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Use the 3-2-1 Rule for Data Backup

For a clear explanation of image back-up and storage technologies and practices, visit the Backup Overview section on the new dpBestflow.org website. The dpBestflow™ site was produced by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and recommends some best practices that can help digital photographers develop workflows that are more efficient, effective, and profitable.

In the backup section of the site, the authors suggest using the 3-2-1 rule:

  • Keep 3 total copies of your image files (a primary and two backups).
  • Store the files on 2 different media types, such as hard drive and optical disk.
  • Keep 1 copy of your backup file offsite.

The section also discusses the types of backup systems available, how to choose the type that’s right for your needs, and how to configure and organize backup systems for studios that use more than one computer. The site’s authors also discuss the pros and cons of internet backup systems for professional photographers, and how to make sure a backup system actually works before you need to use it.

In addition, the dpBestflow site recommends best practices for cameras, computers, monitors, color management, image editing, metadata, file management, data validation, file delivery, and copyright registration.   

Part of the funding for the site came from the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program of the Library of Congress to help ensure that many of the images being digitally captured today will be properly preserved for future generations and historical records. Senior Project Manager Peter Krogh notes that, “dpBestflow helps translate the intricacies of preserving digital images into useful information that can be incorporated into everyday working habits.”

Project Director Anderson adds that,“Through dpBestflow, we are striving to make best practices in digital photography readily accessible to all professional photographers, no matter what their level or working style.”

At the WPPI Conference, two experts involved in ASMP’s dpBestflow project, Judy Hermann and Jay Kinghorn, gave an excellent presentation entitled “I Need a Workflow that Works for Me.” They used information from the dpBestflow project to describe “good, better, and best” practices at all stages of a workflow: (1) capture and ingestion: (2) image editing and organization; (3) image correction, printing or output; (4) file delivery; (5) archiving and storage; and (6) finding archived images. They will be making additional presentations in cities throughout the US.  For information on when the seminar will be presented in your area, visit the Seminars section of the dpBestflow.org website.

Volume 5  -  No. 3

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