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Long Term - What files should I keep?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by stayathomedad, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. stayathomedad


    Mar 11, 2008
    Thinking of the long term... which version or versions of each file should I save/back-up after downloading them from the camera.

    Example -

    Version 1 - Raw files downloaded from Camera

    Version 2 - Edited Raw files after being processed in ACR

    Version 3 - Edited PSD file after being processed in PS

    Version 4 -Jpg file from PSD file used to web and wife's costco printing (inported into iPhoto)

    Do I need to save 1-3?

    That's a lot of disk space and backup disk space...
  2. Dr A

    Dr A

    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    This all depends on how much work you're willing to do if you lose #4.

    For example - #4 can be obtained from #1 with some (or a lot) of work, but it is significantly smaller than #3. #2 is about the same as #1, but has a sidecar file that you need to keep up with.

    I keep #1 and #4. I figure, worst case scenerio, I have to go back and spend time doing work on #1 to get to #4. If you have the space, or don't want to risk having to repeat work already done, keep them all.

    But for sure keep 1 and 4.
  3. Dr A

    Dr A

    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    Oh, and another thing - make SURE you keep a copy of #1 off-site, away from your home or wherever you keep your standard back ups. This is in case your house burns down, you get robbed, or some other disaster you still have a safe backup of your files.
  4. DanWhite


    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
    Personally I keep all four. As soon as I'm done shooting, I copy raw files to the external HD, the hard drive and a CD. When I'm done editing, I copy the version 1-4 to a CD (x2 second sent offsite)

  5. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Yes, it is. Get used to it. As we go forward and cameras introduce ever larger megapixels as a marketing feature, it's going to end up taking even more space.

    Rather than worry about how much space you take for editing a given photo, consider how many of your photos are truly keepers and delete the rest. That will save you much more space than worrying about intermediate steps per photo.
  6. That's exactly my take. Rather than keep images that are kinda-sorta-possibly-maybe good enough to print someday, they go in the bin. I don't care how much disk space the decent stuff takes. This practice may bite me on the fanny some day, but so far, so good.
  7. I just keep two files and in some cases just #1:

    1. Raw from camera
    2. Jpeg - edited with NX and CS2

    For #2 - This is also assumming that I PP the image. I transfer over the Raws but I will only edit some of my favorites leaving others in the folder for the future. I keep it short and simple because my PP skills are constantly improving so I sometimes go back to a RAW image that once gave me trouble and the difference is big. I love that I can always start fresh with my RAW files and compare old edits to new edits.

    One thing I will say, since my workflow is quite simple, I can obtain #4 from #1 within a matter of minutes. Very few of my images have required extensive PP but there is the occasional pic that I want to save.
  8. i back up everything so spend less time thinking about storage and more time on photography. even OOF or blank Raw files wind up in the archive, just dump it in. I am right now at my computer moving my archive from an old pair of 250GB drives onto a new pair of 750GB drives. considering that I gathered 100GB of raw files on a recent trip, few PSD files and jpg files here and there aren't going to matter much.
  9. argross


    May 22, 2008
    Sunnyvale, CA
    In order of priority: I would save #1, #3, and #4. #1 is critical, as it is the basis of everything else - both for current processing and for the future, when there may be entirely new software that you would like to apply to that original photo. #3 captures all of your current PP, as does #4, but #4 takes up very little room, and is the quickest way to distribute to others.
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