What do you actually do with all your digital photos?

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:10
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Elsewhere on this page there is a discussion about photography.

Most modern day travellers have taken advantage of Digital Photography and thousands of pics are taken on individual trips.

But what happens to them? Do they languish on a Hard Drive somewhere only to be seen once by kids, grandkids and friends who may be interested?

We take plenty of photos using two cameras
I create folders of trips stored on my computer's Hard Drive
Then I create subfolders of short journeys within the trips
Then I delete what I do not want
Then I name each photo.
Photos are used as Screensavers on our computers
Photos are used for display on our website
Phtotos are used for display in our house (I still want to get a digital frame)
Photos are used for genealogy research
Photos are used for display on ExplorOz
Photos are changed as often as in my ExplorOz Rig Pic

But the rest languish in a dark corner of the Hard Drive. Three years ago I converted 5000 slides to digital format. It took six months of scanning whenever I had a chance to do so. Now I have around 10,000 plus photos and climbing!

When I drop off this mortal coil a family member might come along and say "Whats all this crap?" and DELETE the lot. Oh well, such is life

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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:31

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:31
G'day Willem, on the advice of the gent conducting the recent digi photo course I attended, I now keep all SD cards as my permanent backup. Use lower capacity cards & file away for each
trip or date period. Transfer to disc is fine, but life is limited, put
on hard disc is fine, but they may die with your computer. As he
kept saying..."Memory is Cheap".....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 357210

Reply By: Member - Kingsley N (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:33

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:33

The Victorian bushfires forced me to think about this problem because we live in the Adelaide Hills with a similar fire risk.

I still have over 2000 slides yet to be digitised. They are in cassettes ready for showing (our adult kids still enjoy looking at them). But I think I will put them into those plastic sleeves for more compact storage.

Some prints are still in bulky albums so I am culling them and using "shoebox" size boxes and card index dividers. I have thrown all the negatives away.

The digital stuff is carefully catalogued and arranged using Adobe Photoshop Elements on my PC harddrive, with automatic backup onto an external hard drive. I too have genealogy stuff with historic photos stored in "Family Tree maker". I also keep a condensed version of our exploits on "Photobucket".

So in the event of evacuation I now have two 52 litre plastic boxes marked to be grabbed quickly, along with the small external harddrive, throw them into the car and skedaddle.

It is a problem and I sometimes wonder why I take so many pictures. But then when the kids come around and we go through a shoebox of prints and also put up the old slides on the screen, it really is great! I think we have enough preserved for future generations in our family. They can make their own decisions about what to keep.

AnswerID: 357211

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:55

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 09:55
Bro, I looked through some home photographs a few weeks ago at the home of some friends. They had their photographs selected and had made a very exclusive book of the photos. A really fine edition at that. They had been doing trips around Australia and are setting up to do another book.

I must say it was a striking example of what you can do with skill, quality cameras and the resultant prints. Peter and Judy, if you ever read this, it was a wonderful viewing. Thank you.
AnswerID: 357214

Reply By: mfewster - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:13

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:13
I use three back ups. There is a second drive in the computer that uses Acronis to automatically keep the entire contents of my main drive backed up; programs. settings and files. I never have to think about this, it just does it in the background. Probably once a fortnight I check it to find a new file that I know I have only just made and make sire that it is on the back up so I know that the auto backup is working properly. Acronis hasn't ever failed me. I hjave it set to do incremental backups and to consolidate all back up files so that the auto daily backing up is pretty quick and doesn't take up too much space. The Acronis does a mirror image of the main rive so I can restore everything at the touch of a button should the main drive fail or be corrupted.
I also have two USB plug in hard drives that only store documant files (including photos.) Once a week I do an incremental back up to one of these. The other is always left at a friends house and I rotate them so that in the event of the house being destroyed or thoroughly burgled, or hard drive failure, there should always be one of the backup drives surviving. About every three years I replace all my hard drives. Besides, I find that I need to keep increasing hard drive siz anyway, so this is no problem.
In my document only back ups there is a file where I keep a copy of all downloaded, compressed programs and passwords that I use so that should I need to do a rebuild, I always have all the data I need to do it.
On these two alternating discs I also keep a copy of my email address books and email acrhive messages plus web browser favourites list. I don't bother backing these weekly. just every month or so.
AnswerID: 357220

Follow Up By: Psi - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:34

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:34
You must live a stressed life
FollowupID: 625332

Follow Up By: mfewster - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 15:54

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 15:54
Psi, now how do you figure that? It is very fast, takes almost no time and saves any worries about the files. The photos are used as part of our business and storing them and business records securely is important for us. So just the opposite, it saves stress.
FollowupID: 625359

Reply By: TassieD - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:19

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:19
We store ours on the hard drive and on DVD. I also upload them all to my free Snapfish account and choose what I want to get printed. The family can also access the prints online and order their own. So if it all goes up or the hd crashes, they are all online, secure.
AnswerID: 357223

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:35

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:35
Your PC must be a bit like mine, and yes I too often think that when I fick the Bucket someone will dispose of them, I have sorted mine out, each one named, with many folders for each subject,I also have folders of photo's I have downloaded , things that interest me like 49000 photo's of cars, 5587 Aircraft Nose Art, 1500 B-24s, 600 plus buildings and Cities around the world, Airforce Roundels and USAAF Emblems, but with my personal Photo's I have uploaded many to Facebook and a few to Flickr , My Kids have copies of the family photo's on a CD , I have some on my website too and have made a couple of slide shows on YouTube, like the one below. All my newer photo's are now taken with a Nikon D60.

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AnswerID: 357227

Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 14:20

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 14:20
Damn it Doug, I had tears coming out of my eyes after watcking that.


FollowupID: 625341

Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:44

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:44
Have an external hard drive full, DVD's, and my Computer all with files, sub files etc. Often use RAW format when taking the photos so have Original folders as well then the JPEG foldders.

Recently started to use Picasa Web Albums& Putfile. Prefer the Picasa
Make sure you give back more than you take

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Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:59

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 10:59

We still get some printed and put them into albums, though after serious 'culling' and 'tweaking' the ones that require just that little more. Prints are quite cheap these days and I still reckon friends who want to see pics of your recent trip (we don't bore the uninterested) prefer to see them in physical form, rather than on a computer screen. Also a bet easier to carry around than a computer.

In relation to storage, I backup to DVD and store off site and have copies on a 1TB external HD, so as to not fill up the laptop HD.

Everyone will be different in their approach.

I also still take pics with my 40 yo Rolleiflex SL66 6x6 film camera for fine art purposes...not happy snaps. Have a darkroom and gear and still love the 'old' art form. There is nothing like a beautifully printed black and white photo on silver fibre based paper....

Image Could Not Be Found

I guess you can see I'm interested in photography..... :-)


AnswerID: 357233

Follow Up By: Lotzi - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:27

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:27
G'day Mark

Ahh .. B & W .... a pure art form ....

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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:09

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:09

A photo is worth a thousand words.

When asked about a trip or place that I have been, out comes the lap top.
I have inspired others to join me on trips to other parts of Australia because of the photos.

Someone once said to me, that if they are going to show photos of a trip to family and friends, they will only show 10 of the best.

10 for each trip is very hard for me so I have tried for the best 50.

Lately I have been stitching photos together.

Image Could Not Be Found

This photo was a combination of 4 photos taken with the camera on a tripod. Using a Cannon program I was able to stitch them together to make one photo.

I am also looking at putting a photo book together. Mums 80th birthday is coming up soon so she will get the first copy.

AnswerID: 357235

Reply By: slammin - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:34

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:34
That's an interesting question Willem.

I think the main thing to realise is that it's not backed up if it is physically in the same area, room or house as the master copy.
A backup should be stored at someone else's house or your workplace etc anywhere away from the original.

Most people think a backup is to secure the information in case the computer is corrupted but there is also probably just as likely chance of the computer and external HDD being stolen or damaged by fire or storms. Having the two drives sitting next to each other is not a backup.

As for us, I have 2 external drives one in a secure remote location and one next to the computer that is backed up weekly. Then when I go to town I do the old switcheroo and do a new full backup on the drive that's in town.

As for the picks, being out remote our computer is our neswpaper, store, bank, shop and postoffice etc etc. So it's on pretty much all day and the screensaver is our picture files so we get to see all our relatives and friends and places we have been to even though we only "get out" every few months.


AnswerID: 357237

Reply By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:51

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 11:51
Hi Willem,

From my trip with Liam to the National Gathering last year we came back with around 300 photos between us. I printed the lot and put them into two albums. These, along with souvenirs, were the subject of several weeks of "show-and-tells" at school. I don't think this would have worked if he was bringing in a USB stick. Family and friends have also looked. Sitting around an album seems to be much more intimate than looking at a screen.

From a technical perspective, I transfer to a hard drive, copy onto CD/DVD and back up onto an external drive. The CD/DVDs are stored separately in a fireproof cabinet.


AnswerID: 357241

Follow Up By: Member - barbara M (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:02

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:02
I am a school teacher who is lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard in the classroom and we use it to display photos the students bring in for display if it is relevant to our work they bring in their usb stick, stick it in the computer and Bob is your uncle. Did that this weekend for the photos taken on our camping excursion
FollowupID: 625373

Reply By: troopyman - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:00

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:00
Its no good saying i wish i had taken more photos or video later on in life when people die and curcumstances change . Take as many as you can now and cherish them and look back over them in later life .
AnswerID: 357247

Follow Up By: Psi - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:31

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:31
That's not what this post is about. Methinks its what do you do with your pics and it is asking for a discussion.
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Follow Up By: troopyman - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 18:17

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 18:17
Well then lets see Willem scrapbook them.
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Reply By: Lotzi - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:42

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:42
G'day Willem and all

About 20 something years ago I lost most of my photos to water damage, I was able to save some.
I now am in the midst of scanning surviving and recent photos into the computer, with mixed results as to the quality of the scanning.
Just like to thank everyone for the various answers as to methods employed as this has been a question that has puzzled me for a while.
As to what do you do with the photos when you kick the bucket and start the new journey? Simple, put them on a memory stick, have it/them hung around the neck and take them with you for the next camp fire ... tic )))

Good thread, cheers
AnswerID: 357254

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 14:14

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 14:14
Hi Willem

As you know, photos do take a lot of time. My family run in terror when i mention looking at trip photos so no doubt no-one will keep them for history and posterity. I do use a selection of them in my trip notes, but even that takes me a long time to do.

When the bushfire threatened us - the one thing i was ready to take if the house caught fire was my terabyte hard drive.

Meanwhile, i have my photos running on the screen saver as a random selection. Beaut memories and we sometimes have to try and remember where a photo was taken. I see some shots i don't even recall taking. Very easy to stop working and let the screen saver take over.

I have on order a cheap slide and negative scanner, so i hope to eventually recover and get onto my HD photos of the children and of earlier trips.

I love travel photos.



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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 14:23

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 14:23
G'day Willem,

I'm also a photo horder and need to keep several copies all over the place to make sure that I don't lose these treasures. I have a keep safe on DVD but then again that is not a permanent media either.

The kids will no doubt dump the lot when I go to that final camping ground but in the meantime I'll enjoy looking at them every now and then.

There are off course those real treasures that I have printed on 14 x 12 inch print, there is the odd one framed but a pile I have at work and are rotated for me to look at and remind me why I'm still working.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 357259

Reply By: Dunco (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 15:48

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 15:48
For those that want to try something with photography, go to


There are some great things to enhance your photos...check out some of the results there...and other links for HDR photography.

AnswerID: 357270

Reply By: stevesub - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 16:05

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 16:05
I have something like 60,000 travel photos from all over the world as well as probably another 20,000 other photos of family, etc. Ain't digital cameras great.

I file my photos into several categories ie Travel, Family, Friends, etc as folders. Then there are sub categories eg OZ, NZ, USA, Europe, etc.

I store them this way because it is compatible with both Mac's and Windows PC of which I own and use both.

They are stored on an external USB drive (120GB) with several backups.

1. Second External drive (340GB)
2. My Big Mac PC's hard drive (500GB)
3. Every 3 or 4 months, I visit my parents in NZ and swap hard drives. I store a drive with all my backups with them so I never loose more than 3 or 4 months worth if all goes.
4. My work PC also has a copy that is not always up to date.

Long term backup is still a problem so I buy a new hard drive for backups every year or so as a smaller one fills up. I will be replacing the 120GB drive soon as it is nearly full. The 340GB drive is not used much so should have a half decent life with any luck.

What do I do with the photos.

1. The Big Mac PC is a 22" screen and is in our family room. The travel photos are the screen saver and it is amazing how long people will watch the phot0s.
2. Digital photo frame - if people stay, we put photos relevant to them on the frame, they love it
3. Give away to family and friends if they want them, usually weddings, parties, etc
4. I have a lot of family history photos. Some will be in my book that is ready for proof reading, the rest, well I am still deciding what to do with them but some can never be published due to copy write problems with the owners of the originals and are for my own use only.

I wish I had the time to get my old photos digitised but having photography for a hobby for half a lifetime, there are too many - one day maybe.

AnswerID: 357272

Reply By: Curlynan - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 16:16

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 16:16
First we download all pics onto the computer, sort out the good from the bad (Always looking for photos within photos). Then we copy straight onto a disk so we always have the original available. Then we put into folders on that trip/event/ country etc or even add to our favourite files. Pics are then chosen to print, place on our webpages, blogs etc. Used for screensavers, making up calenders etc photos on the wall. We also store all photos onto a memory stick (16GB ones). They hold quite a few photos. Then when we are happy that we don't need the photos on our hard drive any more we remove them. The main priority is to get the originals onto a disk and also the memory stick. Then you have room to play around with the pics for whatever purpose needed. Lots of fun. Oh yeah we quite often make up slideshows with appropriate music in the backgound. Our friends love it when we go on one of our trips and look forward to the slideshow on the Plasma. Helps when the hubby can take a descent photo, he just has a great eye. Great hobby and always helps to keep the memories fresh.
AnswerID: 357273

Reply By: Member - barbara M (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:09

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:09
Hi all!
Know this is different to the concept you all talking about but thought you might be interested seeing you are all into photos. My friend gave me the best present ever for Christmas she chose 6 photos of places we had travelled together and had an enlargement done places it onto coloured paper and laminated them so they made 6 placemats for van. I still smile everytime I see them. Thought you might like to do the same
AnswerID: 357285

Reply By: Member - Ros-Ross H (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:13

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:13
We load photos onto a backup hard drive. But, we still like to keep albums of travels so favourites get printed out and put in albums. It's amazing how often these albums get pulled out! In addition I also store photos on disks accompanied by a small thumbnail print out of what is on the disk. I put these into plastic sleeves and drop into a plastic storage file purchased at Target. Seems to work for us!

AnswerID: 357287

Reply By: Member - Allan B (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:40

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 17:40
Hi Willem

I too was concerned at the growing photo file and the fact that they rarely get viewed. So recently I vowed to be more discriminating in the use of the shutter button. It is all too easy with digital to just fire off and amass huge files that then need to be evaluated and sorted.

My style henceforth is to spend more time in capturing the exposure thus hopefully achieving a few better photos and less time processing.

Maybe one way of resolving the issue is to pick up a photo, any photo, look at it and ask yourself "what is the REAL value of this?" "Will anyone really care about these terabytes of happy snaps when I am gone?" If taking thousands of frames and stashing them away just because you can and so you can be a star by producing a print of almost anything on demand is what turns you on then so be it.

For my part, my photo file is diminishing as I spring clean. I think I may finish up with a shoe box of prints like my parents had! It always was (and I believe always will be) very satisfying to rummage in that from time to time.

I think the coffee-table album of a specific subject such as "Italy" or "Gibb River Road" can be a good way to go. But it should contain no more than some 20 prints.

Willem, I also thought the digital frame might be a good idea so bought a 7" one. It was novel for a while, but...... Then I bought a 15" one but the resolution and viewing angle was poor. A 60" widescreen TV display could be nice but think of the purchase cost and the running costs!

For me it all comes down to looking forward to and enjoying the next trip to wherever rather than spending what hours I have left of my life processing and gloating over terabytes of pics whilst agonizing over their security. As for spending my precious time manipulating in Photoshop ...... don't even start me on that!

Oh, don't judge me as a photo plebeian, I have been a keen amateur since childhood doing my own processing and all. Its just that I cannot see the point in storing thousands of images that have questionable value. All I aspire to now is that my kids will have just one of my creations framed on their wall and will say "Yair, good isn't it, my Dad took that"



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Reply By: Blaze (Berri) - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 02:38

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 02:38
Gidday Willem,

Nearly a what is the best fridge post LOL Unless I missed it written above I cant believe no one else mentioned storing pictures online. Nothing is 100% safe but online would have to be the safest.

But here is the safest place. Make 5 hotmail accounts and just email pictures to them with them zipped into folders, this is the simplest way. On top of that there are sites like Flikr, Picasa and RedBubble that you can put pictures onto. Of course you can also ask your website server to give you som,e storage area for pictures, that aren't viewed online. All the other things like USB Memory Sticks, Removable HDD's and of course DVD's, are to be used also and no matter what anyone says, IMHO DVD's are as safe as any, whats the problem with reburning in a few years if you are worried about disks breaking down. If this isn't a good way, I'm in real trouble with all my video I have shot.

And by the way I like Goodyear MTR's LOL
AnswerID: 357354

Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 18:06

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 18:06
When my 'father-out-of-law' passed away recently my partner had the job of going through decades of slides. Most were unlabelled and unidentifiable and almost all got tossed out.

Thinking about that ignominious fate I'm scanning a selection of my decades' worth in. Some are of family interest so they get lo res treatment, bundled into zip files and put on a server for folk to download as they wish. Some have aesthetic merit and they get hi res, photochopping and sent off for professional printing.

It's an interesting process, as finding labels relies on memories of way back when, and a lot of old maps are coming out to aid the process.

It's also striking how different slides are from dig pics; so much more colour saturation and tonal range.

And yeah, my kids still like it when we have a slide night. Laughing at clothes and hair styles long outdated (or maybe coming back in again!). We all feel a bit different about ourselves after one.
AnswerID: 357490

Reply By: That Troopy Bloke (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 20:14

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 20:14
I'm a bit of a mug when it comes to taking photographs, so I work on the principle of take heaps of pics....and every now and then you jag a good one :-)

My TV has a SD card slot built into it, and it is very handy to just whip the card out of the camera, pop it into the TV, and review your pics.
I put a bunch of my favourite travel pics on a SD card, and when the (grown up) kids come around for a family get together, I just play them as a slideshow. Not as a "OK everybody sit down and watch dad's boring travel pics", but just as a background while everyone is eating, drinking, and chatting. Get plenty of ooh's and aah's, and "wow, where was that pic taken" type of comments.
8 megapixel pics on a 50" HD plasma have a great impact.

As for storage, I agree with the off-site theory. I had all my pics backed up to an external hard drive, but when I had a break-in, the scum stole not only my computers, but my 3 external hard drives as well. I lost about 5 years worth of photos. I had backed a few up to DVD, and salvaged a few more from photobucket etc., but still many are missing. So now store a back up off-site.

AnswerID: 357525

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