I said a thing on Twitter - dradd's photography

May 16, 2019

Part of my new life as a professional photographer includes a lot of admin; self promotion on social media channels and the like, chasing prospective clients, and 'putting myself out there' on various digital channels.

When doing this in my office I like too listen to photography podcasts. I usually flit between Jared Polin and Gerry Van Der Walt, but more recently I've been going through the offerings from Chelsea and Tony Northrup.

The other morning, while 'in the zone' in front of my computer I was listening to their podcast on "Don't believe the LIES:Your gear doesn't matter".

A phrase that caught my attention was regarding twin memory card slots in camera bodies, and the fact that 'back in the day' film cameras didn't have two rolls of film so why do we need two card slots now?

As I heard it, something sparked in my mind and I thought "yes, back then we only had one copy of the film, and if it was damaged in any way, the shots on it were lost and that was that. We couldn't recover them. We just accepted they were gone (maybe behind much weeping and wailing!).

We live in a digital age where we were are constantly backing things up, making copies of important documents and files, and even the simple art of taking a photo in a professional capacity seems to dictate we have two copies of that photo as we take it, just in case one memory card fails. It's almost as if we buy a thing (memory card/hard drive etc.) and expect it to fail, so we buy another 'just in case' the inevitable happens. Heck I even do it myself as in todays digital age that's the way we seem to be conditioned.

This makes sense, but what happens if we lose the camera and memory cards? We don't (usually) have a back up camera which we've taken the *exact* same photo on too (especially when shooting sports or wildlife). How far should the backing up/redundancy thing go? On my computer I have 3 separate backups on separate hard drives of my photo libraries as I'd be mortified if I lost my main library.

But here's a weird thing: despite having twin card slots on my camera, I usually shoot with one card. Risky? Yes. Controversial? Yes, probably. Stupid? Well, maybe, but I'll live with that.

A typical view of my camera memory card bays... 1 out of 2 filled.

A typical view of my camera memory card bays... 1 out of 2 filled.

My workflow means that directly after a shoot the photos are transferred from camera to computer (for a shoot with a client my laptop comes out with me), and I take great care of my cards and camera kit. I also accept the risk and if a card fails, it fails, and I wind up with egg on my face, suck it up and move on.

(Although as I am shooting a friend's wedding soon, I will be using dual cards for that, and a backup camera!)

Maybe think before posting...

Maybe think before posting...

Anyway, so without thinking I posted this on Twitter:

Listening to @tonynorthrup @ChelseaNorthru podcast on gear this morning. Great point made: Film cameras never had two rolls of film so why do we need two card slots in cameras today?Yes! I fully agree with this, and it's a great point well made. 😎

If I had thought before posting, I would have reasoned it a bit better, maybe even written this article first.

Chelsea came back and said:

We didn’t agree with that point, though.


Totally right, and like I said, if I'd thought before posting it might have been more reasoned response.

So the lesson here is think out a reasoned response before "shooting from the hip" and posting a response on social media. Tony and Chelsea are right, and as every other photographer will say, if you have twin card slots use them.

Thanks for reading. 😁

I hear you. 😎

I hear you. 😎


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