The Learning Curve: Backup

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This is a post that I have done before, but I thought that it is worthwhile repeating. In the slideshow above, you will see all the pictures that I have left, of a trip to JiuZhaoGou and HuangLong, in China.

These two places are some of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen in my life.

But, apart from these pictures, which are all extremely low resolution now, I have nothing. I had recently started shooting in RAW, and I would have been able to do something nice with those images today.


Anyway, those were the days when nothing could go wrong, or so I thought

I did not ever bother to take backups of my work and, one day, the hard drive collapsed. 

I took it to labs in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bombay and Delhi. Nothing was ever recovered.

What did I lose? Nothing. Just three years of photography. I lost the work I had done in Shanghai, Beijing (the lanes and an unknown section of the Great Wall), JiuZhaiGou, HuangLong, TianZiShan, and Paris.

Poof. Gone.

Always backup your work! That was an expensive lesson for me. Don’t let it be yours!

For those who don’t like slide shows, the pictures are reproduced below


  1. Fortunately I have not hard a hard drive crash but I did have a card malfunction on me. I took some beautiful pictures from a rooftop at night in the city. When I got home the card said it was not readable and to try again. This did not work they were gone. The only pictures left were the 2 that I took on my cellphone. I learned to always format my card before any shooting.

  2. Oh yes, every photographer’s nightmare – the hard drive/memory card collapsing with no backups. I am sorry you had to experience that as well. I try to regularly back up/save files on multiple sources, as you know it takes up so much time. The irony is, these months I spend more time backing up/arranging images than actually taking photos. (Yes, 1st-world problems, I know ;))

  3. I backuped up all my photos, poems, etc., however, my computer had a virus that I was not aware of, thus, my backup hard-drive also had the virus, Apple told me that I had to delete all the saved data on the backup hard-drive, and reload the software on my computer, they helped me walk through the entire long process. Lesson learned: back up everything in more than one way, I now also back up every photo, poem, etc., in my email also, not just on a backup hard-drive.

    Setting the camera to shoot in RAW, is the way to go.

    Lovely photos. 🙂

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