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How do you manage with just an iPad when you travel?

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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How do you manage to travel with only an iPad for photo backup?

I always schlep my laptop with me on trips, partly to check email and keep up with essential items, but also to back up my photos and do initial work in Lightroom. I also carry my iPad, and it would be really nice if I could leave the laptop home, but I worry about memory limits. I have a recent model iPad with 32 GB but only 25 GB of free space. Sounds like a lot but I NEFs on my Nikon D3 are about 25 MB each. On a busy photo day, I can create up to 10 GB of photo files, and I like to back up photos daily. The math would seem to argue for continuing to take the laptop along on trips.

Phil Burton
 
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I recently switched for a MBP to a 13” iPadPro. Capacity is important. I have 512GB. I think you need enough to import 1-2 camera cards full of image files. I’ve never come close to using more than 100GB of local storage. Lightroom (mobile) only and no Photos app import at all. (I.e. no double dipping). Lightroom will sync to the cloud and when it has, the cloud will sync you full size images back to your master Lightroom Classic catalog. Once the images are in the cloud, you can remove the local copy from the Lightroom app storage. I also carry a 1TB portable disk drive to backup up the image files while I travel and offload rather than delete the Lightroom local images.


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One thing you need to do is decide what you want to do with your pictures while you are traveling. I had the same challenge as you; MacBook with LR for editing and an iPad for other things. Now, unless I'm going on a photo workshop, I just take the iPad.

I purchased an ADATA Lightning Card Reader that I use to backup my SD card to my iPad. My initial plan was to then push these images to an FTP site I had but the resort I was at 'throttled' FTP traffic. I would take to long to backup over the network. Fortunately, I didn't fill up my iPad. On my next trip, I brought along a 128GB SD card for tertiary backup in case the iPad filled up. I do this instead of an external drive like Cletus does because of space. Most of my travel is for scuba diving and underwater photography so room is at a premium.

The ADATA utility is ok but not as flexible as Finder or Explorer. Best to do who card copies.

I show in RAW and JPG on trips. The JPG is in case I want to email or post pictures before I get back home. The one pain is that I have not found an easy way just to backup the RAW files and/or delete the JPG files.
 
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I have the older iPad Pro with the Lightning connector. It's no problem to import from card to Lightroom on iPad. The problem I'm trying to solve is that it's only a 64GB model, so it's not enough space if I want to back up full 64GB and 128GB cards on longer trips, when upload bandwidth is too low for Lightroom to complete uploading many GB of raw photos and 4K videos. But I had an idea. Now that iOS 13 makes file management much easier, has anyone tried this workflow?
  1. Attach the Apple Lightning to USB 3.0 adapter.
  2. Attach a USB hub, and plug a power source (such as a USB battery pack) into the Apple adapter.
  3. At the USB hub, attach both a card reader and a mass storage device, such as a 512GB SSD.
  4. Use the iOS Files app to copy images from the card directly to the mass storage device, without involving the limited iPad internal storage or Lightroom.
Later, if I wanted to edit/share specific photos, I would plug in the external SSD so I could import into Lightroom just the few images I wanted to work on during the trip.

That's what I'd like to do. I think all I need to order is the hub, but I wanted to know if anyone has tried this specific workflow of bypassing iPad internal storage by copying images from a camera card directly to an external mass storage device via iOS Files.
 
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