Archive for June, 2010

Travel, Cameras, Cards and Photos

Digital is wonderful, but how do I deal with all of the memory cards and all my vacation photos? Here is a routine that has helped me:

Before you leave:

  • Unload and backup your memory cards and reformat the cards.  DO NOT reformat until you are sure that you have saved the old photos.  Reformatting the cards will remove any corrupt data and improve performance.
  • Make sure that you have enough cards.  Extra memory is cheap, but not in a gift shop.  If you could possibly fill your card(s), buy another one before you leave.
  • Write your name, full address, email and cell number on a paper and take a picture of it with each card.  If you lose your camera, that information just might get it back to you.
  • Pack your charger and extra batteries in the camera bag.  When we’re out for just the day, we often leave these at home.  Be sure to carry-on the camera bag.

While you are there:

  • Develop a plan to exchange cards.   Perhaps have one pocket of the camera bag for empty cards and another one for full cards.  Do not fill the card to capacity, it could damage the files and make them unreadable.
  • If you delete all of your photos by mistake, don’t panic, you may be able to retrieve them.  Replace that card and do not take any more photos on it (be sure to put it with the “full” cards).  Once you are home, use the recovery software that came with the disk.  It’ll usually find most of your files.

After you are home:

  • Copy all of your photos into one folder with an appropriate title.  Once you have finished all of your cards, sort to make sure the files are in order.
  • Delete, delete,  delete!  You have taken way too many photos.  Get rid of the blurry ones,  the poorly lit ones, the duplicates and the just plain boring ones.   Go through at least two “review and delete” cycles.
  • Once you have only your best photos, use the software that came with your camera to rename your files.  The software will add a number to each (GrandCanyon_001, GrandCanyon_002 …).
  • Back up these files to an external hard drive or burn them to a DVD (or both).  Only then should you delete the photos from your cards.