Do Photographers Really Like Clouds?
by Gary Detonnancourt
Photographers do like to shoot clouds, but what about storage clouds? If you are a photographer that cares about your images, backing up should be an import part of your workflow. I backup all of my images to external hard drives and sometimes to DVDs or even Blu Ray disks. For offsite backup I used to use Flickr.com, which was handy for sharing images, and they also used to offer an inexpensive unlimited plan. The problem with Flickr was they didn’t support raw files and they didn’t do a very good job with video files. Plus they didn’t support any other kind of file.
The first cloud service I tried was Google Drive. It was fine for work because of its office like software. Then I found DropBox and fell in love with it’s easy file sharing. You can get quite a bit of free space from DropBox if you refer your friends to sign up for an account. I use DropBox whenever I need to share files with clients or models. However, it was not a good solution for backing up tons of images because of the space limits, unless you buy DropBox for Business. This service did seem intriguing but I thought it was a bit expensive at $15 per month. Then came Amazon.
Amazon recently announced two new unlimited storage plans. The new Unlimited Photo Plan gives you unlimited photo uploads, as the name suggests, plus 5 GB for video or other files for just $11.99 per year. Amazon Prime members have had unlimited photo storage and now so can everyone else. The second plan is the Unlimited Everything Plan and is just $59.99 per year. This should help Amazon Cloud win a big share of the cloud storage market against competitors like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.
I think the Amazon plans are a game changer because they are so inexpensive. It might not be worth buying external hard drives anymore. The Amazon cloud may not be as slick as DropBox when it comes to sharing files, but they do provide great inexpensive bulk storage which is something many photographers and videographers will be interested in for their backup needs.
This service will allow me to create one giant offsite hard drive which includes all of my photos, documents, music and videos. What’s even better is that I can access any of these files from any of my devices, including laptops, ipads, iphones, Androids etc… However, you will need a good internet connection and some patience. I’ve uploaded about 400 GB of data over 2 days, by letting the Cloud App upload all day and night. I think I can upload more than a terabyte in about a week, and once it’s uploaded it should be safe and searchable.
Amazon claims it supports a variety of image files types. I was most concerned about raw files so I signed up for the 3 month free trial. I was happy to see that my raw Adobe DNG files loaded up and were visible. I expected them to upload but I didn’t think they would be viewable. I haven’t tried any camera raw files yet, but I think they may work too.
Photographers should definitely check out these cloud services to see how they can improve their workflow. I know many beginning photographers that burry their heads in the sand and just hope nothing happens to their hard drive and then one day it does and all of their images are gone. Now is the time to look for a solution if you haven’t already found one.