Before departing on my 6 week photographic odyssey in China I was concerned about taking a large majority of my photographic gear half way around the world without adequate insurance. I had several thousand dollars of gear coming with me. What happens if someone walks off with my bag or my bag is in a vehicle and we are hit, OR???? I called my insurance agent to look into the cost to insure my camera gear. Since I am not “Professional” the cost of my premium is just over 1% of the replacement value of my equipment for year. For professionals the premium is less than 2%. The great benefit from a “specified item” list with my carrier is there is NO deductible; my policy covers drops, theft, etc. For many, your equipment is covered under your household contents policy however there are deductibles and most policies will not cover a drop in water or on the ground. For me a no-brainer.
Things to remember when you arrange your policy. Keep a list with all your serial numbers and current replacement value. Remember to include Sales Tax or HST, this needs to included in the calculation if you need to replace item(s). Try to keep all your receipts for your gear. I have a list stamped by Canada Customs and it will work as proof of having the items. Alternatively keep receipts and an images catalog of all your items. Regularly update and notify your carrier with changes.
My thinkTANK Airport TakeOFF™ fully packed was 17KG or just over 37# well above the 10KG limit imposed by most airlines. No one ever asked to weigh my bag. This bag was with me in the cabin on all my flights and close by on all trains and buses.
Other precautions I took on my trip to safeguard my images.
I will follow a similar workflow whenever I am away from home working on a photo project.
- Each day I dumped the images from my CF and SD cards to my portable storage device. I carry a 160 GIG Wolverine ESP Data bank. Newer larger devices up to 500 GIG are available without LCD and lower price. I actually filled this drive with 3 days left on my trip.
- I then imported all images into Lightroom 4 and stored the converted to DNG files to an external hard drive. I also added my standard Metadata and beginning Keywords to each image. For this trip I used a new Western Digital 1T Passport that has USB3 speed capability. My laptop is still only USB2.
- The Wolverine Drive and the Western Digital were never kept in the same place outside of my hotel rooms.
- I carried the Western Digital drive in a case in my backpack wherever I was.
- If there was a small safe in my room I placed the laptop and Wolverine drive there or stowed them in my suitcase when I was out of my room.
- I left the Wolverine drive with my laptop as it had my out of camera raw and JPG images.
- The time required to upload and the upload speed from Asia and most places is too slow to look into cloud storage.
- When I had time I worked on a few select images to use for posting to Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+
- Needless to say I made sure I always had all batteries fully charged before I left my hotel room each and every day.
- Once back at home I copied all raw images from the Wolverine and the extra files that did not fit onto an external drive that is attached to a spare desktop and then store the drive in our safety deposit box at our bank.
- I created and exported a catalog in Lightroom of all images on my laptop in Lightroom from my trip and saved to my external drive. This took a few hours to crunch the 7,000 plus images form 40 days of shooting. I them imported from catalog and moved to my desktop computer where I regularly work on and print my images.
This did provide peace of mind on my trip and simplified the file migration once back at home!
Stay tuned for more images and updated.
Next communications in China.