Your hard drive will fail.

Why do I say this?  Think about your computer.  There is not too many moving parts overall, but of the ones that are there, many live in the hard drive.  A platter spinning at 5400, 7200 or 10000 revolutions a minute, an actuator arm scanning the disk for information and a head reading that info just barely above the platters.  It all adds up to a part that fails.

 So what are you going to do about it?  Let me put it another way.  If the hard drive you are working on right now failed, could you retrieve the info?  In the case of a 2TB or 4TB drive this can equal tens of thousands of images.  Think about that. 

 I bring these points up since I have had 2 fail over the years. There are many ways to backup, duplicate, catalog and restore information.  The main point is to just do it. 

 Here is another thing to ponder, what technology will you use to store those backed up images?  Remember Syquest, Zip and Bernoulli drives? Obsolete mostly.  I have some 8mm tape, done, CD’s and DVDr’s maybe.  I just tried to read some from about 10 years ago and my new iMac wouldn’t read them, luckily I have the old G4 that burned them and got the info. 

One last thought.  If you are in the commercial photography business, how do you deliver the final images to a client?  Cloud based services like WeTransfer and YouSendIt offer an easy way to get the files to someone. Easy, no courier or FedEx charges, no DVD to burn.  No Nothing, just zeros and ones in cyberspace.  Your photo doesn’t really exist. 

 The images below were some of my first images shot with an AquaTech housing. They were some of the images lost when the hard drive started clicking, then died. It was not backed up and I take full responsibility for that lack of good data planning. The silver lining to this data storm is the studio burned a DVD and delivered it to the client, so there is a copy. A physical copy.  When I called the art director, he said to just come pick it up as they has it on their server.  That was a good phone call.

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2 views of the action.

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Shot on Canon Eos 1DsMarkII with AquaTech housing. Photo © paul figura

Special thanks to Mike Fozman for holding onto the delivered disk.