Tuesday, January 05, 2010

MAM Poll (Jan. 2010): How do you archive your digital images?

How do you archive your images - both photos and artwork?

The Making A Mark Poll for January is all about archiving your images and the choices we make from the different options which are available.

Sketch of sunset at Tanah Lot, Bali (September 1992)
8.5" x 11.5", pencil and watercolour in Conté à Paris sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

More than once I've heard sad stories from people who have lost precious images of exhibitions that have come down or paintings which have been sold - or important reference material. It's certainly made me think more about archiving and the different ways you can do this.

I'm also concerned about the integrity and obsolesence of different methods. I have heard that some methods corrupt data if it's not accessed on a regular basis but I don't know how true that is. While others fail after a certain number of writes and rewrites - while other methods we used to use are now effectively obsolescent! Then there is the media which works fine - but which are apt get lost!

I thought it might be useful if we used this post to share our experiences of what we use, what we trust and nasty things that have happened which have caused us to change our habits!
So - how do you archive your digital images? By archiving I mean 'make at least one additional copy and put it somewhere safe'.

You can choose more than one of the following options
  • on your intenal hard drive only (ie no archive!)
  • on an external hard drive
  • on CD/DVD - any format
  • on CD-R, DVD-R or DVD+R (write once only)
  • on a portable USB memory stick
  • Flash memory cards
  • on Flickr account or similar photo gallery service
  • on Flickr Pro account (or similar photo gallery with unlimited storage)
  • Digital Vault service on the web
You'll find the poll in the normal place in the right hand column - just below the module about Blogger Followers.

Do please comment on your motivations to draw, paint or sculpt whatever is your favourite subject matter.

I'm also be very interested to hear your views about archiving your images (and any other important art business data)

The poll finishes on 30th January (in the early hours) and an analysis of and commentary on the results will be posted later the same day.

Link: The Making A Mark Poll - Resources for Artists Find out the results of the monthly Making A Mark Polls for artists. See the charts and read the main findings about topics of interest to artists.

The Art of the Landscape


  1. Hi Katherine,
    first of all I wish you a wonderful Happy New Year!
    Must admit that I haven't been to your blog for quite a while - time was just running away and of course I am sorry about this - so much intersting things to read.
    Regarding archiving, I am using 2 external hard drives, one for the regular back-ups (clones) and one for files only, including all original photos. Additionally I keep DVDs of special important files.

    Greetings, Petra

  2. I back up to an external hard drive, CD/DVD, photo gallery and send some to my gmail account. I, also, try and keep a hard copy (paper :o) of any of my digital work. Can't decide if this is being precious or paranoid!

  3. I backup on an external hard drive. I have some CDs of very precious photos and have recently started uploading some to my .Mac account. There are a few photos on Flickr so I would like to know your opinion on this method, Katherine as I know you upload quite a lot there.

    Having had all sorts of floppy discs and zip drives become obsolete over the years, none of this gives me a warm safe feeling. I'd be very surprised if any of the digital photos are around for my great grandchildren to giggle over.

    I'm hoping your post will tap into some educated opinions.

  4. My wonderful hubby takes care of our back ups. He backs up to two external hard drives. One is hooked up to the computer and one is stored off site. He switches the two drives around once a quarter or so.

  5. I received a lovely digital camera for my 80th birthday in March, and since then have been busy photographing every bit of finished art work that I can lay my hands on, excluding previously framed work that had already been documented.
    I am rearranging the photos into categories ---Landscape, animals, flowers, etc, and adding titles, dates and mediums( I'd like eventually to subdivide, into pastels, cp, acrylics etc. )
    I have a hard drive and have a reminder to update every 10 days.


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