Card Readers …

If you’ve read the syllabus, you know that I recommend downloading your images from your camera’s card instead of directly from the camera with a USB cable.

There are a few reasons for this.

  1. It’s usually much faster.
  2. Some cameras require you to download software before you can download directly from the camera. That software often comes free with the camera, but it’s not usually the best choice of software for downloading and organizing images.
  3. It’s safer. If your camera’s batteries die in the middle of a download, you could corrupt the memory card and lose all the images on it.

The best way to download your images is to remove the memory card from your camera and use a card reader to download them to your computer.

Pros once had to spend up to $100 for super-duper fast card readers capable of downloading multiple cards at the same time. The cost of carder readers has declined recently, and even professional level card readers, with the latest standards, can be had for less than $20.

First, know what kind of card your camera uses.  SD (Secure Digital) cards have become the standard for consumer level DSLRs, and even many professional models. If you buy a high end SD card, sometimes the card reader will come with it. You can buy a basic SD card reader for less than $10, such as the Kingston Digital MobileLite.

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You can probably find something comparable and cheap just about anywhere locally that sells electronics, too. Wherever you shop, look for the USB 3.0 interface. Places like Walmart often sell readers with the older USB 2.0 interface. Try to avoid those. You will really appreciate the speedier downloads of USB 3.0, especially when you are transferring hundreds of photos or video files.

Higher end professional cameras and older consumer cameras often use the larger CF (Compact Flash) cards. You could buy a dedicated CF card reader, but I really recommend one of the multi-card readers. One of these can cover all of you downloading needs from just about any device you might use.

The Transcend TS-RDF9K All-in-One USB 3.1/3.0 UHS-II Card Reader and the Kingston USB 3.0 High-Speed Media Reader are both professional level, compatible with all of the latest card standards, and cost less than $20.

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Whatever you decide, just get a card reader!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need recommendations.

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Video: Learning about the process …

Photojournalism isn’t about mindlessly snapping pictures and haphazardly throwing together a group of them for display. There is a process – a distinct and professional approach – and this course is chiefly about learning about and understanding that process.

If you want to see photojournalism practiced at it’s very best, it still doesn’t get any better than National Geographic.  Watch this video if you want to see how the process ideally works: The Sense Of Sight.

The video is 20 years old. The tools have changed, but the process is the same. Photographers, editors, and designers all play a part in producing meaningful content. We will touch on the teamwork aspect during the course, but pay particularly close attention to what the photographer, Joe McNally, has to say about his approach to shooting a story. And watch how he goes about doing his job.

McNally has an excellent blog and posted some thoughts about the video, which documented his first assignment with The Geographic. Check it out here: Starting Off, Looking Back