May 9th, 2016
Updated May 13: See bottom of post.
Craig came up with an interesting idea for doing post processing but he needs some help coming up with a way practical way to implement it. Here is the idea:
I am trying to lessen my workload and help a friend who has good photoshop skills but is currently seeking work-from-home job opportunities.
I would like to be able to transfer my unedited files to someone (this friend) throughout the day and have him do the photoshop work while I shoot. This would free me up to to do the camera work while he does the post-production. If this works, I could have everything edited and, possibly, already sent to the clients the same-day making my turnaround amazing.
My problem is that I would quickly run out of data on a phone plan (using it as a hotspot) and will not trust free WiFi at restaurants, coffee houses, etc., even if I could plan on being near a reliable one (which I can’t on any given day).
I shoot bracketed jpegs with the file sizes around 4-8 MB/photo. I can have between 200-800 shutter releases per home making the total transfer for each shoot anywhere from 800 MB to 6.4 GB per transfer. I shoot anywhere from five to 10 homes a day (seriously – it’s a good year), so I would blow through any data plan out there very quickly.
I like the basic idea! Of course, the challenge is how do you implement it. I agree, that doing this by using a wireless carrier’s hotspot is impractical because they have such obscenely expensive data charges.
Here are a few ideas for a possible solution:
- The fact is that 99% of those homes you are shooting likely have WiFi access of speeds that you if you could access, would allow you to do the upload to DropBox or whatever your favorite service very quickly.
- If you got the owners permission and WiFi password the homeowner would probably be happy to give you permission to use their WiFi in turn for faster delivery. I don’t know of people would object to this or not. Many times the homeowner is present when you shoot.
- Most modern WiFi routers (like the last two I’ve had) have two WiFi connections. A password protected one and an open one that is for guests and easily connecting TVs etc. Anyone that comes to my house sees “Larry’s Guest Network” which is an unprotected WiFi access that is partitioned from my secure WiFi that all my computers, tablets and phones use. So if you were to shoot my home and I wasn’t here to give you access to my secure network you would have WiFi that uploads at 12Mbit/sec. I don’t know how widespread this feature is. It’s worth checking out.
- Another option (I like this one the best) for times you can use it would be to stop by Starbucks and use their open WiFi. I just tested the bandwidth of my local Starbucks and it’s upload speed is 18Mbits/sec. Pretty respectable! Sure is not secure but you could have a special DropBox account just for transferring files. Use the third-factor identification feature of DropBox so if someone at Starbucks sniffs your DropBox password no big deal. In most large cities you could easily do the file transfers jus at Starbucks. This would be a very easy solution. When out in the boonies for a property or two wait for the transfer until you get to the next Starbucks.
Anyone else have ideas on how to implement Craig’s idea?
Update May 13: I’ve verified that the as a new customer you can no longer get unlimited data plans anymore. The only real unlimited data plans are plans that are grandfathered from an older plan. E.G., I have an AT&T unlimited plan grandfathered from the plan that came with the original iPhone I got in 2007. If you don’t believe me see: unlimiteddataplanfinder.com.
If you have an iPhone with one of those unlimited data plans from way back here is how to solve Craig’s problem:
- With these unlimited the carriers won’t let you enable the hotspot feature of the iPhone…. I tried it.
- What you do is get an SD card to Lightning connector for $27 from Amazon.
- Then after your shoot, put your SD card on your iPhone and all your photos are uploaded to your iCloud.com Photo account where your post processing person can access them.
This allows you to bypass the hotspot restriction on unlimited data accounts. Problem solved. I’m pretty sure this is the ONLY solution involving wireless carriers that you can upload the amount of data Craig is talking about that won’t cost you a huge amount of money. Unfortunately, you can not get a new unlimited data plan that is really unlimited.