From socks to memory cards
I started a new photographic series last year called One Bedroom Estate. It's a photographic representation about my life living in a one bedroom condo. It depicts a number of everyday scenarios in my day-to-day life. Situations that often indirectly relate to my photographic process. The above photo was about my mild struggle with organization. I often have miss matched socks in my laundry basket. They leave my feet as a pair, but some how get separated in the laundry process. But organization transcends laundry. It's what keeps everything moving efficiently. Even photography. Here’s a break down of how I keep organized.
I have organization in the bag
I purchased one of my favorite pieces of gear during a trip to Amsterdam, and I purchased it in the gift shop of the Hard Rock Cafe. It's a messenger bag, not too big or too small and it's perfect for my street photography work. After adding a simple divider insert, I had the ideal bag. Camera body, prime lens, memory card wallet, and lens cloth. I'm set. I leave the latch undone so I can quickly grab the camera from a bag that doesn't scream photographer to any potential thieves. It's a simple and organized way to carry my gear. A good bag is crucial when you're out in the field. You don't need to break the bank, but finding a comfortable, well organized bag can make your life a bit easier and the process a bit more enjoyable.
When a larger bag is needed, I use the Vanguard HAVANA 48 backpack. There is plenty of room for a laptop/tablet, camera and a couple of lenses in addition to some personal items. It also slides nicely under an airplane seat.
I own multiple cameras, but not all of them have dual card slots like my Canon 5D MIV. So when I want to lighten the camera load during a trip, I carry SD cards for each day/location. That insures that if one card fails, a location may be gone, but not multiple days or an entire trip. When not traveling, each camera has its own memory card wallet. I try not to mix cards/cameras. This helps in preserving the cards and preventing file corruption. I also have a strip of masking tape on the outside of the memory card case with the name of the camera clearly labeled on it.
Backing up files
There are a number of ways this can be done. From cloud storage to local storage, or a combination of both. I have a 4TB Western Digital hard drive that I work off of, coupled with a 8TB Western Digital hard drive that serves as my time machine master back up disk. I also purchase a compact 1TB-2TB Seagate solid state hard drive annually and back up my most important files from that year. Solid state drives are best for back ups, as they are much more stable than a traditional hard drive. As far as file nomenclature, pick what works for you, but I recommend always including the the original file number in you file names, even if the photo has been edited. There is always the possibility you may want to refer back to the raw file. Also, clearly label the dates on each file folder. Simply labeling something “landscapes” or “portraits” won’t help when you need to refer back to a specific time/location of a shoot.
In the field
I love my iPad. It’s one of the best companions any photographer could have. There are endless things that a photograph can do with the iPad, from basic tasks like email to controlling your camera remotely. But when I’m traveling, that’s where it really shines. At the end of each day, I can upload all of my photos to the cloud and edit them right in Capture One or Lightroom. It’s a great way to backup your files and start the editing process and it's also a great way to pass the time during those long plane rides back home. I’m an old soul. I love film photography and started in the darkroom, but it is amazing to have a digital darkroom right in your hands.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to fold some socks.