Ingesting and Organizing Files
We are gonna move into actually doing stuff as opposed to just talking about stuff.
And maybe I'll just set the stage for what we're looking at. So I think now you've seen a handful of images and a video clip from Lebanon and while I think it would not be that entertaining if we downloaded the entire shoot and went through an entire edit, we just did a pull from that Lebanon shoot, a sequence of a few hundred images straight out of the camera and we will go through the process of as though I've just come off the rope where I've shot the images of David Lama rock climbing to the workflow so the download of the card, duplication of the card, the renaming of the files, the adding metadata. So that's the process that we are about to step into.
One other note. We'll try to talk about the actual software. When we talked about color management, X-Rite tends to be the tool that we are using and that's both software, but they also make some physical tools that go in my camera ...
bag that are pretty valuable and that's gray cards and color charts so that you have a reference or a guide, both in video and still photography so that later calibrating is much easier. So that you have a reference which is this is true gray and you take a picture of that gray card or the color chart and later when you're in post you have a reference point somewhere in your take.
Quick question on that then. How often do you find yourself pulling out a gray card or a color card and making that frame, especially when you're out in location and you have clouds changing and the light is changing frequently. Do you go back to that gray card and oh let me do that again or you're kind of in the moment and just keep going?
And it really depends on the size of the production. When it's my I'm a one man band and I'm working with an athlete, I'll be honest, it never comes out of my backpack. When I have help and we're in challenging situations, the light's changing, indoors in particular where there's tricky lighting and the defaults don't work for me, I definitely use it. And when we're shooting video and still photography simultaneously and I know that the video could end up playing next to a still photograph and they better look the same, we use it constantly. The larger the crew gets, the more often we're using it because it's a guarantee. It's an insurance policy that you can make it look good. And you can bake that information into the file.
When you do an auto... When you're using defaults or you're auto white balancing, it's quick and it's dirty and it's usually pretty good results, but when you do custom white balance, you're baking into that JPEG or into the raw file the data that you need to quickly get to a good looking color-managed file.
Right, for sure. So I think first and foremost anytime we're stepping into the active wear pull, I think Corey hinted on this earlier is that once you create that structure, you stick with it because the structure's going to be the thing that helps you in the future on searchability, on locating your files, on your longterm assets. When I adapt my workflow or when I adapt my naming conventions and my captioning captions, I do so very slowly over time after a lot of thought because again the last thing you want is to do things differently every month throughout the year because you keep learning new tips and then all of a sudden you've got a year's worth of files and they're all named in a different convention and they're stored in different places and you're using different software. That's a nightmare. So that consistency, I don't wanna say never change, but adapt that process kind of slowly and thoughtfully and then once you make that change, go with the new.
And I wanna qualify that in our office and I have a small office, but that office started as just me. We have a document which is our workflow guidelines and so that's, it's sort of your personal manifesto to how are you gonna do this and you put it in writing so that if a month passes or two weeks or three weeks, you can remember that step by step process so that you can maintain consistency. Out some companies that you work for, Red Bull is a great example of this. Red Bull has their own set of guidelines and so oftentimes the way that we will manage that is first we'll deal with it according to our guidelines and then go through the process of applying the Red Bull guidelines to that set of pictures so that in our archive it matches what we've done for the last 10 years. And when we deliver to the client, we are abided by the guidelines that Red Bull has requested.
Sure and I'm the same way. I've got my system and then I revamp final selects that go off to them just to be in accordance with their metadata so that on their end it all makes sense to them because they're obviously sourcing from... There's a couple of photographers in your office. There's hundreds in theirs. So I've already plugged in my drives. Again right out of the gate, duplication. We'll do that here in the software and then if we have the ability to maintain a copy on the cards because we have the capacity, that's a third version while you continue your shoot. So we have an XQD reader. One of the things that I realized on the design of this XQD reader is that it's wide enough that I can no longer plug it into the side of my computer while I have my thunderbolt ports filled up and an HDMI over here so one of the many reasons that I carry adapters. This is just a simple three USB port replicator and it's also got an ethernet jack on the end because some places still require you to plug in and these computers by default no longer have an ethernet jack so this solves two problems for me. I can plug that in in a streamlined fashion.
It's worth also saying that if you're an early adopter of technology, you have to be prepared for stuff like that. While that seems so simple that this XQD card reader can't be plugged directly into the computer, if you land in Lebanon and you've never used it, you have new XQD cards, you have to have your drives plugged in, you've got a big problem. It's a huge issue. So I think embracing new technology is valuable, but also try it before you walk out the door because I can't tell you it's a lesson I wish I had learned, but I continue to repeat this lesson-making process which is we take a piece of technology halfway around the globe and we take it out of the box on location and we realize oh no, we've got a big problem.
For sure. So the first thing I'm gonna do, this is Photo Mechanic. To my knowledge it's still the defacto standard for speed and efficiency in ingesting and reviewing images. It is not a adjustments software. It could do some simple cropping, but it's not a full fledged you're not dodging and toning and doing Photoshop style adjustments. It's just for reviewing and making selects and that's the length with which we're gonna go through here. The retouching aspects, the really cleaning up files is going to be a secondary thing we do in session four.
And it's worth pointing out Photo Mechanic, whether you're doing a shoot for Red Bull or you're in the field shooting action adventure sports or whether you're managing files back at the hotel or even in your studio, Photo Mechanic is our, it's the tool that we use to actually move the cameras to import photos from the card into the computer. It's the most powerful, most effective, most efficient tool for doing that. Software that is.
So you notice when I plugged in, Photo Mechanic was set to automatically launch the ingest dialogue, but we're gonna do so. We can just do so manually here and this is default. As we talked about before, redundancy is key. The first thing I do is I set our primary destination which is our master drive, an external, one of these two, and then the secondary which is the backup location where we are sending the second copy and now we've suddenly created three copies of everything because we still have the copy on the card. You see it now. Those drives now disappear from our list of disks and cards. We've selected our D4S card. I tend to keep incremental ingest checked because I sometimes I'm coming back in and doing just only a marginal ingest of additional photos I've just created. I tend to... Personally I copy all photos from a set of cards to one destination. I know plenty of people that keep it, a folder for every card. And that's... To me that's a personal preference. I know that at the point that I'm ingesting multiple cards I've probably been shooting with multiple cameras on one particular thing and hence why I can blend them all together at the end of a session at the end of a day.
Yeah, and that just made me think of two things that are worth pointing out. One, if you're shooting on multiple cameras which is common in the action/sports world, you have a 70 to 200 on on body, you have a 16 to 35 on another, you have a remote camera over there. Before you start shooting you set all of the clocks so that they're identical so you set the maps, you set the time, you set the date and this goes back to this workflow. When Brett does what he's describing which is all of the images end up in one folder, if you want they'll organize themselves in chronological order so it's as the guy's getting ready at the top of the train park you shoot on your 600 millimeter lens. There's some great meditation shots. He's rehearsing the move. Then you switch to your 70 to 200, he's hitting the feature boom, you shoot your action. Or you switch to the wide, you trigger the foot pedal, you shoot the wide remote camera and then he goes down and celebrates and you've shot on three cameras and now they're in chronological order. There is he's getting ready, he's hitting the feature, he's celebrating and if all of your clocks are set identically and the date is correct, it's really easy in that edit process when you're trying to deliver to Red Bull because they want to get it online ASAP, their athlete just won the gold, you're ready. You're not sorting through oh which folder was that, which camera was that. They're in chronological order. Number two, with hard drives. Right now Brett is using two hard drives. They look like they're just blank, but we'll always write on the drives or put gaff tape or create a label so straight out of the gate you know it's hard drive one and hard drive two so it's to the human sight, but also if you have to hand it to someone they know it matches the name, the digital name in your computer. So just keeping everything in sync, we actually name number all of our cards so if there's ever confusion or something's failing, it's not just one of 12 cards in a wallet. It's number seven is having the issues.
And going back to the other thing about syncing time, especially in multiple photographer environments when you're shooting something like Rampage, somebody's flown in from Europe, someone's come from the East Coast, someone's come from the West Coast and suddenly Marv or Charlie or one of the editors is dealing with multiple photographers' take. They look at a set of images that they've brought together and suddenly some of them are set at midnight, some of them are set at 8:00 a.m. and it starts to drive people bonkers. It drives me bonkers when I have multiple photographers working. So that was super key. Going back to our ingest here, again for me I do everything into a folder with a name. I would do that with a name something to the akin of 2000... Again we're dealing with images from last June.
Correct. And so I believe it was June 18th was the day of this card so I start every folder with that naming convention, the dated naming convention and the reason I put year, month, day is that even over multiple years, all those things will sort correctly. If you start with the month or you start with the day as some people do, suddenly if you're dealing with multiple years of images on a drive, everything's gonna start getting really funky. All the Junes are gonna be together, all the Julys are gonna be together over multiple years. So starting, four digit year, two digit month, two digit date and then from there I'll do a human readable naming structure.
Sequence variable, right?
Well this is just for the folder.
Oh got it, I'm sorry. Full name. CD's the bigger brain.
So David Lama, Lebanon, this is the project we talked about earlier in the Avaatara Gorge. So we've set... Again if we were to do folder with sequences we could sequence all of these folders per card or per download session per day. It depends on where we are in the download process. We've set our destination root folders. We're copying everything. Locked and unlocked, that's what I was talking about with tagging in the file. Sometimes if we're not doing the full edit, but I'm passing a card just to an editor for a quick social post, they might only download the locked files because they only wanna see my predetermined favorites. Here we're downloading everything. Same thing with raw and non-raw photos. When I go out and shoot JPEG plus raw in the field on an event because I'm gonna transmit the JPEGs in real time, I will often when I get back to my workspace, I will set it to copy only the raw files so that I'm not redundantly storing a bunch of small or medium raised JPEGs that I only temporarily needed when I was out that day. So here we've set it to all. Applying IPTC stationery to photos I think is super key on original ingest. It may not be super granular information about every different photo, but a standard level of IPTC data is super key because I can't tell you the number of times where I put a call out to the action/sports world and I say hey, I need images of Mark McMorris, X Game snowboarder, throughout the year. I need lifestyle images, I need all kinds of stuff. And I get images named mcmorris1.jpg and mcmorris2.jpg and there's no metadata applied to these images. I don't know where it is, I don't know who he's with, I don't know what time of year it was and so just doing a generic application on initial import means that that metadata lives with that file hopefully forever unless someone is actively trying to delete it. So we're gonna jump in and talk about a little bit of that. Make sure I haven't gone too far off script here. We're gonna rename files, again according to that naming structure. We've got our date, 6-18, we have a sequence. Corey uses a four digit sequence for a series of images. If you're shooting more than 10,000 images in a day, you got a very busy still photographer. Because there are multiple photographers contributing in his world, he uses a small just two digit CR for Corey versus images Bly might shoot or second angles and third angles on a given project. So we've set that renaming on ingest. That means that we're doing away with the DSC and every image living within his archive at any point at least has the date and a human readable information about it. So we might put a tag on the tail end of again Lama Lebanon, Lama Lebanon.
And this is, as we go through this process it's a little time consuming in the first few times you go through ingests in Photo Mechanic, you fumble through it. But once you learn this process the payoff is just enormous in the longterm. I just can't reiterate enough how valuable learning this workflow or building your own workflow really is in the long run where it's 10 years later you're looking for a photograph and because you've named it correctly, because you followed this workflow, because you embedded the IPTC metadata, you actually can find the file. It's those moments where I'm really proud of myself when I'm thinking I'm gonna have to pull my hair out, but instead I do one search and in Lightroom up comes the images.
So by setting that data in IPTC saying Lama Lebanon as a tag, then that's searchable in Lightroom?
Well that's just the name of the file so we're renaming and just to be clear everyone understands what that sequence variable is, that means as they ingest it's gonna start with 0001 and as each image loads then it's gonna go to 02, 03 on up to 9,999 files. We're about to I think jump in and look at IPTC stationery.
This is what's searchable.
Yeah and so this is, it is. The file name is searchable. It's one of many searchable things. But now we're gonna jump into the stuff that's somewhat hidden when you just pull up a JPEG, but it's all baked into the JPEG header or raw sidecar file or sometimes baked into the raw itself. And that's the stationery pad and we use this all the time, but this is the one that we use on initial ingest. And so really quickly, the difference, there's two bits of information in a file metadata. One is EXIF information, E-X-I-F, and that is the stuff that the camera writes originally to the file that is never intended to be changed. It's your shutter speed, your aperture, the ISO. It's a great learning tool when you're going back and trying to better your craft of photography is that we live now in a world of digital photography where all of that information is available and you wanna know why is that motion blur that good, oh I picked the right shutter speed for a person running or a snowboarder on the slope style course. If I wanna get that motion blur right, I now know that 15th of a second looks pretty good. Or in auto racing it might be more like a 60th of a second because your chance of doing, getting motion blurs right at a 15th of a second in auto racing is that much more difficult. So it's a great learning tool, but the EXIF information is not designed to be changed and it should always live with the file. It's written in by Nikons and Canons and it's all of the information about the original settings in the camera. What we're jumping into here is the IPTC information which is a... It stands for some standard developed years ago by like the Associated Press, but it's all the things that you add in on ingest so that you have descriptive information about your image that is searchable down the road.
And I would add to this, the stationery pad when you're downloading in Photo Mechanic, if you're at an event get a copy of the brochure that the agenda for the day, the program, put that in your camera bag, put it in your back pocket. If you're, google... Have a printed document or something digital that you can look at and confirm that what you're putting in this metadata is actually spelled correctly. Take your time. This is where taking the extra 30 seconds makes a big difference because you misspell Lama and it's Lamma, but it's actually Lma and you put it in the database that way, later, 10 years later when you search for David Lama you know you shot those photos, but he's not coming up in the database. Those typos come back to really haunt you. Those details of you're looking for Tannourine, Lebanon, but you spelled it incorrectly, you will never find that data. Or it causes an enormous amount of work because now you're relying on the date structure of the organization and you're scratching your head and thinking I think it was in 2015, was it the summer and you start having to do this visual search rather than allowing the data, the metadata, to allow you to just do text searches which is the most powerful thing about computing.
And more and more so we see every program under the sun standardized around reading this content. The file spotlight on a Mac can read it, every photo editing software under the sun or database and software can read it. Hopefully whoever you're sending it to can also read it. Even Preview, when I work with some of the non-photography editors at some of the places that I work with, some of the writers, I can say just... Okay, I know you don't have Photoshop, but open it up in Preview and you can still read who's in that file, where it was shot...
And this is new. It wasn't always. It was only in the last...
It's moved that way over the last few years and it's great because it just makes all this information universal. And again short of any deliberate attempts to remove it, it should always live with you.
I would also add, when you're there, whether it's an event or you're on an expedition with an athlete, in the moment or when you just get back to your office, it's the one time in your life that you will be the most knowledgeable of that situation so adding meaningful information to those captions or to the metadata, it's the moment to do it. It's taking that extra time to those details that you will quickly forget. Once you add it to these photos, it's there forever and so taking that time, the nuance of what David Lama was actually doing. And here's a generic caption, David Lama and I would put maybe that he rock climbs or climbs, does the first descent of Avaatara 14D belayed by Jord Jod at the Baatara Gorge, Lebanon June 18, and then if I were... This is an example, but I would actually add another sentence or two and those sentences might be at the time this was the hardest free climb in Lebanon, possibly in the Middle East and anything that I know at that moment in time. It's also the first technical rock climb in the gorge itself. All of those little details later are super valuable. You just never know when you need that information.
Yeah, all too often this stuff gets ignored and it's critical down the road. It helps everybody out. So the description, the caption, that's usually the most basic one. That is almost all programs can read it. It's a natural language information about who, what, why, when, the standard journalistic descriptors of any situation. The headline is usually a quick topic. Here it's David Lama. It's also great for search engine optimization cause often the headlines of a page, the titles of a page are automatically drawn from the headline information in your image file. Things like I believe the Content Pool does so in that manner. I know that PhotoShelter does so. A number of the programs that read that information repurpose that succinct headline information into other elements of the webpage and therefore help with search engine optimization. The copyright credit, photographer, creator, all of these related fields under image rights, again getting your name in there. I am shocked by the number of times that I collect an image set from other photographers and they don't even have basic caption or credit copyright information in place.
And you can also, at least on a Nikon, you can tell the camera to embed this information in every photograph that you take.
So if it's not a rented camera, if it's the camera that you use 98% of the time, you should take the extra time to go in and actually tell the camera to embed your name in every file that you ever shoot. To Brett's point, somehow it gets to an editor somewhere on the planet and all it says is franksmith1, jpeg1, but they can't even figure out who attribute the image to. It's just a good idea. It's an insurance policy.
It'll eventually come back to you.
Someone passes it to someone and then suddenly you've been left behind in the conversation and to some extent it's somewhat your fault because you never bothered to tag it in the first place. We wanted to make a quick note on copyright. Having this information is key. It's great to have it listed with the file. There is an actual copyright process that we're not gonna dive too deeply into, but Corey takes the time to submit sets of images to the U.S. Library of Congress. There's a copyright office. I believe that all you need to do is have a recognizable thumbnail version of an image in order to register that image with the copyright office. And you can use a hard drive of my year of work 2015. It's a body of work.
And I think we do it quarterly. It's changed over time, but it started with we submitted... I think you print a physical copy of the information and then we sent a DVD or a CD with the digital thumbnails of that information. I believe we're now sending either thumb drives or hard drives with that same amount of data to the Library of Congress. You fill out a pretty simple slip. I can't remember if it's a digital form now or a paper form and you pay a $30 or $40, some kind of a fee for registering. The reason that you do this is if ever because it's so easy on the internet your picture ends up in a place that it shouldn't end up and money never changes hands and you're trying to do this as a career or it is your career, by registering your copyright, gives you more leverage if it ever ends up in a court of law. And in fact frankly by registering your copyright, it probably prevents you from ever having to go to court over an image that's used incorrectly. So it's a... By doing all of this correctly, adding metadata, registering your copyright, you set yourself up for protecting your images in the event they're ever used illegally.
Or unregister rather.
By default as the content creator, you have the copyright. It's just this is a layer of it helps assure in the business world that man if some infringer and I'm not talking about Joe Schmo down the street on his personal website. I'm talking about some huge brand uses your images with intent without compensating you, they're gonna find out that you've actually gone through the process of copyright and they're gonna know this is not a case we're gonna wanna touch. We're gonna need to settle with this person and make sure all is right with the world.
On that front and I don't wanna go too far off the deep end into copyright, but when you add this metadata, the caption, your credit, your name, the date, et cetera, today we live in a world where your pictures get published on the internet and there are companies out there that their entire job is to crawl the web and look for images that have been used without permission. And this is how they find them because your name is embedded in the files somewhere and then they cross reference with your stock photography agency where your pictures are and then you get, we in our office get on a weekly basis, an email with a list of 12 images, 20 images, three images and we have to reply infringement or not infringement or licensed correctly. And this company then goes to those commercial users that have taken the images off of the web and sends them a letter that says and that'll be $227 please. And when you have registered that copyright it makes it that much less of a contest around whether they're going to pay or not. And these are infringers that know they shouldn't be infringing. Images have value.
Numerous fields in here, usable at your own discretion. Obviously in the commercial world there's tons of information here about whether these images were model released, what the age of the athlete are. Tracing it back to your property releases and your image releases so if you have a file system back at the office, you know where someone selects this image. They wanna hey, is this image licensable for commercial purpose, you say yep, absolutely. That was five years ago, but I do have a model release. Here's the contact information, yada, yada, yada. You can track that all in here. And then finally, there's just basic event and location. Event titles, this was... Well there was no specific event for this. This was a commercial project. But the city, country, it's all searchable down the road. You apply it in bulk on ingest and then you can refine it from there.
So quick question about copyright and kind of people maybe stealing those images for their own purposes, now will that information as you said it stay with that file so you shared on social media, Instagram, Facebook. If they were to click and drag that, that should still stay native with that file, correct?
Unless they go in and consciously strip that information out which the average... That's not their intent. Frankly most use of images, it's by the neighbor next door and they don't realize that they're not supposed to pull the picture and I'm okay with that. We let it go. But yes, this information will stay with the file.
One other... I guess I wanna make the point. Brett's now talking about the kind of global ingest of images. We just shot all day. We're applying this generic caption to every photograph in that entire batch. There's gonna be pictures of I swung the camera around and Dane Henry's hanging off a rope with the red camera shooting video. I shot a picture of Shawn flying the drone, I spun around and a shot a picture of our fixers from Lebanon carrying our lunch in in coolers. It's gonna apply to those pictures as well, but at least there's something globally on the entire take. If you're shooting this story for Red Bull and you submit them to Marv or Charlie or it goes to whomever you're working with and they say these are the six euro images, you can then write much more extensive captions about those particular images and if you're disciplined you can apply it to that whole set of 27 images where that one select came from. But just that global generic baseline information is hugely valuable.
And just to recap, this is applicable to any program that you bring in. Lightroom does this on import, Capture One does this on import. Any program should support some sort of IPTC application, but this is the starting point for any organization down the road. So I feel pretty good about this right now. We'll close that stationery and now we're ready to ingest and we've set it so it's gonna open up the contact sheet as we start ingesting. I don't let PhotoShelter or Photo Mechanic erase my source disks after ingest. This was a feature set by, asked for by someone else. I always reformat my cards in the camera. Primarily because cameras are still PC based, formatting is still PC based. Apple computers can reformat your card for you, but it's kind of a nebulous world to go into. The best way to format your card is to reformat in the camera you're about to shoot with. So I leave that unchecked, but I do unmount them so that I'm ready to pull out as soon as it's ready to ingest. So those should all be good if I didn't get too confused.
And while we watch this ingest, is there anything, any thoughts, whether it's from the audience at home or whether it's from you guys, is there anything that you have question about, even if you think we're gonna get there, throw it out there because we'll make sure we don't miss it on our roadmap.
Adobe Bridge versus Photo Mechanic.
Adobe Bridge versus Photo Mechanic.
I believe that at this point in time Bridge is going to start fading away. I believe that originally Lightroom was... Let me back up. Photoshop was really a graphic designer's program. It was intended originally for people moving things around in space and laying type onto images and all these other things that photographers didn't necessarily need to know how to do and so when Lightroom came around, it was really more of a data based adjustment-specific program for adjusting whole, images on the whole and then databasing them in the longterm. So programs like Lightroom and Capture One are in a different category because they're all inclusive. They're a database program, they're adjustment program and they're a IPTC editing program and cataloging program. Bridge will do a number of these things. Bridge operates in a similar fashion as Photo Mechanic, but again Photo Mechanic in my knowledge has always been the one set up for speed and efficiency and quick previews. We're not seeing a super fast import here, but I have a feeling it has to do with my probably less than stellar USB3 adapter because I know I was pulling these in directly to my machine yesterday and they were flying in. But it's still 20 gigs of content so we're watching our ingest process here.
And I think it's not is there one tool that is the tool to use, but I think to Brett's point, Photo Mechanic in the journalistic event world tends to be it's... It's the tool and you'll see when we start editing files. It's the most efficient tool to work with to quickly download, add metadata, tag, color code your images so that then if you need to bring it into Lightroom or Photoshop to do heavier lifting or manipulation, you're spending less time dealing with the files in Photo Mechanic.
For sure. And again we don't even have to wait for this process. I just had this progress bar so I could see what was happening in the background.
Looks like there's another question so we'll let it go.
Oh sure, for sure.
Yeah, I was wondering if you were gonna mention about geotagging because obviously with what you do, Corey, is when you're out and about, you probably use a GPS unit and you wanna sync all your images so you know exactly where they were taken, right?
For sure, for sure.
So you'd like to... I don't know if you gonna cover that or not, but if not cause at this point.
Oh and it's incredible today. You guys just heard the question which is the value of geotagging and the answer is absolutely and the beauty of geotagging on a Nikon camera, you buy one attachment for your camera and it automatically goes into the data and it is a huge asset. And this is only in the last two years it's become readily available and efficient to do this on your DSLR or mirrorless camera. It's funny, our smartphones allow this to happen so efficiently, but it's a a very valuable tool.
Yeah, and I'll say along the same lines is if you go to a, an amazing vista, you say I wanna come back here one day under better lighting conditions, you immediately know exactly where you're gonna be on that trail, that overlook, that whatever it is. That kind of information's intensely valuable. It's again gets baked into the file. I believe it gets baked into the EXIF information which was the stuff we were talking about that isn't supposed to be changed over time so it's written into the file originally. It's certainly written into again all the smartphone devices, but now it's an accessory added to the pro bodies and I believe it's starting to be defaultly added to some of the prosumer bodies.
I think that as well.
Some of the prosumer bodies now have it built directly in.
And my guess is we will see that happening even in the flagship kind of pro level bodies that when the technology exists, that they can build it in to the core infrastructure of the camera because it's really, really valuable asset to have.
For sure, for sure. So we're already definitely in the realm where we can start working through these files. Again for...
I saw there was one question coming.
Well I guess both of us, but just real quick are you guys are uploading to both drives at the same time?
And not strictly to your laptop? Correct, we're loading directly to these drives.
Is there ever a case in which you add it to your computer if you do have that extra space available on there as an extra backup I guess as if there were a fourth option?
I will do so personally on my selects which is where the process we're about to jump into, but what would happen is that at best, most of these internal drives are a terabyte and we can easily shoot 50 to 100 gigs of content a day and that really starts to fill up very quickly. So it's rare that I pull full card downloads directly onto my machine just from a space efficiency standpoint.
Sure, just and from a speed standpoint though, do you find it faster to just go straight to your drives, your externals?
For sure, with the rise of internal SSDs. If this card was plugged directly into my laptop and it was going solid state to solid state, it'd be done already.
And more importantly, you're avoiding the need to later, let's just say you're downloading. Yeah, that's right. There's a whole duplication process that you've eliminated. You've taken care of it straight out of the gate. You duplicated, you're in triplicate right now because you're in two drives and that card that you haven't formatted.
Yeah, and so just really quickly to wrap up, this doesn't even open by default, but as you can see it's another reassurance that we've ingested completely and correctly. If we had errors it would actually list the files that it erred and you can go back individually and be like what was wrong with image number 1227, find it, pull it over manually. It's another layer of confidence that you have properly imported all your files.
And at the risk of saying something stating the obvious I think it's worth putting this out there. I never, ever, ever delete pictures in the field on my card. It's I shoot, everything stays on the card. I might tag what's great, but everything gets downloaded to the drives. I never go in and delete files off the drive. One because it's not efficient, two because memory's really cheap and three, you might actually need one of those files later that you thought had zero value. There could be a reason that you need it. Someone was in that frame, you need an element from that frame that you only shot in that one throwaway image because you're composite it into something else, but just it's my advice is never ever delete pictures. It's just it's not a good use of your time and you might need that content.
And I'll add a fourth to that and that is I don't like to place undue strain on that table of contents we were talking about. Suddenly if you go back and say you know what, page three is now available because I just deleted that image, but page four through 400 I've already used. Now you're going back and trying to write a file back on that page and you're starting to split up that file on the disk because now it can only fit so much here in that amount of card space and now it's over here. I just keep shooting. Card space is cheap, media is cheap. You can delete after the fact, but again I try to minimize how many changes I'm making to that file allocation table on the card. So let's move quickly through the edit process only because we just nerded out for quite some time on metadata and I've just realized there's one more part at the end after this process that I wanna take about five minutes to talk about. So we have our display. We can sort things in multiple ways. We talked about capture time. Right now it's not gonna change anything because this was all from one camera, but capture time is normally the way if I'm bringing two cards together I could look at things in sequence. One lens as they're dropping towards me, the wide angle lens as they go by, another camera as we're looking down. So very simple layout. One of the keys for Photo Mechanic is simple image tagging. This small T, keyboard shortcuts are gonna be a lifesaver for you. That appears with the... I think Corey's in front of it here.
Oh sorry, the check mark.
The check mark in the lower right hand corner. That's the most basic level of image tagging and it matches up with locking on the back of the camera. If you've locked it in camera, those tags will already appear and when you're in this grid view...
If you tagged it in the camera you can edit.
So that's something to be really careful about is if you are using the tag functionality or marking functionality in your camera and then you're ripping through an edit real quickly tagging the things that you think are great, you'll inadvertently and I have to admit I almost never tag in camera for this very reason, but I'm not shooting as much deadline stuff as Brett. You'll think you're tagging the image, but you're actually untagging your select and now you've sort of your best frame just got lost because you're moving quickly. So...
It's a trade off.
That's right and so again it's your workflow. If you use those tags, use them, pull those selects and then what I would oftentimes do is go in and select all, remove all tags and then do a fresh or apply a color code so that you never lose that tagging that you did in the camera.