Have you ever had that sickening feeling when you realized that you had reformatted a card with images on it that you still needed? That feeling in your stomach, knowing that your day had just gotten a lot harder? Avoid this with a proper card routine! This Quick Tip explains my simple procedure for keeping up with my flash cards.
First, of course, you need a proper card wallet for all of your flash cards. Whether you shoot Compact Flash (CF), Secure Digital (SD) or some other card format, having a proper place to keep these cards is essential.
I recommend a wallet made by Think Tank Photo in another post. Lightware makes another very nice, high-end case that will hold 8-10 CF cards. For SD cards, the Hakuba case at B&H looks like it will do the job. I still use some card wallets I got for free from Nikon Professional Services several years ago. My photos in this post are of those wallets.
Simply put, before starting a big shoot, I create a wallet full of empty, freshly-formatted cards. All of the cards are ‘facing out’ with the manufacturer’s logo visible. When I fill up a card and need to change it out, I take the FULL card and put it back in the wallet, face-side down. So fresh cards, I can see the logo; full cards, I’m looking at the card’s back side.
It’s that simple. I know that any card showing its backside is suspect. Even a week later, I won’t shoot a back-side card without first confirming that I’ve downloaded, processed and backed up those images.
I know this is simplistic, obvious and some might say, not worthy of a post. But over the course of my career, I’ve found that establishing simple, repeatable working habits is one of the keys to long-term success. And it will help you avoid that sickening feeling!
Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog