A nice article on Digital Shot on Preserving Digital Images. I tend to empty my SD cards by moving, not copying, the files to a network share on Sam’s machine, then very rarely delete anything at all. Edited stuff only tends to be kept temporarily, usually on its way up to Flickr.
It’s all very careless of me, though. I really should take the time out to get rid of completely worthless shots, and get the rest stored in some way that would make them findable again later.
We had a nice simple system set up before, where we used Picasa to view the images, and just put names, descriptions and keywords in the name of the folder the images were in. When you do a search in Picasa, it matches the folder the pics are in as well as the name of the image files, so this worked very well. The problem we hit with it was that with all the photos stored on a network share, when Picasa couldn’t get to the share, it cleared all the pictures from my local database. Next time it got a network connection, it had to find them all over again, which took a long time. For a while, I kept a copy of all the photos locally too, but that took too much time and effort to keep syncing with the network copy. Even with automatic syncing software, you have to keep checking that it’s really working, and usually running it frequently to make sure things stay up to date.
Maybe I’ll have a bit more of a go at all this again soon.