How to store thousands of travel photos?
November 26, 2011 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Which cloud storage should we use to store extended on-the-go travel photos?

We are embarking on a one year round the world trip! What is the best way to store our photos as we go along? Which cloud service do you recommend? We will be bringing a netbook so we can upload photos as we go.

We will have thousands of photos by the end of our trip.

Looking for a quick easy way to preserve our photos as we go so we don't have to mess around with memory cards. I've done some research and some people say it takes a long time to upload a huge batch of photos to the cloud. Is that true?

I've also read online that it is still advisable to back up photos on DVDs or cards because the cloud isn't 100% reliable. Thanks for any advice!
posted by grak88 to Technology (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The cloud is the internet.

If you're going to upload the full resolution of a photo you're looking at very large uploads. I can easily take 2gb of photos in a day.

Are you not bringing a laptop? Do you expect to do this all in web cafes? That will change recomendations.

If you have a laptop with you unloading the memory card to the laptop everyday and then uploading those photos as high resolution files to Picassa would give me good peace of mind.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:08 PM on November 26, 2011

I might be inclined to do two things -

1) Use a photo publishing service (flickr/picasa/etc).
2) Generally just use a backup service like crashplan/etc.

I guess it depends on your ability to locate fast internet to back stuff up as you go. It can take a lot of bandwidth to upload photos. "The cloud" is just marketing bullshit basically, you can find duplicated and geographically diverse storage, but I wouldn't rely on it solely.

You might be better off by spending some cash on a decent rugged external drive and using that as your backup destination until you get back and can do the whole uploading thing.
posted by iamabot at 12:08 PM on November 26, 2011

Bring a laptop with a dvd burner. Mail a DVD to a friend/family member every few days. No internet required.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:12 PM on November 26, 2011

We use smugmug for sharing and archiving...
posted by NoDef at 12:13 PM on November 26, 2011

If I were you, especially if I was not shooting extremely high resolution raw files (as in the kind that take up so much card space that my solution might not be viable), I'd load up on memory cards. With decent quality 16gb cards running under $20 each, securely storing a bunch of cards is going to take up less physical space in your luggage or pockets than a rugged external drive, and you won't have to worry about sluggish upload speeds to store the photo online.
posted by imjustsaying at 12:47 PM on November 26, 2011

I'm using an EyeFi card in my Canon camera now, and some app I forget the name of on my iPhone to upload to DropBox. So every pic I take is just *there*.

I haven't had to sync or "dump" photos for almost a full year now. They just appear on all my computers, even the iPad, and thus I have many copies. I back them up whenever I'm home. Easy.

I now have no idea how I ever lived without this.
posted by rokusan at 5:08 PM on November 26, 2011

A 4GB card full of photos could easily take a full day to upload somewhere on an average DSL connection, much longer on a mediocre one. On a decent cable connection it could still take hours. Whether that is going to be practical for you really depends on how fast you expect to be taking photos, and where you expect to have Internet access. I think the idea of copying to your laptop and then trying to send DVDs or some other sort of media home on a regular basis might be the best bet.
posted by Good Brain at 5:28 PM on November 26, 2011

Brain, the EyeFi/Dropbox feature I love most is that it will upload a picture or two, as necessary, whenever the camera happens to find an open wi-fi network anywhere. It's quite slick, and I basically just forget about it happening.

Everytime I check a PC, whether it's the laptop in the hotel or a desktop back in a home city... there are copies of the pictures I took. It's magic.

(Yes, setting it to use any open wifi network is a security risk, if someone really wants to lift my photos. But I swear she was eighteen, your honor.)
posted by rokusan at 10:46 PM on November 26, 2011

The main thing is redundancy -- if you have your pictures in a couple of places, then if one fails or gets stolen you have a backup. To that end, I'd suggest keeping them on memory cards (which are cheap), saving them to the harddrive of your netbook and uploading them pretty much anywhere on the internet, and you should be well covered.

The thing about the uploading is that upstream is slower than downstream in general and hotel wi-fi can be pretty terrible, so if you're trying to upload a gazillion pictures every night, it may not work and you might tank the internet for everyone in the hotel by clogging up the upload stream. The more you can automate it so that it will try to synch whenever you have any kind of connection, the better, because if you're relying on yourself to stop and start the upload, you'll spend a lot of time doing that.

To that end, I liked Dropbox, because I could store my photos locally on my netbook, and it would just try to upload them whenever it had a connection.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:09 AM on November 27, 2011

I do exactly this using SugarSync. I prefer it to Dropbox because you can use your existing directory structures and don't have to worry about reconfiguring stuff to all be in your Dropbox. Sugarsync puts it all online so you can access it and share it with others as galleries or cross post it to facebook. I have SugarSync running on my other two machines so when I put pictures on the netbook when I'm travelling, by the time I get home they've been uploaded (automatically) from the netbook and downloaded automatically onto the other two. It is a paid for service but I think it runs pretty slickly and has excellent cross platform compatibility. They'll give you a 5GB account to get you started.
posted by eb98jdb at 1:59 AM on November 28, 2011

Thanks everyone. Awesome help all around!
posted by grak88 at 5:39 PM on November 28, 2011

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