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Rich: When you get back from a shoot or even in the field. You want to get the data off of the cards and backed up to multiple drives as quickly as possible. And if you're shooting hundreds, if not thousands of stills. Even tens of thousands. You don't want to have a long day of shooting followed by a longer night of backup. So, choosing a fast connection is critical. Now, you might find it convenient that you could take a card and pop it right into the laptop. The issue with that, though, is that the built-in readers tend to not be as fast. I'm a much bigger fan of going with a dedicated card reader. And you could choose one that's specifically for your card format like SD or CF or get a combo reader.
These days look for one that has a fast connection. Typically USB 3 or Thunderbolt. You're going to want to pick the fasted connection available to you. These are going to give you the performance you want. So, I'll just go ahead and plug that in, and now that the card is mounted, it'll detect the card and it will show up as a source under the device list. It may be called no-name but typically on it are folders by the type of camera you were using. Now, a lot of folks will start to dig in, just to the one folder itself and pull those out, but I'm a bigger fan of copying everything.
One way of doing that is to just select the folder, right-click and chose Copy. Then on your target destination drive. Make sure you set up your Transfers folder. You can drill into that. And start to make sub-folders by things like the day of shooting. Day one. Inside of that, perhaps Card_01_Day_01. And I'll nest that.
Because I copied that folder to my clipboard and it copied, I can now just choose Paste Item. And you'll see that all that data begins to transfer. Now, this is just a small card, so I don't have that much data to transfer. But imagine transferring 128 gigabytes. That could take a long time. So, you want to get this process right. Copy and pasting data or dragging and dropping data is a fast and convenient way to make the move. But it doesn't guarantee you that the copy is a verified copy and that every bit of data successfully copied.
For this you might want to use a third party utility. And there's lots of them out there that promise things like cloning or duplicating of disks. Let me show you a free one available for the Mac. I'm going to use a utility called Carbon Copy Cloner. And it's quite simple. You choose a source. And then a destination. And that destination can be a specific folder. Now, I've chosen to make a Complete Clone of that card.
When I click Clone, it's going to tell me that some files may be deleted. You can essentially ignore this. This is just talking about the fact that there's not a system structure from one to the other. This utility is often used to copy operating systems. But when I click continue, it asks for my password because it's going to do a verified copy at the system level. And the data begins to move. You get a very accurate verification as the data is copied and it lets you know what's happening. When it's done, it will let you also know if there were any errors with the data. This is a very accurate way to ensure that every single bit of data from the card is moved to your drive.
And in fact you'll know that the data matches bit for bit between the two locations. Carbon Copy Cloner will give you an update if the backup was completed successfully, if not it'll give you a very specific error message. This type of copy takes longer than your typical copy paste or drag and drop But, it's a lot less time than having to re-shoot. I recommend if you can, take the time to do it right. Now, besides these type of utilities, you're also welcome to use something like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Switching into Lightroom, you'll find that in your Library module, you have the ability to choose to Import.
This allows you to import from a target destination. Doing so, you can pick the source, choose the images you want and tell it where it's going to copy those. On the right, simply choose a destination location and you can specify where you're ready for it to go. Clicking import will then move the images off the card onto the targeted directory. Alright, pretty straightforward stuff. I don't care, which method you use to make a copy. Just make two copies.
Be consistent. Get it off the card, and go from the card to a drive and then to another drive. Ideally, you'll go right from the card to each drive. Don't make a copy to one drive and then copy the copy to another because if the first copy was bad, both backups are going to be bad. Typically speaking in an ideal situation, you will make three copies to two different types of media. And make sure that at least one of those is stored offsite.
This is the 3-2-1 backup method described very accurately and in great detail by my friend Peter Krogh. And I recommend you look him up and really get some good ideas on digital asset management.
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