It's 2:30 am, Do you know where your photos are tonight? It's 2009 and everyone is a photographer these days. We are so spoiled by 16 GB (gigabyte) and 32 GB memory cards, that we just snap away without a care in the world.
But what are we taking photos of? Are the photos valuable? Perhaps these are photos of your newborn. Or your wedding photos. How about your high school or college graduation photos? What if these are your vacation photos? What if you turn your camera on and they were gone? Even worse, what if you turned your computer on and they were gone?
In this day and age, it's VERY important to backup your photos. Everyone is shooting with some sort of Point and Shoot (P&S) or Digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) type of camera. Or maybe you're taking photos using your iPhone or Blackberry cell phone. The point is, photos are very important. Those treasured memories or vacation photos cannot be recreated once they're gone.
"Backup. Why yes, i've backed them up to CD's and DVDs".
Not good enough. Have you been a good photographer and backed up your photos since day one? Okay, well then... go back to day 1 CD or DVD backup disc and pop it into the computer. Can your computer read the disc? Can you open the photos?
Having just one backup option these days isn't good enough. You should not only keep them on your computer, but you should also back them up to a 2nd external USB or FireWire hard drive.
"Hard drives are just too expensive these days."
What planet are you living on? ;) Hard drive prices continue to drop. For around or under $100 you can purchase a name brand external 1 Terabyte (TB) USB hard drive.
The average computer user (I'm referring to your typical word, email, internet daily user) does not have a graphics, music or video production computer. Therefore an external drive is no big deal. Now, if you're a power or production user, then you know all about external drives and the importance of backing up, etc.
The moral of the story is back up back up back up. It's fine to leave your digital photos on your computer. But also, burn them to DVD or CD recordable media. And as a second backup, copy them to an external hard drive.