It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro photographer for National Geographic magazine, a regular Joe tourist shooting pics of historic landmarks while on a trip, or a mom recording her four offspring frolicking at the local lake, your photos and videos are virtually priceless to you. You may not know much about the “Golden Ratio” or framing the perfect picture, but your snapshots and videos are works of art in your mind, and more importantly, they’re a vital recording of your family’s life and adventures. So, you want to make sure you can capture all the memories you want this summer, and you also want to back those pics and vids up for safekeeping. So, put on your best smile, and let me tell you how to make your summer more memorable.
Shoot a Lot
I started my writing career as a journalist for community papers. One of the best pieces of advice I got from an editor was to “shoot a lot.” Back then, we had to roll our own film, but they would send me off with about 20 rolls to cover an event, and encourage me to shoot it all. At the end of the day, only one single picture would end up I the paper from the event from all those pictures, but you can be sure it was a winner (with, admittedly, about 19 and a half rolls of sub-par and unusable stuff). Today, digital photo and videography allows us to shoot a lot more footage of the events we want to remember. Thanks to memory cards and the instant access to our footage and pics, we can weed out bad shots right away and only keep the images or videos we like. So, keep the cameras rolling, and shoot as much as you can. Our smartphones have really good cameras these days, so stop texting and start shooting. Don’t be afraid to shoot from different angles, or perspectives. You never know what you’ll capture.
Go Go GoPro
One of my best investments was in a GoPro camera, a couple years ago. I had been to Hawaii for a vacation and after a surfing lesson I realized I wanted video of the experience. For any action summer adventure, be it biking, hiking, swimming, surfing or just hanging out with friends, a Go Pro is a pretty nifty little camera to have around. You can shoot photos and awesome HD videos, and the camera comes with a waterproof casing so you can film practically anywhere. For me, my smartphone and my Go Pro are all I need to record all the fun we have in the summer.
Okay, the only problem with my “shoot a lot” advice is if you happen to have a smartphone with more limited memory capabilities. I have that problem myself. My iPhone is always telling me I don’t have enough memory for this or that. It is totally frustrating, but fortunately, I read Shelly’s blog post about the Leef iAccess, and I now know there’s a solution. The Leef iAccess fits into your iPhone’s lightning port and instantly expands your storage, and even allows you to see your Go Pro movies on your phone. Whoa! Where have you been all my life, baby? I had no idea you could expand you iPhone’s memory, and I am always frustrated that I have to download my Gopro movies to my computer before viewing them. This solves a lot of problems. Basically, it is a microSD card reader that lets you transfer content like pics and vids from your phone, as well as allowing you to move and view action videos from a Gopro right on your phone. It seems like an essential gadget for ensuring you have enough memory to capture and record all the good times this summer, both on your phone and action camera.
Back It Up
Another bit of advice I can give you, is to make sure to back up your precious pictures and videos. Unlike in the past where we had a shoebox filled with photos, now we have a plethora of computers, smartphones and devices that house all memories. If something should happen to one of them (drop your phone the loo, or the cat knocks a vase of water on your computer), BLAM there goes all your keepsakes. So, back your stuff up and back it up often. And there are a variety of options for storing your memories.
External Hard Drives
Basically a hard disk drive like in your computer, an external hard drive is a small, portable device where you can store any file. You connect it to your computer (usually through USB) and transfer all your pics and videos to the drive for safekeeping. The only potential drawback is the hard drives can fail occasionally, leaving you unable to access those files. Thankfully, that is a rarer thing these days, and these types of drives last years before needing to be replaced.
High-Capacity Flash Drive
Flash Drives (also called thumb drives or jump drives) are those tiny portable drives that are the size of a stick of gum. They come in a a variety of sizes, fot easily on a key chain, and can hold a lot of pics and videos. Of course, like the external drives, the flash drives can degrade or fail over time, so in all cases, no matter what you use as a back-up (including CDs or icloud back-ups) it is best to always have multiple back-ups … just in case.
Personally, I use an external hard drive, and I also burn DVDs so I always have the two back-ups. What about you? What do you use to record your summer memories, and how do you preserve and back them up? Let me know in the comments section.