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Shooting on the road, whether it's on vacation or on assignment, introduces a variety of considerations for photographers of all levels. How do you store the shots, back them up, edit and enhance images in the field, and then merge those images with your master library at home? In this course, Ben Long addresses these topics and more from the perspective of several field-shooting scenarios, including city vacationing and backcountry hiking.
The course takes a look at the hardware and software issues behind field shooting: assessing storage and backup needs, evaluating GPS geotagging options, surveying power and charging issues, and more. After discussing each of the components, Ben shows how they fit together in different field setups, ranging from an extravagant laptop-based system to a no-computer setup that backs up photos to a compact digital wallet device. The course also spotlights some workflow strategies to consider when you get home, from transferring photos to merging them with a larger photo library.
I had an enjoyable day out stomping around in different places, taking pictures, and I'm back here in my room, and I want to do a little post-production. Now, I wouldn't necessarily do that at the end of every day of shooting. I am on vacation, after all, and sitting in front of a computer doesn't feel particularly vacationy. But I would like to clear some cards off, because I know they're filled up and I need to replace them. I also want to do a little bit of editing because I've got one little chore that I need to get done here. The great thing about being in these luxury accommodations where I've got places to plug things in, and where I have been able to bring a full-on computer, the great thing about that is that I can do my normal post-production just like I would do at home. I can plug in a card reader.
I can take the cards out of my camera, stick them in, and copy them over to my computer. I'm actually copying them to an external drive. Actually, I'm copying them to two external drives, so that I will have two backups. And when those copies are done, I'm erasing the cards and putting them back in my camera and back into my card wallet. Every time you erase the cards, it's important to remember to use the Format command on your camera, not the Erase All command. That's going to make your cards a little more reliable. Now, I'm ready, using the software of my choosing, to go through my normal post-production process: rating images, finding the pick images, getting them organized.
I am doing that in Adobe Bridge. You could of course be doing this in Lightroom or Aperture or iPhoto, any number of different applications. The overall process is still the same: you find your pick images, you rate them. I'm going to actually do some editing on one of these images, partly because I want to see if it worked out the way that I thought it did, and also because one of the reasons I've been able to take this long vacation is that there's some work I can do on the road. I'm writing a magazine article, and I need a particular image that serves a particular teaching point, and I think this image of this tree here is the one.
So, I've edited that up into a final thing that I think I like, and it's time for me to send that off to the editor. And connectivity is very often something you need to figure out before you go on vacation, so that you can be sure you've got the connectivity options that you need. I knew that I was going to be needing to transfer some large files while I was here, and again, that's because I've got some work. But even if you're not having work or professional-related reasons, you might want to ensure that you've got connectivity because maybe you want to be able to send pictures to your friends at home or post images on Facebook or feed them to your Flickr stream, things like that.
Before I came here, I called ahead and found out that they do have wireless high-speed Internet in every room. I often don't trust that, to be honest, because in a large facility like this, depending on where you are, it may or may not work and it may not work particularly fast. I always travel with an ethernet cable also, because a lot of rooms that have wireless also have ethernet connections, and those are sometimes more reliable than a wireless connection. I'm actually right next to the office, which means that I can't throw wild parties, but it does mean that I've got really high-speed wireless here. I've been doing some file transfers already and they work really well.
So, all I'm going to do is take this image that I need to get to my editor, I'm going to FTP it to them. On the Mac, I use an FTP program called Transmit that I really like, and I can simply do a drag-and-drop from Bridge into the Transmit window to get that going. And fortunately, as I mentioned before, I've got nice high-speed access here. It's giving me, well, I said I had nice high-speed access, and now it says it's going to take half-an-hour. Bear in mind that a lot of times in a hotel you're going to have slower access in the evenings and in the mornings as everyone is waking up and getting online. During the middle of the day, you might be able to have very speedy access.
In the middle of the night, you might be able to also. If you need to do big transfers, you can leave them running at those times and probably have a better go at it then. So, that's the bulk of the post-production that I'm going to work through here in this situation. As I said, it's pretty much just like being at home. My only concern is that I'm working on a laptop computer here, and I do have a tower computer at home, and I'm going to want to be sure and be able to get all those things synchronized. We're going to talk more about that later. What I'm doing to facilitate that now is building a directory structure on my external drives that's just like the ones I have at home.
I'm putting images into the same types of folders and that kind of thing, and I'm managing all that manually. If you're using a program like Lightroom or Aperture, it's very likely taking care of all of that for you, and we'll discuss that in greater detail later. My cards are cleared off. I'm ready either for some night shooting tonight or another day of shooting tomorrow. I know that right now I'm hungry, so I'm going to go get some dinner.
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