Hands down, the best photography doodad I’ve ever purchased is the Eye-fi card I got on a lark. With that one purchase, I’ve found a solution to a) finding a reason to lug around my good camera, b) getting photos off my good camera, c) backing up my photos, and d) printing photos so they’re not lost in the digital ether.
Here’s how it works:
My Eye-fi card lives in my Nikon D90 (and I’ve put the protective gear back on it, by the way, since I’m rather careless about throwing it in my diaper bag when we leave the house). 4GB has been plenty of space, especially since I stopped shooting in RAW and JPG and stick to JPG only. Though I had good intentions, I never got around to messing with the RAW files anyway, and when I did I hated it, so I accepted reality and changed my settings. Sure, I sometimes wish I’d more appropriately exposed a good shot, but life happens. Eh.
I’ve set my card to upload automatically to my iPad and Flickr. Yes, Flickr. For a while I also sync’d to my iPhone but I was filling up my phone storage too quickly. So, every photo gets to my iPad, from which I can post to Facebolrook or WordPress, and I have an online backup too. I pay $25 for a yearly subscription to Flickr Pro and it’s totally worth it.
Monthly-ish, I print every photo from Flickr. Sure, I get some not-great shots (something I could avoid by cleaning up my Flickr account, but yea, that’s not gonna happen), but I would have in the old film camera days too. And honestly, when I think back to some of my favorite photos from my childhood, they weren’t perfectly exposed or framed but it didn’t matter. Someday I’ll put them in books, but for now, at least they’re printed and dated.
If I love a photo, I can print a bigger version from Flickr. If I really love a photo, I can download the original file and print it at a good print shop, though I’ve found the online places to do a fine job.
When my iPad gets too full, I download the photos to my laptop and then to an external hard drive. This is my least favorite step (I’m doing it this morning, in fact), but it clears up space on my iPad and I get a second and third local backup. Eventually my laptop hard drive gets full and I make sure my external drive files are recoverable, then delete from my laptop.
Yay! For $25 ($50 if you count my Flickr Pro subscription), I finally have both a workflow and backup system that works… and it’s easy.
Anyone else stumble upon a good (easy) way to keep photos under control?