Hey Everyone, Hope everyone is doing great in these trying times. This week I want to talk about my mobile workflow when doing photography on the road. My mobile situation has changed many times but I’m always trying to make it better more streamline and lightweight in the long run. To prove my point I’m writing this blog using my iPad mini 5 and a Bluetooth travel keyboard. Like I have said I have tried all sorts of ways to backup my photography and video files and edit while I’m on the road with the less fuss and bulk and weight. Now this system is just the way I do stuff now I’m sure it will change again but I seem to have it pretty dialed in. First of all it has to be light weight and versatile I’m not as young as I used to be and if it can be used for more than one thing even better. If you remember from last week I was exploring and testing out ways to back up my SD cards without an laptop. I ran some test on the Ravpower Filehub at work and it worked like a champ it is in my travel kit for this trip. I also used it as a mobile WiFi router and it also worked great. I had five computers working off of the WiFi and it handled it with no problem. So if your in a hotel that doesn't have WiFi or it is very weak and they have a wired port you can hook this device up and make a small WiFi network at 5g speed. Well enough about the File Hub here we go step by step of my workflow for mobile photography.
- First I bring at least one SD card for everyday with a few extras. So if I go for a week I have at a minimum 7 SD cards. I didn’t buy them all at once. When I find them on sale I’ll buy a few. Before you know it you have plenty. The original SD card will be the first copy of my workflow and will not be used again on this trip.
- Second When I get back to the hotel I take the SD card out of my Camera and put a newly formatted one in my camera and charge my batteries for the next day. I then take that SD card and back it up using a new little gadget I just got. The RAVpower File Hub. I can attach a SSD (solid state drive) up to 3TB to the hub and then take my SD card and insert and push a button and it will transfer all of the files to the SDD drive in a time stamped folder. I don’t have to be hooked up to the internet or anything. I then can take the SD card and put in my card wallet to the same space that was left empty by the card I have just put in my camera. I put the card in upside down so I know not to use it again. Now I have two copy’s of my photo’s or videos and I never keep them in the same place. Always in different bags.
-Now for editing. All my editing while on the road will be done with my iPad mini and an iPencil. I don’t plan on doing a lot of editing while on the road maybe one or two for social media and I can do this easily with the iPad. I have Lightroom and Photoshop Express which is plenty of power for these types of edits. I can see my files using the RAVpower File Hub or with an SD card reader that I can hook to my iPad via lightning port. The file hub works great and I can hook to it via WiFi and using an App on the iPad I can access my files. This system I have tested and seems to work very well to edit and post to the internet.
So that’s my workflow and how I manage my files while traveling. Carrying a laptop and charger, mouse and all of that is quite a lot just to backup files especially if the laptop is your main computer. If something happened to it on the road what would you do? I also use my iPad for many other things also like maps, gps, etc… and its a cellular/WiFi so connectivity is pretty good when on the go. The iPad mini is also smaller than a normal iPad and can fit in any bag. The file hub is about the size of a deck of cards so the footprint of this setup is much smaller than the 13 inch MacBook Air I have used in the past. This system gives me two copy’s of my photo’s and videos and when I get home I can import them into Lightroom or any other software I may use. When they make it on my main computer then they are backed up to the cloud via Backblaze. So as you see I like multiple copies of my files.
I have tried many systems from WiFi SSD drives that worked but clunky to an Android tablet that didn’t work at all. My main goal is to be mobile and still do all the things I want to do on the road. If you think about it I really don’t need the iPad I could do everything with my phone but not as easily. My eyes aren’t the same as they used to be so the iPad mini works for now . I may have to go to a regular size one in the future! LOL The iPencil works well as a editing tool and works well as a mouse too.
This system might not work for everyone you might want your laptop but for me the ease of being more mobile and versatile is what matters the most. Hope this helps and gives some tips for a better travel experience on photography trips. So until next week keep shooting and get outside!