How do you store your RAW?

Do you store your RAW?

  • I keep the RAW files until I've processed my images as JPG then delete the RAW

    Votes: 1 2.8%
  • I only back up the best images RAW+JPG and delete everything else

    Votes: 5 13.9%
  • I keep my best images as RAW files along with all JPGs

    Votes: 3 8.3%
  • I keep all my RAW files and JPG and back them all up religiously

    Votes: 14 38.9%
  • I use software that means I keep everything in RAW then output JPG if I have to

    Votes: 13 36.1%

  • Total voters
    36

AMc

Distinguished Member
I recently decided to save JPEG+RAW.

I haven't yet seen a massive change in what I can achieve with the RAW output from my Olympus cameras vs what I could do before using JPG; I'm putting that down to lack of familiarity with Olympus Viewer 3 compared to GIMP which I know well.

I've avoided using RAW until now because of the extra data storage involved. Basically filling cards quicker and ending up with gigs of files on my hard drives that I'll probably never touch again.
Cards are cheap so I'm OK with that.

I've until now been using manual copies of everything on multiple machines to backup. My main machine, my laptop and the PC for the TV in the living room (which also displays all the images as a screensaver) + the occasional back up on an external drive.
This was fine with JPG but the data volume of RAW and the fact that they can't be seen on the TV means it doesn't make sense any more.
So in addition to more memory cards I need to add a different backup/archive strategy.

As I don't currently have a RAW workflow I'm curious as to what everyone else does with unprocessed RAW files - keep them forever, keep some of them or delete them after editing.

I'll probably end up keeping everything and buying terrabytes of data storage as I have a minor hording tendancy but perhaps you can suggest a better way?

Thoughts and opinions are welcome - I know about NAS solutions and RAID etc but I'm sure your thoughts would help others. The only thing that is really off limits to me is cloud storage, I get 300kbps upload so I will be here until the end of time backing up my JPG catalogue, let alone adding in RAW at several times the size :)
 
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twist

Distinguished Member
I use LR which is non destructive RAW so I dont have dupes as such unless Ive created a virtual copy of an image to edit in PS. Storage is cheap but I delete what I dont consider worth keeping.

e.g. I usually shoot multiple frames of the same scene, then keep the best out of a set in terms of composition, subject, sharpness etc etc.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
I accidentally made the error of shooting RAW plus JPEG the other week (normally have slot 1 as RAW and slot 2 as JPEG just in case, but didn't have a card in slot 1 so slot 2 recorded RAW and JPEG) and once again came to the conclusion that I prefer the colour of the jpeg :facepalm: I discovered this a while ago but changed to just shooting RAW so that I'd not got anything to compare them to. Damn lightroom not being able to process RAW with the same colour as jpeg :mad: :laugh:

Anyway I digress, I tend to keep all of my RAWs on 2x external drives and just keep the good ones on my main hard drive, which gets backed up regularly. Once I've processed the RAW and sure I'm not going to go back to them (at least for quite some time) I delete these off my hard drive to save space knowing that I have 2 copies on external drives. All my exported jpegs are on both my Macbook and iMac, each of which have their own back up drives ;)
 
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Kei86

Well-known Member
I keep all of my raws and only output good ones to jpg for printing/uploading etc. I organise my own photo's under year>month>event folder structure rather than relying on library cataloguing software. This is stored on my main PC then duplicated onto my storage server and periodically updated on two external disks.
 

aVdub

Banned
Everything, including Raw gets uploaded to my server and then once in a while I'll go through the folders and delete what I don't want to keep.

As @Kei86 I name + date all folders
 

Dancook

Distinguished Member
150,000 RAWS sitting in my Lightroom catalogue, just across a couple of internal hard drives.

The only 'backup' I have are those that I export to JPG and upload to Flickr or Facebook.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
I've kept everything (RAW and JPEG). It's taking up a lot of space, but space is cheap in relative terms these days.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Pretty much confirming what I suspected with the results so far.

I have everything stored in "Camera name>year>year_month_day+description" folders at the moment.
This is pretty simple to manage manually but breaks down slightly if I need to strip out the .ORF RAW files which Olympus stores in the same folders to copy to the living room PC. Not a big deal but a minor pain.
I know storage is cheap but I need to work out the best arrangement and where to add the extra disks I need.

I'm a bit surprised @Dancook doesn't at least make the odd copy to an external drive. I had a 10 month old laptop drive die two weeks ago and in trying to recover it (and failing) I zapped my desktop motherboard. Digital data is so fragile which is probably why I'm thinking hard on this!

I've been hiding from Picasa or Lightroom etc. as I'm more comfortable managing my own storage than letting software do it for me. I know I'm missing out on tagging and searching but having watched my Dad fight with the catalogues in Adobe PS Elements (IIRC) which went totally haywire on him I'm scared ;)
 

Dancook

Distinguished Member
I'm a bit surprised @Dancook doesn't at least make the odd copy to an external drive. I had a 10 month old laptop drive die two weeks ago and in trying to recover it (and failing) I zapped my desktop motherboard. Digital data is so fragile which is probably why I'm thinking hard on this!

The only reason I can think of to back it up, is if I ever entered a competition and the judges want the RAW file :D but i hardly ever enter competitions and it's unlikely i'll ever win.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
The only reason I can think of to back it up, is if I ever entered a competition and the judges want the RAW file :D but i hardly ever enter competitions and it's unlikely i'll ever win.
Really? It wouldn't break your heart if you lost one of those drives and all those memories?
I have pictures which I thought were terrible at the time but now with a few years gone by the fact that the image isn't great is secondary to the memory it conjures up.
Perhaps it's a parent thing...looking back fondly on the days before you had kids ;) :devil:
 

Dancook

Distinguished Member
I've probably got at least 20,000 RAWS from Weddings I've shot and 10,000 from some events - there's not really any point me keeping these RAWS - if i run out of room they will be the first to go .. along with anything over a certain age.

I probably won't ever have children.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Use LR so just keep RAWs and export the finals to JPEG. I delete any completely rubbish ones though.
Keep all pics on the my local drive and then backed up to my NAS and then all final JPEGs are uploaded to Flickr as well.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
I've probably got at least 20,000 RAWS from Weddings I've shot and 10,000 from some events - there's not really any point me keeping these RAWS - if i run out of room they will be the first to go .. along with anything over a certain age.

I probably won't ever have children.
IS it not worth backing up just those RAWs that you have processed and deemed good enough to export in case you want to revisit them at a later date? And the exported jpegs do you mean you have a backup plus whatever's uploaded to FB etc, or just that you upload a few to FB and those are the only backup?

I see recently you've had a big clear out on Flickr too, don't you like keeping old photos? Like you I won't be having kids but I still have a lot of nice memories in my photos.
 

Dancook

Distinguished Member
IS it not worth backing up just those RAWs that you have processed and deemed good enough to export in case you want to revisit them at a later date? And the exported jpegs do you mean you have a backup plus whatever's uploaded to FB etc, or just that you upload a few to FB and those are the only backup?

I see recently you've had a big clear out on Flickr too, don't you like keeping old photos? Like you I won't be having kids but I still have a lot of nice memories in my photos.

I started off by making all of my flickr photos private, then remade public just ones that have stood the test of time for me - or are maybe the best sample of a larger album.

Flickr is my only true backup, I upload full size high quality jpgs to it. There's stuff on facebook and not flickr, because i don't want to crowd it with crap no one but friends and family will care about. Facebook compresses though, so wouldn't count on it for a decent image.

Going forward I'm going to take so many photos I don't have time to look back, I'll just end up cringing anyway :D
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
I started off by making all of my flickr photos private, then remade public just ones that have stood the test of time for me - or are maybe the best sample of a larger album.

Flickr is my only true backup, I upload full size high quality jpgs to it. There's stuff on facebook and not flickr, because i don't want to crowd it with crap no one but friends and family will care about. Facebook compresses though, so wouldn't count on it for a decent image.

Going forward I'm going to take so many photos I don't have time to look back, I'll just end up cringing anyway :D
Ahh, so your flickr albums are still there just hidden?
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Though even 20,000 RAW files won't take up that much space so at least easy to backup to an external drive or something? Only about 1TB or so?
 

Dancook

Distinguished Member
Though even 20,000 RAW files won't take up that much space so at least easy to backup to an external drive or something? Only about 1TB or so?

the 20,000 I quoted are for other people's weddings - I don't need their memories in RAW.

A sample of them are hidden on flickr, and a smaller sample are public on flickr - that'll do.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
the 20,000 I quoted are for other people's weddings - I don't need their memories in RAW.

A sample of them are hidden on flickr, and a smaller sample are public on flickr - that'll do.
I've only done a couple of things for others so kept those, but I guess if you do it a lot/all the time you might be more inclined to get rid I suppose.

I must admit I am getting more callous with my pics, I have deleted forever the RAWs I've not processed on a couple of 'shoots'. Came out in a cold sweat though :laugh:
 

nuttyboy78

Active Member
Once I've processed the RAW's to JPG's, I keep the JPG's on the hard drive and double back up. If I'm not going to refer to those RAW's for a while but still want to hang on to them, I write them to DVD's and file away. For large volumes, you could always write to BR's.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
Once I've processed the RAW's to JPG's, I keep the JPG's on the hard drive and double back up. If I'm not going to refer to those RAW's for a while but still want to hang on to them, I write them to DVD's and file away. For large volumes, you could always write to BR's.

Be aware that DVDs do disintegrate over time so not the best form of long term archive storage.
 

Lancia34

Distinguished Member
DVD's are generally thought to last 30 years or so. If I haven't needed the RAW files over that time, I'm unlikely to ever need them!

Yeh not sure I'd trust that though plus it means you'd need to always have a DVD player to retrieve the data ;)
I always keep 2 backups as the chances of both failing is remote whereas you could easily just spin up a DVD or a hard drive and it can go kaput.
 

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