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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> No more laptops on trips. Good idea?
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03/30/2017 11:19:45 PM · #1
Ok, so for the past 8 years or so, any time I took a trip, I would have my camera, lenses, sometimes tripod, etc. ... and I would have a laptop (and generally an iPad).

Well, I'm sick of carrying a laptop (and the power cord) as it adds weight (about 7 pounds in total), bulk, and extra worry to my bags. So I want to reduce down to make my iPad the photo culling and editing tool of choice.

So I thought about this, and I think I have an elegant solution. I have tried this out in a few test runs, and I think it will work splendidly. But I was wondering if anyone has any input that maybe I didn't consider.

1. Shoot all photos in RAW. Have them dual recorded on the CF and SD card so I have two hard copies as on the go backup.
2. Copy the RAW files to my iPad via a Lighting SD card reader. I bought this one, and it's working like a champ. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LLGRDEW
3. Use the Photos app to cull through photos to pick out those that I likely want to edit
4. Import all of the keepers into Lightroom Mobile
4a. This will sync all of the RAW files to Adobe CC, and also those RAW files get copied down to my MacBook, which is sitting at home (now I have three copies of each RAW, four if you count the automatic backup my MacBook performs every hour!)
4b. This will also allow me to edit the RAW files, which I have seen gets me about 80% of the way through my edits (the other 20% I finish on a computer). All of those edits sync to Lightroom on my MacBook as well (I even edited photos on my phone from McDonald's the other day!)
5. I get home, finish my editing, add titles and keywords, and share my photos with the world

This is really only possible with the magic of the recent Lightroom Mobile update that handles RAW files like this. Makes the Adobe CC subscription more than worth it if it works!

Here are the gotchas I have considered so far.

A. Uploading the RAWs to the cloud can take a while. I would do it every chance I got on WiFi. Also, by culling photos before syncing, that should reduce the sync time.
B. I have almost 50GB free on my iPad. After a photo gets synced to the cloud, it's safe to delete from the Photos app (I have tested this), so even if I don't have fast internet for a week, I would be fine (I can still edit photos that are not yet synced to the cloud)
C. I don't want to delete anything on my cards until I get home and verify everything is safe, so I bought 64GB cards (with my existing 16GB cards packed in case I need them)
D. I would need to make sure my MacBook has enough storage space before I left for vacation
E. These synced RAWs do not count against the Adobe CC data limits, because they are only on the cloud long enough to sync to my MacBook. After the sync to the MacBook, everything is done via Smart Previews, which don't eat up quota limits for Adobe CC.

So, what do you all think?

Message edited by author 2017-03-30 23:28:49.
03/31/2017 08:45:49 AM · #2
I think you've put together a potentially interesting workflow... if you have the bandwidth to be shoveling all that data up to the cloud, then back down. I went a little different direction, I thinned down my laptop to a Lenovo Yoga 710-15 and a Samsung T3 1TB portable hard drive. Slips into the sleeve in my photo backpack, and I don't know it's there. No internet required, but my "backup" (the T3) and my primary storage (the cards in the camera) are usually in the same physical place, so that is a disadvantage.
03/31/2017 10:16:46 AM · #3
That is an interesting thought. I briefly considered getting a MacBook Air, but I don't know that it would be too useful for me outside of trips. My iPad I used daily. My MacBook Pro I use nearly daily. Adding an extra device in here doesn't seem super useful for my situation. Plus...I'm cheap frugal :)

Bandwidth is probably my biggest concern right now. Pulling it down is now problem. I can pull 1 GB worth of data in 4-5 minutes. Sending it up is likely more of the problem. But if I'm at a hotel and leave it sending over night, I imagine it should take care of my day's worth of photos throughout the night.

IF it doesn't, they are still on the iPad until I manually delete them, and I can still edit them in Lightroom mobile, which should continue syncing the next time I have WiFi.

I think I need to take a 2 day trip to test this out more :)
03/31/2017 11:43:45 AM · #4
How does the recent travel ban on laptops affect this idea? Does it include tablets? I won't pack in checked luggage either as I did once (stupidly) and it was, of course, stolen by airport baggage handlers.
03/31/2017 12:17:16 PM · #5
Originally posted by tanguera:

How does the recent travel ban on laptops affect this idea? Does it include tablets? I won't pack in checked luggage either as I did once (stupidly) and it was, of course, stolen by airport baggage handlers.


Check here

Message edited by author 2017-03-31 12:18:58.
03/31/2017 12:23:08 PM · #6
Originally posted by tanguera:

How does the recent travel ban on laptops affect this idea?

That ban only applies to flights originating from some Middle Eastern and African locations (and, I suppose, GOING to them as well...).
03/31/2017 12:49:18 PM · #7
If you're on a flight requiring your laptop be in checked baggage you'd have to have your camera gear in checked baggage as well ... :-(
03/31/2017 03:31:04 PM · #8
Originally posted by RKT:

Originally posted by tanguera:

How does the recent travel ban on laptops affect this idea? Does it include tablets? I won't pack in checked luggage either as I did once (stupidly) and it was, of course, stolen by airport baggage handlers.


Check here


Yeah, my first thought was how they were going to be able to comply with both the electronics ban and the no-batteries-in-checked-luggage ban.
03/31/2017 03:31:51 PM · #9
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by tanguera:

How does the recent travel ban on laptops affect this idea?

That ban only applies to flights originating from some Middle Eastern and African locations (and, I suppose, GOING to them as well...).


Nope, not going to.
04/01/2017 05:44:40 PM · #10
A very eloquent work flow. I assume your home laptop will require being on the whole time you are away ? If not - do they sit in the cloud waiting or just stay on the iPad ?
I have used the Lightroom mobile app - but not extensively and haven't tested it like you have. It does seem a great workflow though.
04/01/2017 08:10:57 PM · #11
Originally posted by Tajhad:

A very eloquent work flow. I assume your home laptop will require being on the whole time you are away ? If not - do they sit in the cloud waiting or just stay on the iPad ?
I have used the Lightroom mobile app - but not extensively and haven't tested it like you have. It does seem a great workflow though.


Yeah it will be on and directly connected to the router via Ethernet. No wifi issues to worrry about. I have a timer plugged into the router to reset it every couple of days, to make sure the router doesn't crap out. And overall, I haven't experienced issues with this.

I'm going to be doing some straight importing to Lightroom Mobile this weekend so more, but all preliminary tests are o surely positive.

I am 99% certain my next trip will only include an iPad :)
04/01/2017 08:45:08 PM · #12
Originally posted by giantmike:

I have a timer plugged into the router to reset it every couple of days, to make sure the router doesn't crap out.

Interesting idea ... be sure to let us know if it works as expected. What kind of timer are you using?
04/01/2017 09:17:35 PM · #13
It's a timer that allows me to set to the minute. So I can have it turn off at 3:00 am, and turn back on at 3:01 am,

Keeps my router ru ning nice. I don't have to manually switch it off and on so much :)
04/01/2017 11:10:00 PM · #14
Thanks -- definitely one of those "why didn't I think of that" ideas!
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