Editing Photos On The Road

One of the challenges I immediately ran into during my trial month of living on the road was how to edit photos on my laptop, in daylight, with no power. I could find a coffee shop or library to cure all of my problems, but temperatures often dictate that I not leave my dog in the car for too long. I had to come up with solutions.

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My ideal time to edit is during mid day when the light is harsh and there are no photographs to be found. If you've ever tried to use a laptop outside in the middle of the day you know it's nearly impossible to see the screen, much less do complex photo edits. I searched high and low to find the perfect sun screen, I finally came across the Pixel Sunscreen 2.0 by ThinkTank. My 17" laptop slips inside this cover blocking out nearly all the sunlight, if the sun is still too bright there is a built in cover that you can drape over your head for complete coverage. Sure I look a little weird with a black cape, but I really don't care. The Sunscreen has Velcro openings on the sides and back for usb/power access. There are places on the inside to store hard drives, etc. while using your laptop. It folds down to the size of a reflector when not in use, which is very important with my lack of space. I highly recommend this if you ever have to use your laptop outside.

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My next problem was lack of power, I was only able to charge my laptop while driving, and the laptop's battery only lasted a couple hours. I went in search for a backup batter supply and found the GoalZero Sherpa 100. It allows me to charge my laptop about 2 times, it comes with cords to match your laptop that don't require an inverter, this means more efficient charges and not needing the 'brick' to power the laptop. The Sherpa also has ports to charge usb devices, so when my iPhone or Kindle need a boost I don't have to  drain the car battery. Once I've exhausted all my power the Sherpa charges from the cigarette lighter port in my car, and I have the GoalZero Inverter plugged in separately to charge my laptop if I need to charge both quickly. If I'm going for a long drive I just plug the laptop into the Sherpa and both will charge at the same time. Most of the time I find this to be enough power with the amount of driving I'm doing, but once I settle into a spot for multiple days I may need a larger source like the Yeti 400, a second Sherpa, or add the solar panels to charge the Sherpa with sunlight.

I also upgraded my laptop with a Samsung SSD which improved performance like I couldn't believe, it now feels as fast as my desktop computer. I added a Logitech Trackball as well to give me precision control not possible with the trackpad. I also have a Wacom Bamboo tablet if I'm doing lots of intricate masking. For storage I use two USB 3.0 2TB Western Digital external drives where I store all of my images, one I clone on a regular basis for backup. All of this stores nicely in my ThinkTank Artificial Intelligence 2.0

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