Backing up RAW to DVD: The Importance
Backing up RAW to DVD makes it possible to keep your photos safe no matter what happens to your computer. RAW photo files have a number of advantages over JPEG and normal image files. These files are read only which means that any changes made can be undone easily. However, they are only as secure as your computer.
It's important not to put all your photos in the same place. This may seem convenient, however, there is a chance that the photos will be lost. Instead of buying a large memory card and storing hundreds of photos, it's a good idea to copy them to your computer regularly. You should also back up all your photos to DVD or other external media regularly to ensure that they are always safe.
Choosing a DVD Drive
If you don't already have a suitable DVD writer in your computer, then you will need to choose one that is suitable for the task. As you will be burning very large files, try to choose the fastest possible. Stick to drives which are rated at 16x, as this will speed up the process or burning the files. Adding a new drive in a desktop computer is simple enough. When using a laptop computer, you should stick to external USB DVD drives.
Keeping Photos Safe
Photos are unique and need to be looked after. Trying to capture the exact same photo again is impossible, especially when photographing people or animals. By backing the photos up to DVD, you will be able to date them and keep them safe. You might want to consider keeping these in a different location than your computer should the worst happen.
After every photo shoot, you should download the photos to your computer and store them on your hard drive. Put them into folders which are organized by job number or date taken. This makes it very easy to find them if needed.
When you have enough photos to fill up a DVD, you can start copying them. Pop in a blank DVD to your drive and select the prompt to write to it. This will open up a blank Windows Explorer window. Simply copy the folders that you want to backup and then paste them onto the blank DVD. Once this is complete, you can then burn the disc and keep it somewhere safe. You will only ever need to access this disk if anything else happens to your computer.
Other Backup Methods
While backing up to DVD is a very affordable type of backup, it's not completely safe. If you regularly use the discs then this risks scratches. This means that you might need to look at alternative backup methods. Using an external hard drive is one other option. You could also upload your photos to online storage as an easy way to access the photos from any computer whenever you need them.