I think paranoid would be a good adjective to describe me when I'm abroad covering stories. Paranoid towards my pictures that is! Of course.
Losing all the work and the pictures that I took on a particular trip (covering the refugee crisis in that case) would be one of the worst things to happen. Getting my camera stolen? I can buy another one (and get another loan). Having my passport stolen? A real bureaucratic pain but I would get a new one. Pictures stolen? No way to get it back. These pictures are why I travel and how I travel. It's my job and losing them makes me lose the only way to pay for the trip in fact.
To help this important and global issue that is image preservation among photographers, I decided to tell you how I work. My workflow is pretty simple:
- I take the pictures and they are immediatly backed up once on the camera as JPG on a second card (hurrah for cameras with dual cards slots (CF + SD on my camera)).
-At the end of each day I take the RAW pictures out of the camera and put them on my computer and two different rugged hard drives. These two hard drives will usually be in different bags; one in the photo bag and one in the backpack. I try to keep one on myself at all times (told you I'm paranoid).
- I wipe out the CF card from the RAW but keep the jpg on the SD. That way, I can have another backup right in the camera. Better to have a full resolution JPG than nothing at all.
- And here's the last line of defense: whenever I have a good internet connection, I put the pictures online in a private folder on my website. My website is hosted by Smugmug and they offer unlimited storage for photographers, yay!
So, I'll finally get back to the point of the title of this article. This huge, big, unorganized folder that I usually just keep for myself in case, well, I thought I could show it to you. If you are interested in seeing what it looks like to end up with hundreds of pictures and having to select just a few from them, here it is.
It's also a way to immerse yourself totally in the reality of the refugee crisis. Thousands of people, thousands of pictures.