Image Ingestion

Transferring your images from the camera to the computer is one of the most critical yet often one of the least examined stages of your workflow. It's critical because at this stage, your images exist only on the camera media. Compact Flash, Secure Digital, and microdrives aren't dramatically more fragile than other storage media, but at this stage there's only one copy! Losing previews or camera raw settings is irritating, but you can redo the work. If you make mistakes during ingestion, though, you can lose entire images.

The following ground rules have thus far prevented us from losing even a single image.

  • Don't use the camera as a card reader. Most cameras will let you connect them to the computer and download your images, but that's a bad idea for at least two reasons: Cameras are very slow as card readers, and when the camera is acting as card reader, you can't shoot with it.

  • Never open images directly from the camera media. It's been formatted with the expectation that the only thing that will write to it is the camera. If something else writes to it, maybe nothing will happen, but then again, maybe something bad will.

  • Don't rely on just one copy of the imagesalways copy them to two separate drives before you start working.

  • Don't erase your images from the camera media until you've verified the copies (see "Image Verification," below).

  • Always format the cards in the camera in which they will be shot, never in the computer.

Following these rules takes a little additional time up front, but much less than a reshoot (assuming that lost images can in fact be reshot).

Tip: When Disaster Strikes

If you wind up with a card that's unreadable but contains data you want to recover (it's rare, but it can be caused by doing things like pulling the card out of the reader without first ejecting it in software), do not format it! Doing so will guarantee that any data that was still on the card will be permanently consigned to the bitbucket. Major CF card vendors such as SanDisk and Lexar include data-recovery software with the cards. Before attempting anything else, try the recovery software. If that fails, and the data is truly irreplaceable, several companies offer data recovery from CF cards, usually at a fairly hefty pricea Google search for "Compact Flash Data Recovery" will turn up all the major players.

Real World Adobe Photoshop CS2(c) Industrial-Strength Production Techniques
Real World Adobe Photoshop CS2: Industrial-strength Production Techniques
ISBN: B000N7B9T6
Year: 2006
Pages: 220
Authors: Bruce Fraser © 2008-2017.
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