Photo: On the road to Pindaya.

Cameras and travel photography forum

What to do with photos during a 5 month trip ?

Posted by nickolt on 25/10/2010 at 10:42


Im new to this website, and have throughly enjoyed going through it. Super informative, so happy I found it before my trip. My bf and I are spending 4 months travelling through SE Asia (Phillipines, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam) as well as 1 month in China. We leave in January.

I enjoy taking a lot of photos, and have been trying to figure out the best way to back up photos while on the road. I do not want to buy a million memory cards, and would prefer to backup photos to CDs or photo sharing websites.

However, how feasible would this be in internet cafes across SE Asia? I would assume upload and download times would be fairly slow. How easy is it for them to burn images onto CDs? Also, what photo sharing website would you reccomend? I want to be able to download the full quality image once Im back home.

I have also considered getting an external hard drive made for travel. However, this doesnt eliminate uploading my photos to another computer, and then downloading them onto the hard drive. Are there any that you can just attach the camera to the hard drive with a USB?

Just looking for any suggestions that people have used and done in the past.

Thanks !

#1 nickolt has been a member since 25/10/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by norbit on 25/10/2010 at 17:16

hi nickolt

like you, i am facing a similar problem and will be traveling for 12 - 18 mnths, and am also not too keen on carrying around hundreds of small memory cards which are just begging to be lost.

personally i cant think of anything worse than losing all my photos so i plan to back them up onto my external hard drive, but also burn them onto DVD's (which is readily available in alot of areas) in their data format and post them home.

You dont necesarily need to download them to a computer to get them off your camera, simply access your photo's like you would a USB drive, and copy them to your hard drive. its far shorter, and you have no risk of leaving your photo's on a random computer. im also going to bring a cheap 16 gb USB drive to put the most memorable photo's on as they are taken, and keep the USB drive with my camera bag (or money belt when on the road to another destination), and external hard drive with the bulk of my luggage seperate. anal i know, but worth it. i learnt the hard way once...

#2 norbit has been a member since 21/8/2010. Posts: 16

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Posted by nickolt on 26/10/2010 at 11:07

What kind of external hard drive do you use? And how will you get the pictures onto the USB drive? Im not too good with technology =P

Anyone use any photo sharing websites ?

#3 nickolt has been a member since 25/10/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by Siamcat on 26/10/2010 at 12:52

Just ALWAYS put them in at least two different places! Upload as many as you can to your Mailbox. I had nearly all my pictures of my 5 month south east asia trip on one USB-stick that doesn't work anymore. Could only save a few pictures because I mailed them to people and they were in my mailbox.

#4 Siamcat has been a member since 26/10/2010. Posts: 2

Posted by norbit on 26/10/2010 at 19:28

siamcat - mailbox is a valid point, but my gmail account can only hold 7.5 gb. a DSLR image size at a reasonable resolution is around 5mb. that only means there is enough room for roughly 1500 images - hence the need for a digital hard drive. (and you're not incorporating the enjoyment of slow internet uploads). the usb was just another safe guard suggestion, after the digital hard drive and CD's.

nicolt - a USB is in effect a smaller digital hard drive so just employ the same technique as you would with a digital hard drive as mentioned in my first response, using any old computer you can find. my hard drive is a western digital passport.

#5 norbit has been a member since 21/8/2010. Posts: 16

Posted by goonistik on 26/10/2010 at 20:30


Multiple backups are best. Aside from the above suggestions, I'd also make an extra copy of the DVD/CD and mail it to a friend or relative. That way there is a copy that is in a different location. So if anything happens to the copies that are with you, you can recover them from the mailed discs.

#6 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563
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Posted by CunningMcFar on 26/10/2010 at 20:46

check out the wolverine portable photo back-ups, you can easily store thousands of photos without the use of a computer:

it's just what you're looking for

#7 CunningMcFar has been a member since 20/8/2004. Posts: 163
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Posted by Tilapia on 31/10/2010 at 19:49

Hi Nikolt,

I have been using one of these for years now ...

It allows you to store images in whatever format you've saved them in, including video formats. I use RAW most of the time. It's worked perfectly. No computer necessary except to charge the unit now and then. You just plug your card into one of the card slots and it automatically uploads.

#8 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,521
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Posted by nickolt on 2/11/2010 at 11:15

Thanks for the last two links guys, defs will be checking those out.

#9 nickolt has been a member since 25/10/2010. Posts: 21

Posted by AbgAcid on 3/11/2010 at 19:11

Travels and photography can never be separated. Almost every traveler have a camera of somewort to record places, events and people they met on the road. But I ve read once, a cyclist traveler who refuses to have a camera. Its all in the mind he says.

I normally would bring a number of thumb drives, its cheap, robust and easy to store. Have never upload them to any photo bank website,,, uploading them is takes too much time. and some restrict to smaller sizes.


#10 AbgAcid has been a member since 28/11/2009. Location: Malaysia. Posts: 162
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Posted by suprememoo on 9/11/2010 at 16:52

Another option would be to take along an iPod Classic (ipod with a hard-drive) and Apple’s iPod Camera Connector (Amazon Link).

This device lets you plug your digital camera into your iPod and transfer photographs from the camera to the iPod. It’s fairly slow, so I normally just let it download photographs overnight. You can also view the photographs on the iPod - even my Canon’s RAW files displayed correctly. Once you plug the iPod into your computer, it acts like a digital camera, and you can download the photos to your computer using whatever program you used before (eg, Picasa, iPhoto, etc).

The great thing about this solution is that, assuming you’re planning on taking an iPod along with you, it takes up almost no extra space (the iPod Camera Connector is tiny). Also, with up to 160GB on an iPod classic, you’re unlikely to run out of space.

Just make sure you don’t buy the Apple Camera Connector for the iPad.

#11 suprememoo has been a member since 25/10/2010. Location: South Africa. Posts: 2
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