Skip to main content

Adventure Photography

Lesson 29 of 32

Media Management

Lucas Gilman

Adventure Photography

Lucas Gilman

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

29. Media Management

Lesson Info

Media Management

Lucas this's where it all sort of comes together right? It gels you're out there in the field you shoot the stuff and you bring it home and you get to look at the fruits of your labor so I'm going to throw it over to you and we'll see what you got awesome. So I'm gonna start off with something that is it's not the sexiest topic media management but it's a question I get all the time how do we deal with all this data? I'm a filmmaker and a photographer we're shooting uh a city video or shooting sequences were shooting stills you know, we've got all this data, so initially I think I'm gonna walk you guys through in the field on we're not going to this physically because I'm going to give you a graphic here that's going to show you how we actually store the state in the field because, uh I'm not and this is a thing people go well, you you buy good cards what do you worry about the cards? I'm worried about losing a car there's a lot of things that can go wrong on a shoot I'm flown halfway ...

around the world have a big client that's relying on me and there's no take two no second chance to make this happen again so every day at the end of the shoot we are downloading our c f rst cards through our mac book pro and then I am setting them to to not one drive but two drives and I've I've just moved onto these new technology eighty seas, which are waterproof shockproof actually did the little video for these and we ran it over with the car and the data was still fine, but we're saving all the data to two places besides our sd and cf cards. Uh, people ask me. Well, well, why are you worried about the drys failing? No, I'm geographically separating these drives because I'm traveling to mexico, I'm traveling to iceland all over what happens if somebody's bag gets stolen as all of the the data and there these air things to safeguard, you know, we've worked years to get to this place now we have these top tier clients and we want to go out and we want to make sure that we deliver these assets so we get their way get back to the office essentially, uh, and if we do have a chance, we have y fire in it, the selects from the day we'll go up onto a cloud. I'm not a cloud believer per se I'm not storing everything on the cloud, but it is a good option toe have some dailies and something's done s o that takeaway three copies the original copy, which is the sd or cf card, and then two additional copies will make your clients very happy when we get back to the office. We've got all our data, and typically we've got a stack of these now, because we're shooting terabytes of data from there, we're going to our, uh, g dog from new technology, and the great thing about the g doc is we can pop these out, and we're gonna throw it into the dock. And so it's, almost like a big c a c f card reader, and so can all of a sudden be doing to simultaneously you actually have two docks at home, so I could be ingesting the data from four drives on. I'm typically using a mac pro at my house or my studio, and from there for all the stills work going to be going to a g speed studio are, which are these twenty four terabytes, and this is not just one big single drive. This is four drives in a raid, five configuration rayed, five rave stands for, uh, redundant array of independent discs or, uh, there's a lot of other metaphors and things for but basically what that means is in raid five that if one of these drives fails in this box, that I can pull that drive out and put in another drive and my data is still safe I'm gonna go ahead and just that real quick we've got our big sur shoot here let's see creative live two thousand fifteen big sir go to drag all that over to the studio are and I didn't test earlier one hundred and sixty three gigs that's quite a bit of data about six minutes um for the sake of the workshop here though, I do have a catalogue which should just be our workflow and we're going to go to some select once we ingest all this data through the computer it's all going to go to these and I'm actually doubling that up uh the reason I'm doing that is because, uh these air all independent but I'm gonna take that one step further and double them up. In addition, all this data is going off site as well, not all of it but our select so I'm sending physical hard drives to a safety deposit box my bank on basically my cream of the crop, my portfolio pictures, the pictures that air you know, for the big ad job of the year they're going to go into a safety deposit box so that if my house burns down it floods there's a tsunami that I still have something saved additionally, some is going to the cloud uh is well but uh like I said, I'm not a huge cloud believer and it's also very slow because we're speed is the issue um our video stuff that we do is all going to this studio excel which is a sixty four terabyte unit so it's basically a big brother to this one um and I'm getting about a thousand megabytes of second with thunderbolt through all of these um and you know, I am sponsored by g technology I will tell you that and that's because I started working with them very early on and I love their hard drives I only worked with people that I trust their products but if you're going to go out and buy something and you decide it's not edgy technology product the takeaways are make sure you're buying something that's raid five red five is a very safe array but the biggest thing make sure those drives inside the box our enterprise class drives enterprise class means it's built for business it's built to be in a box is built to a higher tolerance and the meantime to failure which means when it's going to die is a much longer life span it's got it's got much it's built for two a higher grade essentially so if you're not going to buy a g tech product which I totally think you should because it's what I based my business on uh if you don't go make sure that you have rayed five in a box of some sort and george enterprise class um as far as speed goes, whatever the fastest peripheral I'm currently using mostly thunderbolt too or thunderball uh, that's what the most of the max is supporting these days s so on. So forth do we have any questions from the audience so far? I know this is kind of data intensive and, like, a lot of like, nuts and bolts question right here I have more of a comment than a question. I've used all of the different kinds of drives and the one other thing that I would add to g ji tech is that they have a pretty good customer service that is here in the country. I I'm glad to hear that because some of the other ones it's like you get sent teo somewhere in a different country and all they knew how to I tell you to do is reformat your drive. So that's the only other thing I wanted to add perfect. Well, that's a good story. I'm glad to hear that. Um, could you talk us through how everything is sort of connected and sure this through this whole chart? Exactly so let's pretend that this uh thats right now fifteen is my my mac pro at home, so this is my computer essentially, and we have taken this basically this is just this weatherproof case that I've been shuttled all the data back from our chute on and now I popped out the drive and we're ingesting all that data through this dock, which is basically just like a big uh cf card reader almost and from there it's going onto this studio are which is a raid five box, which means it's the redundant safe storage and raid typically means safe. There are other raid configurations such as rate zero, which basically means you're using a little piece of all the discs but you're not getting that redundancy, so when you're in grade five, that means that a little that you're basically using all those drives in case there's a failure on one of them um and all that's going to go here and my catalogs live here is well typically by project I will show you one other little trick while we're here and we're talking about data management, I will show you the folder structure of how I set everything up because this is kind of interesting um so big creative live two thousand fifteen so here we are here's our folder structure this is these are a couple right and things that just went in there but from here so let's go out and get rid of these because they're not supposed to be in here so I set up my full a structure using a little program called post haste, which is aa program it's it's free it's, very simple that's ah pos t h a s t and what this does is it's a little like plugin. Add on and it will. Whatever you decide, your folder structure will be it will allow you to build that consistent folder structure every single time without having to build all these these folders so it will allow you to do that. Then we could actually do that real quick here, and it will show you all of these things you've got in my exports. So these are the things that are there, there, there's nothing in here right now. But these air, when I export the images from light room, I'm gonna have the final j pegs. I'm gonna have the final tiff, so I've got my high rez j pegs by high rise tiffs, and I've got the review j pegs, which are the ones that I will send to the client. So those are all booked in the exports folder. We've got one for production documents. So all of our production documents for the shoot for this creative life shoot would live in here if I've gone in and I've done any photo shop work and it's intensive, and I'm doing things in layers. For instance, if I'm working for a car company, a lot of times, you're fixing reflections, and you're doing a lot of polishing, uh, removal of things that are reflecting that I would put that in the photo shop layers, and then we've got all the raw images which go in here, and it just is a raw, uh, bucket of all of the images. Sometimes, if it's a long shoot, this is a very short shoot, I will break these up on a per day basis, so every day it will be, and I do a reverse date order, so today is what the seventeenth, it will be two thousand fifteen oh, seven seventeen so I'll know which day every one of those folders was in ah, and then the reference scout images this is where my images from, say, google earth sor panorama eo I dragged these in here for reference so that all this stuff lives in the same place and the only additional thing I would probably have the light room catalog living here is, well, I don't particularly have all the catalogs live on one computer because I think of things in a project base because if I give somebody a project, especially when we're working a video I want them to have all the files that they need to work with and we can share those and pass those back and forth that making pretty good sense to everybody okay cool so how did you have you how did you come to this setup was there was a trial and error where you doing something differently before and then you ended up with this work flow this was years of frustration this was years between of shuttling you know we all start out and the problem is way have this passion and we're trying to make it into more of a profession and so we go and we pick up a hard drive and then we build pick up another one then we fill up another one all of a sudden we've got like seventeen hard drives stacked on top of our desk and you're like somebody calls you can say I made a sale and you spend the next like fourteen hours looking for the folder on one of the drives like oh, that was the drive that actually is in the backpack and so it just becomes purely frustrating so I've gone to mohr of ah call it a big bucket or big bit storage scenario so I have twenty four terabytes here uh but it's safe it's in a raid five configuration so if one of those drill drives fails, I'm able to do that but the beauty is all those folders which were then striped across a bunch of drives here and there and you're trying to figure them out arlen one place that's why we typically will back them up in another place is well because we have you know we want to have that redundancy and not have everything in one location whether it's geographically or physically we want to make sure that we're, uh having that data in multiple places on the rule of thumb whether it's your on site and you've got your original images on the cf card and then you've got your two backups you know, you want to have them all your data in three places at all times uh the other thing that I do take on site with me, which I hadn't mentioned before is I will take a drive with me that will have my operating system all my programs basically a direct clone of this laptop because you're on you're on a production and this laptop crashes and you need to go to the apple store and pick up another laptop you don't have time ah whole day to rebuild this whole laptop with all your preferences you plug this guy in, you drag everything off and all of a sudden you're up and running again just like you never you know, stopped um but so this has been to make a long story short this has been years of frustration and just sort of figuring out the best scenario that works in my work. Is this the best workflow for everyone? You know, everybody is different and we all have our quirks are preferences. This is just the one that's really worked for me and allows me tio, hopefully I know where all this data is because, you know, thirty six megapixel camera, you know h d, we're now shooting for k. We're shooting more and more every year, super so emotional of a sudden what used to be a megabyte went to a gigabyte now, it's a terabyte now next year will be a pet, a bite, you know, it's just continuing to grow. So the more you can stand top of your data management. Uh, and it's part of good housekeeping, the happier you will be because you could be out photographing and not doing data management. So how important is media managing for specifically for adventure and outdoor photography when you're dealing with your cards? And how do you deal with your cards out in the field? So the cards are all downloaded on a per day basis at the end of the shooting day, they're downloaded tio this folder structure, so all the raw images and you see, um, right here. All the rama is going here and if it's a longer shoot like I said they'll go per day typically I'm using aa program I'm not using light room two in just those because I don't need to make, um I don't need to make any critical decisions I just use a program such as photo mechanic to be able to view them really quickly look at the j pegs, make sure sure things are sharp there will exposed I'm not doing any any sort of manipulation the field I'm just wanted to make sure that you know, the cameras are all working properly and that we're getting what we need. Additionally, when I ingest all those images in the field, one very important step and it just takes an extra second, is it that in the ptc, which is, you know, basically I'm saying where it was shot, who was in the photo isn't model released, you know, and putting some keywords in as well to allow us to be able to, you know, go in and find those images in a future date as faras naming those pictures typically it's, a project name creative, live in this sense with the date the image was taken so two thousand fifteen oh seven seventeen and then maybe a tag like big sir, so that I know if at least if I just need to do a search just based on the name there's a pretty good chance that I'll be able to find these images down the road so and it is this set up just for photographers with clients or can really anyone out there doing outdoor photography really embraces you know, I don't think it's even based on outdoor photography anybody who is a photo enthusiast, a wedding photographer we all need to be organized and keep our data uh basically findable because all of a sudden you have hundreds of thousands of files and these these these catalogs and to be able to find them is really, really imperative because we've all been there right? And you're looking for whether it's the picture of your kids fifth birthday or your portfolio shot you're you're looking through folders and you don't remember where you put it and all of a sudden you spent a whole day and you're basically throwing money out the window because you're not out there shooting pictures or you're not out there doing client relations or marketing or any of the myriad of things we need to do is photography's these days uh, because we're wasting time in the office not being able to find our images we're exactly these toro here drives so like I said in my my studio we have the studio ours and these as well as the other offsite drives are stored in safety deposit box and that's sort of the the best of the best uh a lot of people don't they're like well, I don't really want to spend money on a safety deposit box we'll send him to an uncle sent him to your parents sent for your family the the main idea is not to have all of your data physically in one location because in case of a catastrophe and we're not talking, it has to be one hundred year flood or a fire it could be that the neighbor's toilet upstairs started leaking and flooded your office like these things happen um, you know, when we go out on a shoot, we we've got a lot of things to think about and usually the last thing we're thinking about it is data management but it's also one of the most important things, especially when you get into you know that really big budget for target me job you've got the two hundred thousand dollar ad job you need to have this this work for or a workflow where you khun document where all of this data was stored in that you were you are safe and things were back to multiple locations because if you flop that shoot that clients going to sue you because you just spent all their money and you don't deliver them what you said you would so ah, you can get insurance for that, but you need to make sure that you have documented all these things and that you've done that by the book essentially do have a question the front? Yes, speaking of the two hundred thousand dollars job, there's a client asked you beforehand what your backup situation is? No, they want to know that that point you were you were there, golden child, you're their golden ticket, you're the one they picked you right? So they're not like what's your backup strategy. They assume that your ducks in a row, if they're going to spend that kind of money, they assume you're a professional and that you're going to go out and that you're going to have these safeguards in effect and you're going to be ready to take care of this situation? Uh, and if if you go out and you have you your data redundant and you have things geographically separated, you'll probably never have to cross that bridge, but if you do and you have no business insurance for malpractice insurance, you're going to prove that you went out and to the best of your ability put these safeguards and effect otherwise it could be could be a rough year question, please, on the outside backup, how often do you go to the safety deposit box? Bring it in and then back up to that. So that's a really good question. Typically, you know, once every six months or a year, I like to spin up these drives. But what ends up happening is the drives keep getting bigger and less expensive. So those drives that are in the safety deposit box sort of continue to get cycled out, because all of a sudden you've got a bigger, bigger bucket, and you put all the data. You just go ahead and just keep swapping them out, and you keep, you know, basically growing that. But the old ones just sort of gets cycled out anyway, so it sort of ah, with the increase in the density of hard drives, it's less and less of a problem.

Class Description

Learn how to capture the intensity and movement of an epic experience in a single, still photograph with Lucas Gilman in Adventure Photography.

Lucas is one of the most celebrated adventure photographers in the industry. His work is infused with color and energy and in this class, he’ll show you how he creates his amazing images. 

You’ll learn: 

  • How to take powerful adventure and outdoor images
  • The key to selling to commercial clients
  • Gear and equipment essentials
  • Post-processing tips and techniques

Lucas will share the history and process behind some of his most challenging and exciting shoots. He’ll also offer tips on how to prepare for long stretches of intense outdoor shooting and how he keeps his gear bag stocked for adventure.

Let one of the industry’s most exciting photographers show you how to inject excitement into your outdoor images in Adventure Photography. 



This class is perfect at all things. The best class for nature photography with or without model. Personally for me this class is best of all because we have most practical learning, that is perfect. I have sense just like I am there. I am gladly wait for starting today class because this class is two days. Buy it that material must to watch and have it on your hard disk! Just perfect. Regards to Lucas and Creative Live.


Lucas is an amazing photographer. I love how he keeps it simple with the way he explains and shows things. This class is perfect for anyone with a camera, as you can take his teachings and apply it to not only adventure photography but to any style.