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RAW, Backups, the Future

Digital Photography - MacRumors Forums - forums.macrumors.com
Hello,

I love to take photos. Lots of photos. I’ve converted to shooting RAW with my DSLR. I’m still hanging on Aperture (I know…move on). I know I do not BackUp nearly enough. Which leads me to a question.

I shoot RAW, and edit with Aperture. But…that’s it. I save out to JPG when I want to upload to a website. But my shots are still “RAW”. I started to use [Amazon] Prime Photos as a way to backup to the cloud since they accept RAW but I’m curious. Those are just RAW/NEF files. None of my edits….which is understandable.

So, backing up RAW/NEF I suppose is like just have film Negatives to keep around. If you ever lost physical prints you have a negative to send out and get reprinted. I suppose that is what RAW/NEF is good for in the digital world.

Currently I Edit/Post-Process my files. But, again, these are JUST in Aperture. If I ever switch to Lightroom/Photos/etc. I will either save to flattened/edited file to import OR import as RAW and edit EACH photo again (this sounds very tedious). So, it makes me wonder… I have re-edited photos after Aperture made updates to certain editing features and as I have improved my editing and want to adjust photos a certain way, BUT overall, the way I’ve been editing of late seems good…or “final” It makes me wonder if I should save out the flat/edited versions now as KEEPERS and move onto a new editing program, and BACKUP these as archives.

Saving the RAW files seems great for archiving but no doubt in the future, the editing programs will not be able to read the edits I have used in a certain program and I’d need to re-process.

Does that make any sense to anyone out there. When I move on from Aperture I will lose my RAW edits unless I save out Versions either in TIFF or JPG. I realize JPG is lossy, but only degrades further if resaved. One thought I have is if I am gone tomorrow, will my wife/kids know what to do with these RAW files and how to view them later.

Perhaps I save out all my Favorites/4- & 5-star rated photos as FLAT Versions. Import these GREAT shots in to Photos to backup. then save all but the DUDs of the RAW files as digital negatives.

Thanks in advance for the long read.

 


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