This month, the Archivist shows you how to protect your cherished digital photos and how to back them up properly.
Ask the Archivist: Digital Photo Storage
The digital world makes it easy to store and to access your photos and documents. But it’s important to save backup copies of these important digital files. Mark Mizen, director of digital development at Creative Memories, gives us some pointers.
Q. What’s the safest way to store digital pictures?
A. Don’t rely on one single solution—any one can fail. Save them on your computer, on an external hard drive, and on a CD or DVD. Have them available online. Print them. That way, if your hard disk crashes, you still have backups.
Q. Photo files come in many different formats. Do you recommend a certain type of file?
A. Stay with one of the more widely used file types (as indicated by the three-letter extension on the file name): JPG or TIF. JPGs take up less space on your computer, but every time you edit and resave a JPG, you lose a little bit of quality. TIFs are larger and don’t lose image quality when edited. If I need to edit a JPG, I copy it and rename it, then edit the copy.