Seeking Info from Travel Photographers

30 May

Anyone who can help, please respond. I am planning on taking a lot of photos in Europe, estimated 6000 over my entire trip.  Here is my problem. Right now I have SIM cards that will hold about 3400. I have an ipad with a photo capacity of up to 1000 photos. That doesn’t give me enough room.  Should I get more SIM cards? Should I check out an app like Dropbox to send back to my home computer? I also have a smugmug photo website. Should I upload the photos directly to that site and then download them back to my home computer when I return? If anyone has advice from their own experience, I would greatly GREATLY appreciate it.  Thank you, Rosemarie


46 Responses to “Seeking Info from Travel Photographers”

  1. Angeline M May 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    I’ll be interested in what info you get here, Rosemarie. I’ve got a trip to Mexico coming up end of November, and know I will be running up against this same issue. I had been thinking extra SIM cards, but those can always get lost. Dropbox sounds like a good idea. Keep us posted.

  2. Harbin77 May 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    This is only my thought, When we travel and take a lot of pictures I try to wait until I get home to down load them. I have only used two cards so far. I recommend that you get enough cards to cover what you want to do, but I have found that unless you have a great memory to either get brochures of where you took the pictures or just jot down a note so when you do go through them you can put the right picture with where you took it at. Have a blessed day. Jim

    • Rosemarie May 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

      Thank you so much for your suggestion.

  3. Linda Arthur Tejera May 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    I, too, will be interested in your responses! I have iCloud and Dropbox and don’t know how to use either one of them yet!!

    • Rosemarie May 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      I just tried creating a new album (a test) on my photo website. It was so simple. That may be my answer, but I am still open to other suggestions. If I use my smugmug account, I could just upload photos to a new album every day, and then download them to my computer and sort them out when I return.

  4. Michael Rappa May 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    I like Dropbox but it may not be the best solution if your connection is slow overseas, and it would cost money for extra storage.

    For my trip to Italy and Croatia I took about six thousand photos but I had my netbook with me, so I was able to download them to my hard drive.

    A good option for backup is a thumbdrive if you can connect one to your iPad. I was able to do that for my Peru trip. I had a 16 GB thumbdrive that I backed up all my photos to, by first copying them to my galaxy tablet and then moving them to the thumbdrive. Once the photos were moved to the thumb drive, I could delete them from the tablet and my SD cards so I never had to worry about running out of space. I also backed up my photos to a spare 16 GB SD card just for redundancy.

    You can get 32 GB and 64 GB thumbdrives for pretty cheap these days, so if your iPad enables you to connect them, that might be your best bet. You can back up your photos to two of them to guard against a failure or a lost thumbdrive.

    • Rosemarie May 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Wow! You are the man! Thank you for these excellent suggestions. I will check out the thumbdrives and the 16 GB SD card. I have a photo website, and I just discovered that it was really easy to upload photos from my ipad to my photo website, so that could be yet another redundancy. Thank you so much, Michael.

      • Michael Rappa May 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

        You’re welcome. Have a great trip!

    • Michael Rappa May 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      Just to clarify how I did it:
      1. Connect your SD card to your tablet and copy the photos to the tablet.
      2. Connect the thumbdrive to the tablet and copy the photos from the tablet to the thumbdrive.
      3. If desired for backup, connect another thumbdrive to the tablet and copy the photos to that as well.
      4. Delete the photos from your tablet and your SD cards.

      It may seem tedious to go through all that, but it worked for me. 🙂

      • Rosemarie May 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

        Thank you. It is great to get advice from someone to has done all this before and is an expert. Really I can’t thank you enough. You are so helpful.

      • Michael Rappa May 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

        My pleasure.

    • Rosemarie June 1, 2013 at 4:28 am #

      Are you able to transfer your photos from your ipad onto a thumbdrive? I have not tried it yet, but I have read that it is not possible.

  5. Peripatetic Eric May 30, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m no expert but Dropbox seems like a good idea (would hate to lose one of those little cards)…i suppose the downside is the need for bandwidth to quickly upload numerous large files and possibly the need to pay for more storage there. To add to Harbin77 we often take photos of signs that indicate the place where we took a batch of photos so as to remember where we were at the time.

    • Rosemarie May 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      Great. Thank you for the tip about photographing signs. That’s a good one. Rosemarie

  6. lensandpensbysally May 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    I take numerous flash drives, and keep the ones that are not in the camera with me. If you have a digital camera that is fairly new, you can activate Places, which will map each image that you take.

  7. Bob Muenchausen May 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    All good advice. I can’t add much other than to say that if you have confidence in one online service more so than another, then that is the one I’d use. When using one of those, you could also have someone, like your son or daughter copy them as well, once you’ve posted them as a backup of your back up. My kids and I do this all the time with Facebook postings. The more places your photos reside, the more likely they are to survive. Bob

    • Rosemarie May 30, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      Thanks, Bob. I trust smugmug. A lot of professional photographers use them. I don’t think I could ever get my kids to do the extra steps for me.

  8. heavenhappens May 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    I upload all my precious photos to Shutterfly, it is free and simple and is an additional backup as well as the flash cards. You can also make books or gifts out of the photos when you get home. I also have a 750gb external hard drive at home that holds everything. Photos are so precious aren’t they. Have a great trip.

    • Rosemarie May 30, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      Shutterfly is a good idea. I also have a photo website that I use. I have tried uploading photos to it today from my ipad and it seemed to work like a dream. I am always looking for redundancy when it comes to photos. The more places they are stashed, the better.

  9. The Palladian Traveler May 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    You should be able to hookup an external portable hard drive to your iPad, downloading your photos from the camera to the iPad then backing them up to the external drive. Best to check with Apple nearest you. If you can, then buy at least a 1TB (terabyte) portable drive.

    • Rosemarie May 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      Another good idea. Yes, I will have to check with Apple about that. Back to the mall again. Thank you.

  10. chun2013 May 31, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    It is a lot of good advice.
    Since I don’t own a Ipad not sure about the Ipad.
    Laptop external HDD I will save lots of photos.
    Cheap hard drives, large capacity so I use.
    Make a folder named date.
    But I don’t know the future.
    We must switch to the best way to save.

    • Rosemarie May 31, 2013 at 3:14 am #

      Thank you for your input. I use an external hard drive with my computer, but I don’t know yet whether that works with my ipad.

  11. Cancer in My Thirties May 31, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    I learned something new! Thanks for asking about this! I am looking forward to seeing your trip photos! 🙂

    • Rosemarie May 31, 2013 at 3:24 am #

      Good. There have been many good ideas posted. I’m still going to do some more research on ipad capabilities with the experts at the Apple Store.

  12. Sartenada May 31, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Very interesting post with great answers. I think that I cannot give any more advices. Personally I do not remove my photos from my camera before I have all of them in two places whatever those places are called.

    Waiting Your photos in the future posts. Happy travel and blogging!

    • Rosemarie May 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Redundancy seems to be the keyword.

  13. Connie T June 1, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    You could put them on Flickr, they now give you a terabyte of storage for free.

    • Rosemarie June 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      Really!? I’ll have to check that out, because if I store them in the cloud, I would like to store them in two different places. I already have, but second storage site would be good.Thank you.

  14. ruthincolorado June 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    I can’t live without Dropbox. I would suggest a combination of cloud and physical storage, just in case something (God forbid!) happens to your cards. I second the jump drive idea, but also back up in the cloud. Even if you have to pay extra for storage, it’s worth it to keep your images safe.

    • Rosemarie June 2, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

      I am taking my ipad with me. I am not certain that I can use a jump drive with an ipad. Do you know?

  15. Tina Schell June 3, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    I always travel with enough memory to hold the photos I plan to take. In the scheme of things, memory is very inexpensive. I NEVER delete my cards until I’m home and comfortable that they are on my computer AND backed up. The issue with using something like smugmug is that you are not uploading the full file in most cases so if you want to make changes or edits later, you don’t have enough data to work with and if you want to create a print or blow-up of the file your smugmug file is not large enough to do that. (and of course you have the issue of upload times over slower connections) I always take a mac laptop with me and at this point, it’s not that much larger than the ipad. I don’t think you can put a thumbnail drive or other external device on the ipad but I could be wrong. Also be sure to get the correct connector to plug your camera to your ipad. Good luck!

    • Rosemarie June 3, 2013 at 1:29 am #

      You really bring up a good point. Several people have suggested backing up my photos with a flash drive, but I don’t think that works with an ipad. I bought the ipad specifically to take with me to Europe, but now I am having second thoughts. Maybe I should take my MacBook Pro with me. It is slightly larger and somewhat heavier, but it would allow me to back up my photos to some sort of external drive, in addition to uploading to smugmug or flickr. That way I would have sufficient redundancy to assure my photos get home. I would be afraid to let my computer out of my sight or on my person. Do you carry it with you at all times or leave it at your hotel?

  16. Seas Reflecting Starlight June 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Having multiple backup systems is what I’d recommend. Nothing is infallible. Memory cards have become very cheap these days (especially in the context of a trip to Europe), so I’d have enough on hand to cover your trip. So long as you keep everything together in one place (like your camera bag) you shouldn’t loose anything (unless something happens like you are robbed). Online storage systems aren’t infallible either, since there have been instances of file sharing sites being shut down without notice, leaving all of their customers unable to recover any of their own data. External hard drives and/or flash drives are also portable and much cheaper than they used to be. I’ve also known people who weren’t traveling with a computer who chose to visit local photo centers and ask for photos on their memory cards to be burned to CD (for a fee). There are any of a number of ways that you can back up your photos – choose a few of them that work for you, and keep multiple copies of your photos. Happy traveling!

    • Rosemarie June 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

      Thank you for your advice. It is very helpful as I figure out what will work best for me.

  17. Colin Butterworth June 4, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    When we travelled for six weeks we got a small laptop and a 1tb external hard drive. I downloaded the images each night to keep all the images safe. After 3 weeks we got a second external hard drive and I backed up everything from the first drive onto that. It meant double handling the files each night, but we were happier knowing that we had two sets of the images. I always kept the hard drive either in the hotel safe or in my backpack.
    I realise reading through you comments that this really won’t help you. I’m not sure what the iPad can do with external drives.
    I use smugmug and dropbox. If you can get a good internet connection I would use smugmug. They will keep your images safe and backed up for you (they can also take raw files I believe). Dropbox is good as a secondary option.
    Another option would be to take the cards into a photolab and get a CD/DVD burned of your images. I contemplated this for our trip, but that takes time that could be otherwise used doing something else.

    • Rosemarie June 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      After hearing from you and so many others I have decided not to take the ipad. It is not heavy duty enough for my tasks. I’ll stick with my MacBook Pro and get a new external hard drive. I can upload to smugmug and secondarily to flickr. I like your idea of keeping the hard drive with you or in the hotel safe. Thank you so much for your comments.

  18. bebs1 June 17, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    I was interested on what others has to say on this matter. During my 10-day trip to the Rockies I carried my iMac with me and loaded my pictures there every night, that is IF I could get connection. When I used to travel to Europe I had a desktop then, I’d carry 2 of the biggest memory cards I could get for my camera. I never uploaded any pictures then while on the road. This time I was almost able to do it every night so I didn’t even have a need for my 2nd memory card.

    I didn’t upload to Shutterfly, Flickr or any of those sites because I found I could not edit my pictures. Even when i stored them in a diskette when I returned at Walgreens I could not edit the pictures in the discs so I’ve never done that again.

    I think you have to do whatever you’re most comfortable with. Have fun and be safe!

    • Rosemarie June 17, 2013 at 1:24 am #

      I gave up the idea of using my ipad, and now I am taking my MacBookPro with me. I am planning on uploading photos to the computer on a nightly basis, and also shooting them to my smugmug photo website. Redundancy. That’s what is key, I have learned.

  19. mflahertyphoto June 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    I think I’m repeating advice already given, but I’ve traveled extensively and the netbook and 1 Tb 2.5″ external hard drive(s) have worked like a dream. Keep on spilling drinks on my netbook though! I put a larger hard drive in my netbook when I bought it. So really what I’m doing is BACKING up my photos to the external drive. I always have two copies. I don’t like to have too many cards, for one thing they are compact flash, which in high speed is pretty spendy. So I format (delete) and reuse them as I go. The backing up to internet (cloud) idea sounds good, and I may try that next trip. Just go with whatever is easier to use and provides free or cheap storage (dropbox, your smugmug, whatever works). In my case I would use it as a 3rd backup instead of a replacement for the external drive. I like to be able to backup whether or not I have internet access. I should say I shoot RAW images so they take up some serious space. Add HD videos and the fact I often travel for 3 months at a time and you’re talking major storage needs. One thing I do every other night or so is go through and delete obviously bad images (unfocused, way too dark, etc.), and that helps a lot. My netbook is just good enough to do some editing. I’d like to upgrade to a Macbook Air though.

    For you, your Ipad would be like my netbook, so get either an external HD or a handful of 64 gb thumb drives for the backup. Or if you’ll have regular internet access use the cloud for your backup and the thumbs or external HD for your primary copies. That way you could use your Ipad as sort of a temporary holding place for photos you haven’t looked at yet, or for photos toward the end of the trip if you start running short of space. I don’t know how much storage an Ipad has; can you increase storage space on it? That would be good to do if you’re just using it plus thumbs or external for the backup. I wouldn’t bother getting a whole raft of SIM cards, too easy to misplace. Just delete and reuse them. Have fun!

    • Rosemarie June 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      Thank you for your wonderful and timely advice. I had to give up the idea of using my ipad. Not enough storage and you cannot use external hard drives or thumb drives with it. I am taking my MacBookPro. I have several friends who have traveled abroad and taken their MacBook Pros with them. They did not have any problems. I am much more comfortable using the computer over the ipad; it is just bigger than the ipad, but, oh well….

      • mflahertyphoto June 21, 2013 at 8:02 am #

        Good choice. You’ll appreciate having something you can work on, and looking over the photos on a halfway decent display will allow you to edit and post good ones as you go (if you’re into that). I guess the Ipad isn’t such a neat replacement for a laptop or netbook. Can’t believe it doesn’t have USB ports, why is it so popular? Can’t wait to see photos from Europe.

      • Rosemarie June 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

        Yes, I am disappointed in the ipad’s shortcomings. In retrospect I would have not put out the extra money to get one, since I did make the purchase specifically for this trip. Live and learn.

  20. Barbara June 27, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    I got my iPad and thought it was going to solve all my problems. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to record the complete Raw file. I have a 32 GB And it filled up too Quickly with raw images. we had a Mac book with us so we loaded up the photos there as back up and then with the iPAD, I dumped the ones that I didn’t want so I could enjoy them as we went along. Now I know my backips are safely on my at home Mac, I am bringing the files down to a reasonable amount in order to my show my photos to family and for us to enjoy. Next trip is in the fall, so I am reading all the suggestions here.

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