Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

A Cautionary Tale

So this story is true, it was told to me today by a good friend and if you are lax should send shivers down you spine.

My friend was working on images on her laptop, it was a very important project, hundreds of images shot all over the country and almost unrepeatable as most of the subjects were in their 90’s. My friend, she shall remain anonymous, was feeling unwell and so took her laptop to the sofa and in a short time felt unwell enough to lie down to have a little snooze. She has two cats, one came and settled and my friend fell deeper into sleep. Vaguely aware of the other cat trying to get comfortable but too far in the land of nod to do anything about it my friend continued to sleep.

cat

spoiler alert – this is not the cat in question

When she awoke and settled back into her work she couldn’t find the folder with all her images. She searched her laptop but no they were not there. Panic rising she worked out they must somehow have got into the trash or waste bin so opened that folder and no they were not there……I think by this time panic was no longer rising but had reached it’s zenith of terror. It was clear her images, all of them, the year’s work, were no longer in existence on her computer. I believe we can all imagine how this felt. She worked out that the other cat in trying to get comfortable had hit the delete key and then either out of stupidity or malice when asked “there are too many files to trash these to the bin would you like to delete them permanently” had said yes, or at least pawed yes.

My friend went to a computer store to see if they could help but no they couldn’t, maybe a data recovery company could extract them from the hard drive but it was unlikely and the cost would be hundreds of pounds even if they couldn’t.

Well the story has a happy ending, my friend had backed up her files and so had only lost the processing work she had done since her last back up. All the RAW files still existed.

So have you got your files backed up. I back mine up when I load them into Lightroom, I use the back up to second drive function and later I back them up to a third external drive that I locate somewhere else. I could use the ‘cloud’ but the number of images I have would take a pretty large cloud. If you haven’t backed up recently, or god forbid ever, do so this weekend.

Here are some links that might help you

Your Photo Backup Needs a Backup

Best backup software 2015/2016 UK: 13 best file- and system backup utilities

The 5 Best Ways to Backup Digital Photos

The best way to back up a photo library, back up photos online, back up photos to iCloud

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2 responses to “A Cautionary Tale

  1. Jane Buekett January 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    A cautionary tale indeed. I managed to permanently delete the entire contents of my email inbox this afternoon. I can’t decide if it is a disaster or such a lovely feeling of cleansing that I will do it every Friday.

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