Landscape Photography: Tips To Enhance The Experience


 Landscape Photography: Tips To Enhance The Experience

So you've picked up a cool new hobby, but you're not quite sure how to go about it? Or perhaps you're a professional photographer looking for an easy way to backup your work? Well look no further! This guide is for the absolute beginner through to the more experienced photographer with our step-by-step instructions.

It'll cover everything from choosing your first camera to mastering methods of editing, including tips and tricks for both hardware and software that will have your images looking like they came straight from a magazine in no time.

The first thing you will need is a decent camera or webcam, we'll go over some of the best at the end of this article. With that in mind, let’s take a look at your storage options.

There are many different types of hard-drives on the market today from standard to network attached storage solutions (NAS) which are very useful if you want to back up multiple computers. The main issue with these is that they require an external power source as standard HDDs are not designed for continuous operation and can quickly overheat and cause permanent damage. This leads us nicely onto Network Attached Storage devices (NAS) which are a much better option for long term storage as they do not require external power and can be placed in a box or even hidden away out of sight so you don’t have to worry about your hardware overheating. The downside to these is that they are far more expensive than standard hard-drives and only really come into their own if you want to backup multiple computers or install the device in an area with no power supply.

The next consideration is disk speed, which roughly translates into how long it takes to transfer image files from one location to another, the faster the better of course but this does come at a price premium.

The last thing to consider with hard-drives is their design, there are several different sizes and designs on the market making it very difficult to know exactly what you need before buying. The ones we are talking about here are 3.5" disks for all drives except the NAS versions which we'll explain later.

Once you’ve chosen your hardware it’s time to think about how you will backup your photographs. The first thoughts that come to mind are online services such as Flickr or 500px as these offer free accounts and allow you to keep your photos under constant watch. The main issue with taking photos using any of these services is that you will not be able to upload them for a set amount of time, usually a maximum of 90 days. There are also cheaper alternatives available such as deviantART which allows you to automatically back up images daily but will charge you per image if you want to back up multiple images at once.

On the hardware side there are multiple options, the first and most popular being an external hard-drive. You can get your data on a thumb-drive or flash memory card which is very portable but isn’t as durable as a hard-drive. If you’re planning on backing up a large amount of images then this might not be the best option for you, but there is no reason why you can’t backup your images onto an external hard-drive.

As noted above, we now have NAS drives available which allow multiple computers to share the same drive and make backing up much easier. You will definitely need to keep in mind that while these devices are more expensive than standard hard-drives they offer a lot of extra storage space and a lot more flexibility and reliability. These devices also tend to run at faster speeds compared to standard hard-drives making them perfect for video editing purposes.

Now that we have covered all of the hardware side of things we can move onto the software. The first thing you will need is a good image editing program, the most popular being Adobe Photoshop but if this isn’t your bag then there are other options such as Gimp, Paint Shop Pro and even Microsoft's own Windows Photo Gallery which are much cheaper alternatives to the big names. It is always recommended though to use the cheapest option possible, such as Adobe Photoshop CS5 or above, as these provide better bang for your buck and take up less space.

Once you have decided on your storage solution you will need to decide how long you want to keep your photographs for, if they are just for personal use then you can completely ignore this but if they are for a client then you will need to make sure that your backup solution will last several years. It is also important to note that if you have the space, it is always a good idea to keep multiple copies of each file in different locations in case one drive fails or catches fire; so if you store 1000 photos on your laptop, it is a good idea to also back them up on another drive somewhere else too.

Next to consider is how often you want to backup your photographs, the main reason for this is that if you have a large amount of photographs it may take a long time to upload them all. If you only have a few hundred photos then this shouldn’t take too long but if you are backing up thousands of images then this could be a major issue. The answer to this question depends on many things such as the size of your hard-drive and the amount of time available in which to do so. However, when it comes down to the average photographer I would recommend doing daily backups for at least 3-4 months otherwise your files might end up being lost due to data corruption or hardware failure.

One of the most important things to consider is how you will handle your images once they are backed up onto your computer, one option is to copy them straight onto a hard-drive and nothing more. However, this can be very time consuming and if you have a lot of photos it could take a long time. A better option is to copy them into a separate folder on your hard-drive, in this case I would recommend creating multiple folders for different projects so that you have all of your files available for when you want them.

Now that you know everything you need to choose your backup solution then it’s time to actually implement them into your workflow. In order to successfully implement a backup solution you need to keep in mind the amount of time available and what you want to achieve with it. Before selecting a method of storing your pictures, it is important to note that there are two types of backups, full and incremental. The first option is an all-or-nothing approach where after backing up the entire hard-drive, a new backup occurs and then all previous images are overwritten or deleted.


Overall, in my opinion, I would recommend using the second method which is incremental. This method backs up only a small quantity of your hard-drive and continuously backs everything up. This allows for frequent backups which is ideal if you are assured that you have a limitless amount of time to back-up your data and if your hard-drive is large enough. If you are looking for a good app to backup pictures on Mac then I would highly recommend ‘Snagit’ from TechSmith simply because it has impeccable reviews from both the production community and the users themselves. Hopefully, this article has helped you decide which option of backup is best for your photographic workflow.

By James Harkness This article was written by our intern James Harkness. He started his career at PhotographyCafe in April 2014, after graduating college in May 2013 from New York University with a degree in Visual Communications: Graphic Design and Action Design. In May 2015 he became an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE), and is constantly learning new tools and techniques with Photoshop, Illustrator, AfterEffects and Premiere Pro. Find him sharing his photography experience on Instagram or on Facebook under @JamesHarknessPhotography . This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. More Posts - Website

It is very important for a photographer to have a backup method that ensures their files are safe and secure. There are different methods of backups, which will be discussed in this article, so you can decide what is best for your particular workflow. Many photographers choose external hard-drives, either with USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 connections for their backups, while others choose to keep their images on another computer in the same location as their main computer. In this article I will discuss these different methods and explain why I prefer one over the other; hopefully this information allows you to decide what is best for you!

USB 3.0 vs USB 2.0

USB 3.0 connections have become very popular because of the speed they offer and they are faster than USB 2.0 devices. The speed offered by USB 3.0 is many times quicker than that of USB 2.0 devices, so if you have a faster internet connection then it will be beneficial for you to use a USB 3.0 device instead of a USB 2.0 device for your backups. However, another benefit of using a USB 3.0 drive is that it is more reliable as compared to a standard USB 2.0 drive. A USB 2.0 device will not experience the same reliability as a USB 3.0 device, so it is important to know the difference between the two in this regard and decide which is most suitable for you. However, a disadvantage of using a USB 3.0 drive for your backups is that it uses more data transfer than that of a standard USB 2.0 device, so if you are working with a small budget or have limited internet connection then it is unlikely you will have a USB 3.0 drive at your disposal.

External Hard-Drives are the Best Option for Backups

Many professionals such as photographers use external hard-drives as their primary backups because they are compact and easy to transport from location to location, they provide additional storage space for photos and they can be purchased relatively cheaply. However, in order for a hard-drive to be used as a backup it must give you more storage space than the default capacity of your computer.

When you purchase an external hard-drive they are usually measured in gigabytes (GB), however, if you use a Windows machine then you can actually see the actual storage space on your hard-drive because laptops and computers allow for easy access to these hard-drives without having to open the case. In addition, if you have a Mac you can use your own file system as an extra storage space on your disk drive. Therefore, if you did 1 GB of photos from a session then you can add another 1 GB to your disk drive and see how much space you have available. Depending on the quality of the hard-drive there is a lot more storage space than most people actually know about because Apple has included other features for their file system on their devices. However, if you are using a Windows machine then it is important to know that there is no way to see or access most extra storage space so when you buy an external hard-drive at the store it will be less storage than what it actually looks like on the packaging. Even when you connect the device to your computer it will show as less storage space than what is advertised on the packaging, so it is very important to keep this in mind when purchasing your own external hard-drives.

Therefore, with these two important things in mind we can now discuss about which external hard-drives are suitable for our needs. The best brand of external hard-drive to purchase is Western Digital because they have a 5 year guarantee and are very reliable. If you were to purchase an external hard-drive from Apple or most other companies then they provide a 1 year guarantee. However, even if you buy an external from WD and it fails after 3 months then they will still replace it for free. However, if an external hard-drive fails after a year then they will replace it for a fee. When purchasing an external hard-drive it is important to check the model number on the back of the case as well as under your computer to ensure that it is compatible with your computer. You can also use a USB 3.0 cable to connect your external hard-drive to any modern Mac or Windows device and you will be able to see how much spare space you have available on your drive.

A Final Note About USB 3.0 Drives: If you decide that you would like another option that utilizes USB 3.0, then I would recommend the Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB External Hard-Drive. I purchased this hard-drive in August of 2014 and I have used it constantly since that time. It is a very reliable drive and it has a lot of storage space as well, so if you are looking to backup your files then this is a great option for you to consider.


I hope that this article helps you to decide which method of backup is best for your individual needs. The primary aim of this article was to explain the difference between USB 2.0 vs 3.0 and why external hard-drives are superior as a backup source for professional photographers. In addition, I hope that this article has also helped you to understand what to look for when buying an external hard-drive and why it is important to know how much capacity space you actually have on your external hard-drive.

I would love to hear your thoughts or any questions you might have about this article or my work in general. Feel free to contact me by means of a comment below, an email at cindy@cindyelderkin.


USB 3.0 devices are faster and more reliable than their older counterparts, so if you are looking to purchase a new backup device then I would recommend the Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB External Hard-Drive. However, if you are using a Windows machine and you want to find out how much space you have available on your hard-drive without having to purchase additional software I would recommend purchasing an external drive that has an SD card slot as well as a USB port so that you can use both USB 2.0 and 3.0 at the same time for your backups. When purchasing a hard-drive there is no guarantee what size it actually is, however, if you want another option for utilizing USB 3.

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