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Travel Blog Workflow 4: Photography – backing up

You might now come back to a place every again, so back up those photographs!!

This is the second part in dealing with Travel Photography workflow when traveling by Dave from The Longest Way Home Travel Blog.

Backing up those photographs:

With all the photographs named, sorted into folders and cataloged and uploaded. The next step takes priority over anything else. For me it’s the most important thing.

I begin the back up process. (I often do this when uploading)

Backup your photographs, I can’t say that enough

I plug in my second external drive which makes a duplicate copy of all these files using sync software. I then have a third hard drive which makes a final copy, this includes the raw images.

As I am always on the road, I do not have a permanent internet connection. And, this is the biggest, most expensive, issue with the workflow. Backing up to external drives is relatively fast. But backing up several gigabytes of data online is painstakingly slow. Average speeds of 200kb per second mean uploading easily takes days to do.

The benefit to using a photohost like zenfolio is that once uploaded, the photographs are also ready for use on my travel blog too. And, in various size formats.

One back up is never enough:

I don’t stop there though. I also use another backup service to back up my backups online. This takes yet more time, but I try to space it out as a second priority to the first backup.

Paranoid? Maybe. But let’s face it, a hard drive can break, be stolen, or get damaged easily. More so with travel. I don’t have a home base to keep the images. If I did, I would send Harddrives back for permanent storage.

I don’t see another choice in my own situation. I’ve tried burning DVD’s, but at 4-8 GB they mount up, and so do shipping costs. Moreover, optical storage has a low lifespan of about 5 years. Plus, to asks friends to constantly mind them is a burden. I switched to harddrive back ups, but similarly there are issues there.

This is why I feel that there are never enough backups that can be made.

Workflow continues during all this

During the backing up process. I will begin writing an article in draft format, answer emails, research my journey etc. So essentially there are many things going on at the same time to speed up efficiency. And, more often than not, make use of valuable internet time.

Final stages of the Travel blog photography workflow:

I usually choose which photograph I want for a travel blog post online. I select different sizes of a photograph to appear on a blog post or gallery that fits inline with any text. Again, Zenfolio allows me to select many sizes for a single image.

Titles, descriptions I’ve added in ACDSee or Lightroom will be imported automatically by Zenfolio. Including keywords, descriptions and titles to all photographs for my travel blog. As mentioned Zenfolio allows me to choose many different sizes to insert into a post. What’s more, due to this if a reader on my travel blog clicks on an image, they get a large version presented to them as well!

Additional photo processing workflows RAW vs Jpg:

Not all raw photographs remain untouched. I also use some for HDR processing, or if there is a serious correction problem that needs to be attended to. An example of corrections that can be made with raw files would be white balance.

Portable Hard drives can help you with backing up on the road

In the Philippines night food stalls and the streets are all lit up with dull yellow lighting in some places, and harsh florescent light in other places. Or worse, some hideous mix.

This can make a photograph very washed out or completely distort the colors. Processing the things like white balance with a raw image can help with this immensely.

Processing raw images takes quite some time though, especially when mixed in with everything else. Generally I only do this, if it’s a fixed photograph I want to work on.

Jpeg or RAW for a travel blog?

Firstly, as mentioned in the previous article. RAW files need to be processed first. They cannot be viewed directly online.

Many will say you can do a lot more with a RAW file than a jpeg image. And, they are correct. But, for me. The amount of time in the day or night simply does not exist to process all my RAW files into jpg and then upload them.

So, for nearly every image you see on The Longest Way Home. It’s a jpg taken directly from the camera with no processing. RAW’s are kept on separate backups, and used if an advertiser or client is looking for something specific. Other than that. They sit there.

Jpg’s are easier to use when on the road 24/7. Again, just be sure you back them up.

Links mentioned in this article:

Zenfolio photohosting (use this code ” BDV-TGN-A7X ” to get a $5 discount)


Review of online storage providers

Coming up next on my travel blog work flow: Writing & Revisions workflow

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