Back Up
For those of you who know me, this image may trigger another back in time memory. Taking Me2 back all the way to 2012 and the #Me2ultimatetimetravelcollection …

Next time it is rainy and you wonder where to start first, take a look at your backup strategy and make sure those precious moments are safe.


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1 year ago

Backup… Such a complex and important subject. For years, I’ve been keeping in my Google Keep that citation from a rather old Unix backup book: “If you’re like most people, you have grown quite dependent on these things we call computers. You forget how much of your work has been saved in the form of little magnetized bits spread out across a bunch of spinning platters. Maybe you work in an environment in which you’ve never lost a disk, so you’ve never had to do a restore. Maybe you’ve never fat-fingered a key and deleted an important file. In that… Read more »

James Garcia
1 year ago

Like you I keep a balance between local/online/offline storage. Every month I leave all the images I take in my Lightroom library on my laptop, and back up those files in iCloud as well.

Then when the month’s up, I put the month’s images on my 6TB external hard drive and remove them from my laptop (because GOD do those RAW images take up a ton of space).

That moment when I delete them from my laptop is always terrifying, even though I now I have them backed up in other places.

1 year ago

I almost broke my computer two months ago (I was on the couch and I dropped it on the floor!). I immediately did a backup.
The last time I’ve done a backup was in…2017! I was relieved I didn’t broke my computer ^^
So…I really need to think about a backup strategy!