BGB004 - Image Management while Traveling
I’ve been asked several times how I deal with images when traveling. It seems that everyone has the same issues about photographing away from home and there doesn’t seem to be a standard answer. After all, what we really want when we travel is an unlimited amount of disk storage space, spread across at least two devices that can be carried separately from each other for protection, plus a device that will run both Lightroom and Photoshop, with access to our entire Lightroom catalog and our entire library of images, all of which will run on battery power for over 100 hrs without a re-charge and the whole kit and caboodle should weight less than 1 pound. While we’re at it, we’d also like to have waterproof inflatable pro quality camera bodies and lenses each one weighing less than 1 oz.
Well, I have yet to find a set up that meets my entire wish list. However, over the years I’ve tried several things. For many years I carried a standalone device that had a disk drive, small screen and card slots designed to back up memory cards. But it was painfully slow and never really worked reliably. I tried the tablet route but the iPad could not run Lightroom or Photoshop, had limited disk space, and did not have a USB port to attach an external drive.
But, it is possible to get a fair chunk of the wish list items and meet the most important goals.
So, with the idea to solve this problem I went looking for gear that would be the best trade off between cost, capability, safety, and weight.
I first took a good look at tablets that have a USB port through which one can attach an external hard drive. The Tablets were light, have great battery life, can deal well with web browsing and email, but were weak on other office type applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. Most seemed capable of running a version of Skype (for phone calls over hotel WiFi where roaming charges would kill you). However the tablets can not run LR or Photoshop (although there are other apps that can do editing). Maybe Windows/10 tablets can run LR & PS but probably not too well. I also looked at Ultrabooks (light laptops) which weigh more than tablets but less than laptops yet have full desktop capability. So here’s what I wound up with.
The only manual thing I do after arriving home, which is really not needed, is to copy the BU copies of the LR catalog from the Laptop “C:” drive to my BU drive on the desk top just so they are in the same folder that my desktop LR uses to back up the catalogs. Once I’m sure my catalog and new images have been backed up to both my desktop BU drive and to the cloud I am free to remove the RAW files from the Laptop and can re-format my memory cards.
So, for what it’s worth. That’s how I handle THE PROBLEM.
Keywords: Better photography, Better Shooting, DanPhotoBlog, Image Backup, Image backup on the road, Image Management, Image Management while Traveling, Lightroom, Photography, Photography Tips & Tricks, Photoshop, Traveliing with Lightroom
Thanks for sharing your process. It's helpful to see how someone else deals with this. I use an iPad most of the time but definitely prefer a laptop with the addition of an external drive as you describe.
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