tfttf435 – Ups And Downs With My Urge

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20091121_170730__mg_8711-edit_blogJournalistic photography vs. art photography, the Canon 5D Mark II will get a new firmware soon, backup strategies for your images, focusing video with a DSLR, and how to tackle the photo backlog.


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  • http://web.mac.com/greglaw/Camera_Crafts Greg Lawrence

    Good comments and suggestions concerning managing image files to deal with backlog of digital images. For those who are uncomfortable with deleting images forever might consider an alternative workflow. Images are always downloaded from the camera memory card to two locations, the computer internal hard drive reserved for digital images, and an external hard drive dedicated as a digital image archive. Images are post-processed or deleted from the internal drive as required by your workflow; whereas, the external digital image archive is accessed only for downloads or on the rare instance where an image is inadvertently deleted from or compromised on the internal drive and needs to be recovered. Once a week the internal digital image hard drive is backed up to a third matching external hard drive. The archive and backup external drives are powered up only when access is required, minimizing wear and tear, inadvertent corruption, or potential crashes. Since the archive drive has all original camera images, you can be brutal about deleting unused images from your digital workspace internal drive.

    When either the back up or archive hard drives are full, a new empty external drive is installed to receive future images. How to handle a filled image internal hard drive depends on the options you have with your computer, workflow, frequency of access, and backup requirements. Hard drives are relatively inexpensive when compared to the function they serve. What is not considered here is any additional redundant cloud, off-site or mirrored storage that your workflow might require.

    As an amateur photographer, my workflow averages about 1500 to 2000 images a year. Perhaps a relatively small number when compared with other photographers but significant since my digital 26 – 29 MB images create very large post-processed images (typically a minimum of about 120 MB each). Since only RAW images are stored on the archive external drive, it should fill more slowly than the back up and internal work drives which have the saved RAW, sidecar files, and post-processed images. This depends upon how many images are deleted in the screening process of your workflow.

    Being more selective and deliberate in capturing images with your camera can control what a photographer friend of mine calls “digital diarrhea”, reducing your workflow load and memory demand.

    Another tip is to use Bridge to view a full-screen slideshow several times of all downloaded images before deleting anything. This will familiarize you with all of the images and is helpful not only with deciding what to delete, but which images are selected for post processing. As you move through the images in Bridge during editing, select an image, tap the space bar to display the image full size, and then if necessary click on a desired area of the image to see that area 100% in order to make a good decision about deleting an image.

    Post-processing is a very important process in developing good photographic skills. There is no better way to understand the pros and cons of an image to reinforce what needs to be done to capture a better image the next time or have improved post-processing skills. Most important is to display your post-processed work. Put the images in your screen saver folder, on your website, Flickr or Facebook accounts, load them onto a digital picture frame, or load them on a memory card in your Wii. Review your work frequently. Over time your style and photographic skills will improve.