Digital Workflow: organizing and backing up images while on the road.

Establishing a system, or workflow while you are on assignment is essential. There's nothing worse than returning from a trip and being faced with a huge editing job. Good workflow while on assignment also helps you stay on top of the "story".

I shoot all day, then return to my hotel and fire up my Vaio VGN-S260 laptop. The first order of business is to download the CF cards to my laptop using the Cardbus 32 PC slot adapter. The Cardbus 32 save me lots of time as compared to USB downloads using a card reader or the cable connected to the camera.

Once the images are downloaded to the laptop, I open Breezebrowser to view and organize them.

At the begetting of each assignment I create folders for each country I am working in, and under the country folders I create sub folders for each day. Each Day's images go into the corresponding days' folder.

Since I use two cameras, (which have the date and time synchronized) I dump all the photos into that days folder and let Breezebrowser sort them by "timestamp". Since not all images are keepers, I go through each one and immediately delete any images that are out of focus, compositionally bad or in which subjects have their eyes closed or whatever.

Once this initial edit is done, I batch rename the photos using Breezebrowser's batch rename feature. Typically I batch rename using the clients name followed by the country name followed by a number. For example WorldVision_Cambodia_001.jpg.

After the days images have been downloaded to my computer and renamed, I hook up my Apricorn EZBus Mini external hard drive and copy the folder over. When copying is finished I check to see that the files exist on my laptop and on the EZBus Mini. Once that is confirmed I reformat my CF cards using the "reformat" process in my Canon Mark II.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly I place my Vaio laptop and the EZ Bus Mini in different bags so that if one gets stolen or lost I still have a copy of all my hard-earned images.