Saturday, August 12, 2017

Archiving Photos

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and destroyed a large swath of New Orleans and other cities in its path.  I remember listening to people talk about the destruction and what they lost.  One common item people lamented that was lost was often not things, but pictures and memories.  Unfortunately, time (and water) are not kind to pictures.

It was this experience that compelled me to purchase a good quality slide scanner.  After a bit of research, I ended up with a Nikon CoolScan ED.  While it was the cheapest Nikon slide scanner available, it still can make incredible scans of slides and negatives.

Oh, and as a bonus, my mom and dad had kept the negatives from all our pictures from when we were kids.  That ended up being number of rolls of film.  I spent about a year, working a bit at a time, scanning all the negatives.  (Yet another reason to love working from home …)  As a result, I now have almost 250 Gb of pictures in TIFF format.  That ended up being about 60 DVDs of images.

With our impending move (and the reduction in cost of both cloud storage and HDDs), it’s time to move them on to spinning media and into the cloud.  I’ve now spent the past three or four days here in Richmond copying all the files off onto an external HDD, unzipping, sorting and fixing.

I’ve been rather surprised that in all my DVDs, I’ve only hit three that have had issues.  One was my fault as it was sticking up out of the sleeve and ended up bleached in the sun.  Whoops.  The other failures were do to scratches and the like.  None appear to have failed due to a failure of the actual DVD (yet).

As a reminder, in addition to having the files you need to make sure you have good backups.  When in doubt, remember 3-2-1:

  • 3 copies of your pictures (files)
  • 2 different kinds of media
  • 1 offsite