Weekend Travel Tips part 2

May 12, 2010

Photo Tips

The sun sets over the San Luis valley during a weekend trip from Denver, CO.

Last time we discussed bringing and carrying your gear on a weekend photography trip. This time, we’ll cover some technical tips to ensure that you get the best shot and that they make it home safely. Much like always putting the same gear in the same pockets, having a set of procedures that you follow consistently helps to ensure that you won’t accidentally use the wrong settings or lose photos from a card or laptop hard drive.

Reset list – Have a mental checklist of your baseline camera settings when you start out the day. ISO, focusing mode, drive mode, metering mode and anything else you might have changed are all important. At the end of the day after you begin downloading your images, run through the reset list and put your camera back to your defaults. And in case you forgot, use the morning walk or ride to your photo destination to run through the reset list again. Following this tip will prevent the dreaded realization that you have been shooting that spectacular sunrise at ISO 3200 after taking pics at dinner last night.

Memory cards – I use a ThinkTank Pixel Pocket Rocket in my photo bag, and a ThinkTank Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket in my pocket during the day. The clip hooks onto the the small d-ring of my 5.11 cargoes and goes into my front pocket. Unused cards are label up. Used cards get put in with the label face down. Whenever possible, don’t format a full memory card until you get home and everything is safely backed up.

Central Colorado's Kenosha Pass on the drive south from Denver, CO for a weekend trip in the mountains.

Backup – Speaking of backups, don’t wait until you get home in order to back up your images. This is one case where being paranoid can pay off. The value of these images and your time to take them will directly correlate to how redundant you should be. My full-paranoia recommendation is as follows. When you get back to your hotel room, import your images from that day onto your laptop. Use Lightroom’s “Backup” option to simultaneously copy those images to a backup hard drive. Once you have completed the import, use a software program like Microsoft’s SyncToy or Apple’s Sync!Sync!Sync! to mirror the backup drive with a second backup drive. Carry one backup drive with you at all times in a pocket or in your camera bag.

In the last segment of this series, we’ll talk about some general tips for the weekend shoot and some ideas about what to do with all of your great photos!

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This post was written by:

- who has written 20 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Jeremy is a photographer who lives in Connecticut. Jeremy is an expert on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and his goal is to share a piece of our reality in a way that perhaps the viewer had not considered. You can follow Jeremy on twitter at http://twitter.com/jeremypollack

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3 Responses to “Weekend Travel Tips part 2”

  1. Vincent Iñaki Says:

    Nice post!

    If you’re using Aperture you can create a Library on one of the external drives and create two Vaults. One on the internal disk of your Mac and another to the other external drive. Back home you can just import the Library in your main Library on your main Mac.



  2. Jeremy Pollack Says:

    Thanks Vincent for the addition for Aperture! That sounds like a great feature. Anything to have a backup is A Good Thing. :)


  3. Tyler Clarke Says:

    What other websites offer free travel tips in South America?`”:


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