Photography Quick Tip: Backing Up Photos without a Laptop & Unlimited Cloud Storage for RAWs

in photography •  20 days ago

My laptop recently stopped working, so now I rely on my phone for backing up photos from my camera. I have found a great way of doing so!

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The first part of the solution is simple: I am carrying an USB OTG adapter for my phone which allows me to plug in USB devices into my phone. With this adapter, I can simply connect my card reader to my phone and copy all photos from my camera's SD card to the phone's storage.

Sadly, my external hard drive does not work with the adapter and would require a separate power supply. Since I shoot RAW which brings a single photo file to a size of 30 MB, my phone's storage can not hold all my photos from this trip. Instead, I upload them to the the cloud when I have fast WiFi and since I just got back to Bangkok after one month in Myanmar, finding fast WiFi is not a problem anymore - in fact, my last hostel's WiFi was much faster than my home WiFi in Germany, I uploaded 40 GB of photos during breakfast!

Finding a service that offers reasonably priced storage for photos can be challenging: Google Photos offers unlimited storage for photos for free, but they only save only compressed photos, not RAW files, which makes the service not suitable for professional photographers. Cloud storage providers like Dropbox offer only a few Gigabytes of storage for free and charge for more.

Only recently I found out about Amazon Drive and a service that most Amazon Prime customers probably don't know about: An Amazon Prime subscription includes the service Prime Photos which features unlimited storage for photos (including uncompressed RAWs).

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As a student, I currently enjoy a year-long free subscription and will pay only 34€ per year after that, but even for the full price, Amazon Prime is very reasonable since you can take advantage not only of the unlimited RAW file storage, but also of various other services including video streaming.

If you live in a country where Amazon Prime is available or have an existing subscription, consider trying out Prime Photos. Prime Photos offers automated image recognition which I have disabled, but with Amazon behind the service, who knows if I will soon get ads telling me about products that "other customers who took similar photos are interested in", so if you are concerned about privacy, paying for cloud storage and uploading your photo files only in encrypted containers will be the better solution.

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Prime Photos also offers some options for editing RAWs, but just as Lighroom Mobile, it is not a serious alternative to Lightroom on a laptop. Also, writing this post on my phone has certainly shown me that my phone cannot replace my laptop, but for backing up photos, it does a pretty good job if fast WiFi is available!


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Interesting. I'm not a photographer and being primarily a writer on steemit does have its advantages in regards to the purse strings as I don't need cloud storage. But as I've started exploring making vlogs, I suddenly realized that it will become a problem soon. Thanks for these tips/review of different services @jpphotography :-)

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You're welcome! The free storage is for photo files only though, videos are limited to a total of 5gb..

That's great. Didn't know that feature! Maybe it's also an option to store all the images as another backup source besides harddrives in various locations!
Thanks man!!!

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It's great for that, I only found out about it a few days before leaving Germany, but I plan on uploading all my photos as a backup, it will be over 1 TB!

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My images and videos almost are up to 3 TB now. It gets harder and harder to have several backups.
In the end I'm not sure if the images are really safe on any cloud system. Google, AMZ or any company might scan the images unnoticed and collect more and more data about you. But I guess by posting many images online on Steemit, other social media sites or where ever, it doesn't make a huge difference, if all my images are stored on there servers.

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The only way to keep the photos (or any other files) safe in the cloud would be to only upload them in encrypted contaimers, for example with VeraCrypt. I used to do it, but especially when traveling and uploading from the phone that's way too inconvenient..

wow totally awesome photography :)

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