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You'll learn to plan effectively, choose the right gear, interact with the people you meet, take photographs efficiently, and—most importantly—create the mental space and time to actually enjoy your journey. David visits some nearby interesting destinations, proving that a great travel experience is not always about a far-flung destination. Along the way, you'll learn how to "decode" any city as a true traveling photographer.
Ready to explore more exotic locales? Check out The Traveling Photographer: Hong Kong.
- Thinking like a photographer while traveling
- Choosing gear wisely
- Balancing travel with photography
- Taking time to craft an image
- Being a chameleon
- Meeting people
- Managing photos from a trip
Skill Level Intermediate
Okay, I wanted to talk to you for a couple of minutes about digital asset management on the road. That's kind of a fancy way for just saying keeping your files safe, and keeping the important files really, really safe. so, I think everybody has a different way of looking at it. I've evolved to what I think is a pretty simple way and it seems to be very, very safe for me. I've never lost any critical pictures. Here's what I do. I shoot everyday. I try to take as much card space as I'm going to need for the trip. I tend to shoot on 16-gigabyte cards, just because I've lost a 64-gig card, and that's a lot of pictures, like, over a lot of time, and that hurt.
But fortunately, I was backed up and double backed up on my important pictures. So here's the way I do it. I, I carry a stack of 16-gig cards, and those are really cheap, I mean, I just picked up three for ten bucks, and by the time you're looking at this, they'll probably be next to free. So, everything kind of stays on those cards because cards pretty safe compared to hard drives and magnetic media. At the end of every day, whether you're in your, you know, the hotel room or the lobby or your apartment or wherever you're staying on the road I'm going to move everything I've shot to my computer.
And that's also when I'm looking through every single frame, and I'm reliving those sequences and looking at pictures that I've locked in my camera that, that I particularly liked on the back of the screen. I'm looking at every frame that I shot that day, and pretty quick, you know, just going through pop pop pop, pop pop pop. I'm pretty fast and ruthless looking at all the crap, and I will stay on a picture I like for awhile. So now, what I'm going to do is drag every picture on the card to the laptop hard drive. So, I've got every picture I've taken, in two different mediums, in two different locations.
So, if my camera gets stolen or my room gets broken into, I'm in okay shape, but I still don't feel comfortable having just two storage places for my edits. So, what I'm going to do with my edits is, I'll just take a thumb drive, and say I shot 1,000 pictures today and I really liked, I don't know, 50 of 'em. And, they're not all 50 winners, but I know my winners will come from those 50. It's what we call a fat edit. Meaning, all my good ones are in this pile, but, you know, some of these piles might be, like picture three, and picture four, and picture five might have very subtle differences, and I haven't really decided which one I like yet, but it's going to be one of those three, that sort of thing.
I'll take those 50 pictures or whatever your fat edit is and drag that to the USB key drive. And now, I've got a triple location diversity on my most important pictures. They're on my card still, they're on my laptop, and they're on my key drive, which is on my person. And I just stick that thing down in my pocket. Like, somebody's maybe going to steal my camera, you know, rough me up, rob me, whatever, but they're probably not going to steal my key drive out of my pocket, by itself, just a little thumb drive. They might rip off my hotel room.
You know, whatever. Stuff happens. You gotta plan for it, just in case. There might be flooding, anything. Who knows? I've got my best images in three different places. I've got all my images in two different places. And, I've got all my images on two different storage forms of media and also, location diversity. So, at that point, I start to feel safe. I have lost a camera in the field. I had it lifted from my backpack, sickening moment. fortunately, I had gone through that editing sequence, so the night before, everything that I had shot had gone on my laptop, and all my pics had gone onto my thumb drive. I did lose pictures, but I only lost the pictures I shot in that camera, up to that day. I had everything else. So, like, digital asset management's a huge thing. The last thing you want to do is to make a, a long trip and go to a, a wonderful, exotic, foreign country, make a bunch of pictures, and then have them gone for some reason.
If you're storing 'em just in one place, you are just asking for that to happen. And I think what a lot of people do is say, move them from their card to their hard drive, and then they erase their card and make new space to go shooting and you think, well, that's cool. They're in one place. I mean, if your hard drive goes, that's going to be a problem. If your computer goes, like gets stolen, that's going to be a problem. That's like your whole trip, just gone from your memory. So, make sure you have it in a few places, and the ones that are really important to you, I'd go triple, and I like being in three different locations with those triple backed up critical frames. So, that's my digital asset management on the road.
Whatever you want to do is cool, but that's the way I do it.