Finally, after nearly two years of constant complaints and agony over three years' worth of photos being "hostage to iPhoto" I figured out a good -- if extremely time consuming -- way of backing up ALL of my photos into an external hard-drive.
WOO-HOO!!! And since I have extremely good hyper-focus whenever I'm dealing with photos, I don't mind spending hours doing this (to the detriment of other things that must be done such as laundry, cleaning the house, etc., obviously!)
So... I'm using two SD cards, one 16GB and another 8GB. I put one of the cards in the card slot in my MacBook Pro and export as many photos as I can to it (it takes A LOT of time for them to be exported into the card). When the card is full I eject it, pop it into my PC and then copy all the photos to the proper folders in the external hard-drive that's connected to the PC (I organize my photos by year and month and also thematically within each year, depending on the photo, I won't bore you with the details -- I could talk about this forever!).
Copying the photos to the external HD takes less time and, obviously is lots of fun, as I get to organize them. Some of the photos -- particularly those from my iPhone, seem to LOSE their information (such as the date where they were taken) in this transfer, which is infuriating, so sometimes I have to refer back to iPhoto to figure out when the photos were taken. Other than that, it's a relatively straightforward process. When I copy the photos I delete them all from the card so I can begin the process again.
While I'm emptying one card I try to be loading photos on the other in the Mac at the same time -- too bad both cards aren't 16GB (our other 16GB card is broken), that would save me time.
In any case, after this is done (I have so far advanced from August 2012 to April 2013, having done this for several hours on Friday and Saturday nights) I will feel WHOLE again, as far as my beloved photos are concerned! YAY!! And then I will back up everything into another hard drive that I wish I could stick into a fire-safe box, except we don't own one. Those things are so expensive!
Do you have fire safe or something like that? I sometimes feel that we should get one. But what would we put on it? SS cards, passports, a slim HD with documents and old family photos? What else do you store there?