I get chills whenever I hear the words “my computer crashed”. My first instinct is to think ‘man if that happens to me I am stuffed’.
As someone who shoots Gigabytes of data at a time. I obsess even when I lose one image. Imagine losing a whole two year project, or a thesis. I dread to think of the day that my computer blanks out, I would lose thousands of images.
On those days that I hear the utterances of disaster, I go home and back my stuff up. Ha. Who does that right? But it’s true.
I spend at least two days a month backing up. At times I must appear to be some sort of neurotic digital-hoarder, refusing to throw away his possessions years after their expiration date.
This week, however, I was incredibly happy to have an obsessive compulsion to catalogue. We were in the office and one of the picture editor’s needed a photograph of a rhino from the bush. My spider sense tingled, and I knew that I had a great shot of that. I had gone on a holiday about a year ago to a bush lodge called Mabula-something-or-other. To be honest, it was so long ago that I couldn’t even remember the name of the lodge, but the point was I knew I had saved some great shots of a baby rhino and her mother.
The next problem was finding the images. Once you have made the backups it’s another thing to be able to quickly sift through your information and find what you need. It’s equally as important to have a decent catalogue system.
In a business like journalism, speed is everything. News gets outdated before you can blink. Sure the magazine pace is a little slower but the same principal’s apply.
National Geographic photographers have been known to shoot more than 30,000 photographs for a single assignment. In my case, thanks to my obsession, I was able to sift through hundreds of DVDs’ to find the right photo. I got it in the next day.
So what’s a little obsessive-ness when it comes to photography? I say it’s the difference between a scream of frustration at losing days of hard work and the sound of you patting yourself on the back for being an OCD data freak.