Random Thoughts

Saving original digital images

Written by Gail Bjork

Save the original files of your special photos, or some day you may regret not doing so.

For years I’ve preached saving and archiving original digital images. Edit copies so the originals remain untouched!

Generally I follow my own advice but recently discovered I have not been following it long enough.


Florida scrub by Gail Bjork

A representative of a hospital asked to buy eight 8×10″ and one 16×20″ prints of photos I took a few years ago in a Florida Scrub. The individual found the images displayed in my online gallery. They are to be used in an exhibit portraying the history and conservation efforts of the scrub habitat and of animals and plants in the scrub.

Ready or not to print

I excitedly sorted through a gazillion archived photos burned years ago onto CDs. To my horror, only half of the Scrub image files were saved. So I was forced to make prints from files that were resized and edited.

Original-CopyOne photo was edited to the extent that it simply could not be printed in the requested 16×20″ size. I lucked out for the 8x10s by using a program called QImage, which prints at optimal quality from almost any file size.

So,why hadn’t I archived some of the photos?

Because I originally intended only to post them online. Besides, they weren’t anything special and I certainly never dreamed anyone would think otherwise.

Obviously I was wrong.

The lesson learned is quite simple. If you like a photo enough to display it publically in an online gallery, save the original.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.