My DAM Process // 11/24/2015

A fairly common question I’ve received in my inbox since returning from India  is my process for backing up my assets as well as what gear I use for charging equipment.

There is a lot of information out there on archiving your assets and those that have been doing it along time have a system in place that works for them. I’ll add my two cents though and maybe offer up one or two ideas that you might find helpful.

My field kit has evolved a fair bit over the last year or so. The reason being is weight. Most of what I do involves me carrying my kit. So if there is an opportunity for me to upgrade equipment that is lighter or transfer faster or recharges quicker I’ve tried to make those upgrades lately. Currently my kit for asset management and solar equipment includes:

Voltaic 20W solar panel

Voltaic V72 Laptop Battery

LaCie Rugged Raid – 4TB Thunderbolt x2


My DAM process.

My latest photo assignment project was this past fall, a 6 week climbing expedition into the Garhwal Himalayas in India. I shot about 85% stills and 15% video – I was shooting with a Canon 5D III and a Sony Alpha a7RII – I shot with the Sony most of the time. I used the Canon mostly for time lapses.

I would dump my cards each night onto a folder on my desktop (11” MacBook Air). Take the first Rugged Raid named “Backup 1” and transfer folder onto the HD. I would then transfer the same folder from the desktop onto the second Rugged Raid named “Backup 2”. So at this point I have 3 identical backups. Desktop, and 2 Hard drives, technically a fourth if you can’t the card that hasn’t been reformated yet.

It took 3-4 minutes to copy a 64GB card onto the Rugged Raid Thunderbolt. Surprisingly quick.

Any editing I do in the field I have designated the Rugged Raid “Backup 2” to do this editing on.

I leave the identical folders on my desktop as a third backup.

If there is an opportunity not to reformat my cards I will leave them to provide an additional backup. I also use a small pelican case to store the HD. It fits both 4TB Rugged Raids perfectly.

Additionally, if there is an opportunity for the 2 Hard Drives to travel separately I try to take advantage of that. For instance if an athlete is flying on a separate flight I will send one HD with them and simply have them send the drive to me when they get home.

That is more or less my DAM process.


I recently switched solar panel brands. I came upon Voltaic Systems some time ago and found that the products were significantly lighter. Again for me weight matters. The panels have stood up in inclement weather. Leaving them out in both rain and snow they have performed surprisingly well, often times pulling some solar in that weather.

The V72 Laptop Battery has been a really nice addition. The sleekness of it is sweet and packs super well. On a full battery charge I can charge my MacBook air 3 times. On a perfectly sunny day it took 4.5 hrs to charge a V72 Laptop Battery. A snowy or cloudy day it seemed to be taking anywhere from 8 to 10 hrs.

Hope this paints a little better picture for anyone looking for more information or ideas on DAM processes in the field.


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