Shy Photog's 2017 Resolution: Ask My Reddit Friends my four part question on Data Management & Archiving
Hello Friendly Redditors...
I've admired this board for a long time and over the weekend I told myself I need to dive in and get some help with some challenges I've got going on in my photography hobby. Be kind I'm newer to Reddit, I feel like I've looked around long and hard for the best answers but am always happy to get redirected to a better resource.
For those keen of eye or who really, really love acronyms, my username gives away quickly that I'm in aviation and it opens itself up to enormous amounts of opportunity for making great pictures all over the world. From this, as well as a new found role within my extended family to become somewhat of the family photo archivist, I've spent the last year getting my arms around nearly 50 years of photographic data. I would like to quickly outline my challenges and how I've solved it thus far, and I'm looking both for critique and input on how all of you do it. I've developed four main questions, I debated posting them separately, but they really all inter-relate so I apologize for the lengthier post. In aviation, more detail is better, so I'm sticking with it.
To start and as I mentioned, I've been forced to move a lot of information around in the last year. A combination of previous two previous photo management solutions going away that I didn't really like anyway (Picasa being one) and a couple of near misses in data loss recently convinced me I needed to control my own destiny more with my photographic data. To that end, I played with a number of different description nomenclatures and storage ideas, and in the end I came up with the following nomenclature for image storage by event/trip/moment:
Four Digit Year - Two Digit Month - Description aka "2016 - 02 - Skiing in Steamboat with Matt"
For the last few months this seems to be working pretty well and even though it's a bit of a manual process to organize, I can quickly go to almost any event by year and month and find what I need. Here are my challenges, however:
1) Photo Management: What I am finding with almost every photography management tool out there is that the user must live and die by the app's storage nomenclature and not one a user can create. I think I understand why - Its the apps database schema - but in the end, I've already been burned by two apps going out of production and I'm really not wanting to do this whole process again. For instance, I'm not all impressed how Apple manages images. Google Photos does seem to adopt a Date based schema by year, Adobe Cloud is proprietary to the last. What are all of you doing? Picking your favorite image management solution and living with it? Dual data management? Again, maybe a tool I'm missing the boat on? I ask because I’ve just put a lot of time into organizing a lot of data, and I now realize my efforts my be all for naught. Thats okay, if the solution I'm missing is as robust as my basic sorting model.
2) Storage Strategy: I'm syncing all of this between a Google Drive folder and two good sized drives. I won't go into those details but I will share that I haven't yet bit the bullet and turned on Google Photos. This is because I've not seen or heard enough commentary on Google reducing image quality or stripping out tag data as had been reported when their "free photos" option was announced. What I’m looking for here is, I would really appreciate some input on Google as a medium for storage, vs possibly Amazon's offering or something I'm not aware of.
3) Long Term Archiving: I know this is the probably the most ambiguous question to ask, but I have to admit, I'm feeling a bit of pressure taking on this "archivist" role from within the family: In my mind, the "cloud" seems to be the best way to "future proof" against any storage medium that comes and goes (I've already invested in a number of floppy and MD drive readers because of this). Although, I've already learned my lesson that sometimes getting large image sets back from the cloud takes both time, patience and sometimes better tools than the cloud provider (aka Google) provide. For those of you in the business or who have longitudinal data sets, how are you managing this for yourselves? My sense is that most heavy photographers are using a combination of local NAS and Cloud. For the advanced hobbyist, who in the end may not to keep full fidelity, I’m heavily thinking about Google or Amazon’s offering.
4) Encryption. I'm not a tin hat fellow, but I work in the flying business with a fellow and we do a lot of travel in and out of countries in the Middle East and Asia. About a month ago he was stopped and required to have his laptop and iPad inspected. I've had it happen to me as well. He had some innocent family shots, nothing you would deem pornographic or “illegal” by most norms. By example, one of my family's favorite picture of me is when I was 19 months old running naked down the hall with a bucket on my head and there's my bright white backside. Nevertheless, he was detained in country (but not held per se) for several days over this and ultimately lost his electronics "for investigation." So...I am asking. Are all of these "free photo" options from Google, Amazon, etc. potentially not worth it? Are any of you using tools like Veracrypt or Rohos for keeping your photos backed up but encrypted in the cloud?
I do sincerely appreciate any input or guidance via links. I’m very open to learn and not necessarily looking for the cheapest solution, I can get the family in on this and I also view it as a worthy investment. More than anything, the options in front of me are so daunting its almost paralyzing. So in learning from all of you, I want to make sure I do this right, do this securely, and do this in a way that over time I can stay with the trends and keep my hobby and family’s memories alive for the foreseeable future.
submitted by _ETOPS_