Online Storage for Images and Photos
Having thousands of photographs is not unusual even for the casual photographer, and as we know backing up your images is very important. Hard Drives are destined to crash, and you need to have a system whereby you either transfer your images or have duplicates on some other medium. An external hard drive is recommended for this, but you may want to have universal access to your images, and online storage has become very popular for this. Online storage doesn’t necessarily mean that your images are for the world to see, but can just be a secure and reliable medium to keep your photo files.
Certain basic assurances you ought to look for are that your files and folders are:
- never deleted (unless by you).
- secure from unauthorized access.
- universally accessible across several platforms including Windows, Apple and Android.
Storing Photos in Email and Cloud Storage Platforms
Major email providers are providing a decent amount of storage space for free that you can take advantage of. If you wish more storage then you can pay a monthly or annual fee to access more gigabytes of space. The major drawback to these options is that they lack particular features that Cloud Storage facilities have. However, some of these very email providers have Cloud Storage applications as well, which may be linked to your regular inbox storage including Google Drive and Microsoft’s Skydrive. Other advantages include a non-restriction on the size of file upload, as regular emails do. A further advantage is that you can upload RAW files!
There are companies that specialize in delivering these only these services. Again, many of them provide a minimum threshold of free storage space with the option to upgrade for more space. Other popular cloud storage providers include: Box, Dropbox, justcloud, SugarSync among a number of others.
Some Important Features of Cloud Storage:
- Automated synchronization
- Scheduled Backups
- File and Folder Sharing
- web albums
Storing Photos on Image/Gallery Websites
It may seem as if certain popular image/gallery sites are great places to store and showcase your photos including Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa. The latter may be true (for showcasing images), but in terms of storing (JPEG) images it may not be so. Image sites may have particular algorithms that compress and tweak your photos a bit such as sharpening. Furthermore, not many photo sites have allowance for storing RAW files. Maybe when there’s a more universal RAW file type, this may become more common. The automatic compression and tweaking may be up to your taste, but the fact is that the image has been changed somewhat, and the nature of JPEGs is that they are ‘damaged’ with each edit. Furthermore, unless there’s a guarantee that your images may be secure and accessible as in at least the first 2 important features of online storage (as stated earlier), then it may not be a medium to store your valuable images. A big advantage of storing your images on these kinds of websites is the social media integration features, which could be a key feature. You may wish to choose what images you want to share and whom to share them with without having to reupload elsewhere.
Valuable RAW and JPEG files that you may not have use for right now may come in handy in the future. RAW files which have massive amount of image data that in times to come can be manipulated with greater ease with the ever increasing sophistication of software applications.
If you really serious about saving your photo files, then you may need to invest in premium cloud storage services with loads of space and security.