One of the advantages to being home for the holidays is catching up on all the projects that are too difficult to accomplish on the road. Amazon recently announced for prime users that the Amazon Cloud Drive service would offer unlimited photo storage for no additional fee. At $99 a year for Amazon Prime, you get expedited shipping and access to Amazon Prime Video. It’s a great deal that just got even better. I currently use Backblaze for my cloud backup of EVERYTHING. Terabytes and terabytes of data backing up continuously in the background for $50 a year. I keep my master files on the hard drive of my main computer (currently a MacBook Pro) and on an external hard drive. You can never have enough backup solutions so I decided to add my master files to the Amazon Cloud Drive. The interface is slow and a bit clunky, so the idea of adding all my images was too daunting. That’s what I have Backblaze for. With Amazon, I created folders for each gallery (similar to what you see on my site) and added the TIFFs. It took about 5 days to get everything backed up and now it’s accessible by logging into my Amazon Cloud Drive account from any computer in the world. In addition, there is an iOS app that allows access. Because they are large TIFFs, this is not a practical solution for downloading your images, but it does a decent job of pulling up previews.
For those curious as to what I mean by master files, let me go into greater detail. When I am done editing an image, I save it as an uncompressed TIFF in Photoshop and give it the official title that you see on each image on my site. That TIFF becomes the crucial base of all iterations of the image. The TIFF can’t be shared because it’s not sharpened for presentation or print. I use Tony Kuyper’s sharpening actions to create web worthy images based on the TIFF. When I have an order for print, I use the TIFF to create a specific file to match the order. Let’s take a look at example file names for this image, titled “Endless Wonder.”
The master file will be titled: EndlessWonder.tiff
Here are possible iterations of the title:
For my website: Endless-Wonder-Proxy-Falls-Website.jpg
For my iPhone: EndlessWonderiPhone.jpg
For a 12×18 print on luster paper: EndlessWonder12x18Luster.tiff
For a 32×48 metal print: EndlessWonder32x48Metal.tiff
As you can see, everything is derived from the master file. Losing my master files or not having access to them at all times would be extremely detrimental for my business. Using the Amazon Cloud Drive gives me one more point of backup, and since I was already a happy subscriber to the Amazon Prime service, it was a bonus feature I was thrilled to take advantage of.