Archive, backup and keep your catalogue clean

***photo down below***

The last two weeks I was struggling with my photo archive. Like probably most photographers I use Lightroom and it suddenly didn’t want to open my catalogue. For the non-lightroom users a catalogue is a file that holds all the information of my archived photos.  Luckily, I did have backups so I could get back to business right again. But to prevent this of happening again I have changed my workflow to hopefully a safer and more glitch proof system. As more photographers and photo enthusiasts probably stumble up some of the same problems I thought I share my experiences from over the past years in this blog.

Everybody who takes photos or videos knows that storing your precious results takes lots of digital space. The same applies for my archive that contains over 10.000 photos. This probably is not the biggest number of photos but still it takes approximately 1 terabit of hard disc space. The storing part of such a number of photos is probably not the biggest challenge as hard drives come in all sorts of sizes and prices. So, with some effort you soon will find one that suits your needs. The biggest trouble for me was, how too backup the whole lot and how to keep your catalogues “clean” so they don’t start to stutter?! 

The need of backing up my images I had already learned the hard way after a major hard disc crash years ago. Another time I also learned not to rely on techniques that are only used by one manufacturer. In this case I thought I had I good backup using a NAS with multiple drives. The trouble came when the NAS itself crashed. In my hopes to retain my backup I went to the shop and asked for help. The problem was the manufacturer stop making this particular NAS and due to the manner the hard drives were formatted they could not read the drives. Well that sucked. Especially because my main drive crashed before I had the chance to complete a new backup. So, since that crash I use two drives that are copies of each other without using any fancy format. The problem still was, I needed to backup manually.

The upside of the latest glitch I had is that I now was forced to review my workflow again. Up till now it consisted out of two external hard drives, one work drive and one backup drive, both with all my photo and my catalogue file. To work with multiple computers, I used to switch the drives from on computer to another. This last part probable caused my latest glitch.

After doing some research I came upon a video of Adobe with Julianne Kost whom explained her backup strategy. As she convinced me of here strategy I copied it to my workflow. Although working on two computers becomes a bit more complicated (in- and exporting catalogues) I think it is for the better. As here video explains her strategy much better as I would do I will suffice with a link to the video here. During my research, I also came by a feature in Windows I wasn’t familiar with, FileHistory. FileHistory is a feature that allows you to backup files that are on your computer automatically. So the problem of manual backups is past time, yeah! I also started to split my catalogue in more than one catalogue and this helped to speed up Lightroom as well. So for those who stumble up the same problems I hope this blog helps you. If you still have any question, feel free to ask them.

Oh and of course I can’t leaf you without a new photo as most of you probably can’t bother with all this technical stuff. The photo below was the start of all the trouble and therefor already a little bit outdated as the heather is blooming by now.



This weekend I visited Leusveld to test my new telephoto toy and I also managed to get a photo for my project European nature in Gelderland

The world of big telephoto lenses

Last week I was able to buy a second-hand telephoto lens. As it has been a while since I used such a big lens I needed some practice again, what a punishment ;). Besides these lenses are heavy you also need to take in account that due to the large amount of 'zoom' every small movement at the camera becomes huge in your viewfinder. With a big telephoto lens a sturdy tripod is in my opinion a must-have.

Although I am already used to use a tripod for my landscape photography big lens photography asks for some different skills. On my tripod I use a ball head. I think this system is ideal for landscape and macro photography. For the use of a big and heavy telephoto lens it comes a bit short. It will keep the lens in place but as soon as I want to have some more mobility to follow a subject it tends to tumble too much on the ball joint. So, this takes some practice and made me order a gimbal that should make it easier to control the lens. I will keep you posted.

Despite I still need some practice I am quite satisfied with the first results. Hopefully you can enjoy them as well.

Lovely springtime

While I was trying to get familiar with my new lens I also took some time to photograph some of the spring forest. At this moment the May lily (Maianthemum bifolium) are still in bloom. In the centre of Leusveld Natuurmonumenten (conservation organisation) maintains a patch of hayfield and here the Heath spotted-orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata) start blooming. Due to these flowers, I am reminded again why I love spring so much.


Most of you probably know that I visit Bekendelle more frequently. A little while back I visited the area again and although it is not the biggest nature area I still love it. The brook and its surrounding forest keep amaze me.  Throughout the year, the views change. The first photo is taken at a location that I have shot before (see blog post of 12 June 2016).

Besides the brook Bekendelle is also known for its forest that divers form flood forest (alluvial forest) to beach forest (on the higher grounds) Below some photos of the forest. I am convinced I can do better but for now these are the best.

Although I was mostly focused on landscapes I also captured a image of Muscatel (Adoxa moschatellina) and a Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius).

Castle Nijenbeek

Another photo I made in December 2016. This shot I made on a recon trip down the river IJssel. Castle Nijenbeek is a ruin after the allied troops destroyed the castle to dislodge the German troops within the building. The ruin is not open for visitors though it an it's surroundings are beautiful subjects to photograph.

River foreland Millingerwaard

In between Christmas and New Year’s Day I have been on a trip to the Millingerwaard. The Millingerwaard is a river foreland near the German border. The river foreland is part of Natura 2000-area Rijntakken and I'm still in need of some good photos of this area. So, I am on a mission. The Millingerwaard is known for several things like birds, beavers, river dunes and alluvial forests. As it is (was) winter I did not aim to get some great images of river dune with flowering flora. Though a forest is beautiful in each of the seasons.  Although I am getting better in making forest photos I still think they are challenging as they tend to get messy. The above photo is my try of a wintery alluvial forest. I hope I can do a summery one as well later this year.

As I get lost a little on this trip due to redevelopment activities I had to walk several kilometers more as intended but this gave me the opportunity to get several other photos. When I look at them now I almost doubted I took them in December, climate change perhaps?