A Short Course Book
Digital Photography Workflow

Storing Images—On the Road

 
Some iPods can both store and display photos.
 
 
The iPod Camera Connector provides a fast, easy way to transfer images from your digital camera to your iPod. Simply plug the iPod Camera Connector into the iPod dock connector, plug in your camera's USB cable, and watch your images make their way to your iPod.
 
 
The Epson P-5000 is a portable storage and viewing device with an 80 Gigabyte hard drive and a 4 inch screen.
Storing images at home is easy. When it's time to hit the road with your digital camera, the problems begin. With traditional cameras, you just stuff the bag with film and shoot till it runs out. Then you go buy some more. With digital cameras it isn't that easy. When you take a lot of photos or are on a long trip, you'll eventually reach the point where your memory cards are all full and you have to move images to another storage device. This is especially true when you capture high-resolution images or use file formats such as RAW or TIFF that give you the best image quality but create huge files—15 Megabytes and even larger in some cases. Here are your alternatives on an extended photo shoot or expedition:
  • Find a place to burn CD/DVDs for you. This will now be done by most photo stores but they are often clueless. (One store used software that recognized and copied only JPEGs, leaving RAW images on the card where they could easily have been deleted since the reasonable assumption was that they has also been copied).
  • Buy more or larger memory cards. This is a common solution but it can be expensive if your trip is long or you are a prolific shooter.
  • Carry a notebook computer. Not only may you already have one of these, but its large screen and ability to run your choice of applications provides you with a mobile version of the typical desktop system. However, a notebook computer isn't always the ideal portable device because of its size, weight, short battery life, and long start-up time. On a car trip it's perfect, especially with a voltage inverter so you can power it from the car's battery. On airline, hiking, or canoe trips it's difficult or impossible. On trips out of the country you may need voltage adapters or converters. If you attach a portable hard drive to the notebook, you can just plug it into your other system when you return home. You can then transfer the files or editing the images right on the portable drive.
  • Buy a portable storage device based on a hard drive or a CD/DVD drive. Some of these devices have card slots or connect directly to the camera. After transferring your images you can then erase your card to make room for new images and resume shooting. When you get back to the setup you use for editing, printing, and distributing images, you copy or move the images from the portable storage device to that system. Many portable storage devices, including some models of Apple's iPod, also let you view your stored images on the device's LCD monitor or on a connected TV—and even pan, rotate, and zoom the images. Some also let you print directly to a printer without using a computer and combine digital photos, digital videos, and MP3 music. With a device such as this you'll be able to create slide shows with special transitions, pans, and accompanying music and play them back anywhere. If you consider one of these devices, be sure it can handle the image formats you use. RAW and other non-JPEG formats are often not supported.
  • Use file transfer. A service called GoToMyPC is widely used by people to access and operate their home or office computer from other computers anywhere in the world even those in libraries and cyber-cafes. If you subscribe to this service you can also transfer files and folders between PCs, or an attached memory card or camera, simply by dragging and dropping between screens. There are also other peer-to-peer file transfer systems available.


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