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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stacks Of Blooms

Images In Bloom • Pictures By Number • Going Long And Light • Cloudy With A Chance Of Storage

Labels: ColumnTech Tips
In order to carry minimal equipment, meaning no extra lenses or accessories, I would suggest one of the compact, all-inclusive cameras that have a wide range of focal lengths, built-in flash, close-focus capability, and are relatively small and light. A few suggestions (but not all that are available) are the Nikon Coolpix P520 and L830; Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and SX510 HS; Pentax X-5; Sony Cyber-shot HX50V and HX300; Panasonic Lumix FZ70K and ZS35. At less than $450, these cameras have extended zoom capabilities with image stabilization to reach out—some as far as 1200mm. They also capture HD video, as sometimes video tells the story best. Keep in mind that video files do take up more storage space.

Figure out how many cards you might need, and then take more. These cameras use SD cards that are very small and relatively inexpensive, so they're easy to transport, but also easy to lose. Purchase the cards in 32 GB form so you can take lots of images in JPEG format at the best resolution; you want the highest-quality images you can get. The end results will make excellent prints for a wall display and are more than adequate for sharing on social media. If you're taking a laptop along, you can save the images on that hard drive as they won't take a lot of space. I strongly recommend using a small backup drive, as well; you can purchase a very small USB-powered hard drive (runs off the laptop) that will hold up to 500 GB for less than $100. If a laptop won't be available, you can take a self-powered hard drive, such as the Sanho HyperDrive COLORSPACE; it's made for storing images and even has a small LCD screen to check the images. Power may be an issue so make sure you have the right power adapters for the country and that you have at least two extra batteries for the camera.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Storage

Q With ever-increasing image file sizes, I'm rapidly filling multi-terabyte external drives. Has the time come to use storage and backup services in the cloud?
L. Caine
Golden, Colorado

A We used to have stacks of little yellow boxes filled with slides everywhere; now we have stacks of hard drives, and we keep outgrowing them. Time-lapses, videos and high-res composites yield very large files, so storage is a constant concern. You know I'm an early adopter for most technology, but I'm not ready to turn my files over to a third party yet—even if its name were more substantial than "the cloud"—because my images are just too important to me to relinquish control in that way.

My routine, tedious as it may sound, is to keep my digital images on three sets of hard drives. There's an active set at my desk (five 4 TB drives) that's constantly being backed up to a second set at my desk. There's a third set in the safe deposit box at the bank. Once a month or so, I switch the backup set with the bank set. I'm pretty much constantly scrapping and upgrading the hard drives, weeding out and replacing the older, lower-capacity equipment on a regular basis. So, for me, the basic elements of safe image storage haven't really changed that much from the film days. It still requires organization, regular filing, and bigger and safer "file cabinets."

Follow George Lepp's exploits, see his latest photographs and be part of the discussion on his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/georgelepp.

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