My backup process and tips for DroneDeploy images

I thought I would post this here, I hope if helps someone.

This is what I do, step by step, with my images for processing, uploading, storage and backup.

  1.  If there are multiple ‘missions’ on one card then it might be difficult for you to distinguish between one set of images and another set if you’re going to multiple locations on the same day.  The easiest way is to sort them my date/time on your computer when you get home and create different folders (ie. Civic Building / Coast pathway / Mountain track / etc…) which will help you enormously.

It’s worth mentioning that your folder structure on your hard drive is important too. I copy all my images into a folder like “Year-Month-Date Description” (so that in Explorer it shows in chronological order). They then sit under folders for the year;

2016-5-15 Drone footage from home
2016-8-23 Pictures of the dog
2017-1-3 Holiday in Scotland
2017-3-25 Commercial shoot for Joe Bloggs
2017-4-7 Drone footage from forest

  1.  I load the pictures into Adobe Lightroom where I can tag them properly, adjust for noise reduction, black & white points, white balance correction, etc, etc, etc.  Then I export them with those corrections.  It might sound like an onerous process but it’s honestly a breeze because Lightroom makes it amazingly easy to apply changes to one picture to all the others.
  2.  I then run all the JPG images through JPEGMini which compresses them by between 50%-80% of their size.  This is massively useful for not only storage purposes but for upload time to the DD servers.   You will NOT notice ANY degradation of the pictures with this process by the way.
  3.  For backup I use two methods; firstly an external hard drive which I plug in occasionally and run a backup.  I use software called “ViceVersa Pro” which is intended for this purpose – it scans for changes in the folders which you nominate and automatically runs a copy of any new or changed files.
  4.  Secondly, for online cloud backup, I use a service called “CrashPlan”.  This runs in the background all the time (it doesn’t degrade your PC’s performance) and any changes it sees to folders which you nominate are backed up to their cloud service.   I have the unlimited package which is a small yearly cost and worth its weight in gold.

The above is what I’ve come to use as good practice over the years for all my pictures & video, not just drone stuff.
I’m a professional photographer working in the wedding photography and freelance business with over 18 years of professional experience.


Thank you for sharing this, Dave. Very helpful. Curious, are you doing wedding photography with drones now?

This is very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

Have you had any issues retaining the exif/geo data on your processed images after running them through Lightroom and jpegmini?

And are you sure that the quality of the resulting stitches has not been reduced? What metric are you using to verify that, visual only?


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Thanks for posting this, @Dave_Wilson ! Very useful.

Have you had a chance to try our Turbo Uploader? It also compresses images, which leads to slightly lower resolution, but the uploads are much quicker (particularly on a slow connection).

I’ve not used the drone for weddings, I don’t think it’s that useful other than for the large group shot. The camera on the P4Pro is nowhere near as good as the camera systems I use so it would be a lot of hassle (setting the drone up and flying it safely) and extra expense (for the pilot licence, additional public liability insurance, etc) for no added benefit. Additionally it would be difficult to use external lighting on location with the drone.

There is no issue at alll with using Lightroom and JPEGMini as far as transparency of metadata. Also in terms of image quality - try it. I use it for most stuff including those going to print. I don’t believe you’ll tell any difference on DroneDeploy stitched 3D models.

I considered the Turbo Uploader but I saw that it reduced the resolution. The file size from JPEGMini is small but it’s full resolution.
I’ve not compared upload times between the two methods either unfortunately.

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Please let us know if you do- I’d be curious to hear how this compares!

Thanks for the great topic and advice @Dave_Wilson.

I have a few nagging questions.

Why bother with Lightroom for photos that will be sent to Drone Deploy?
I’m not too familiar with post-processing but what is the benefit of “noise reduction, black & white points, white balance correction” to making maps? Does it make the map better somehow or decrease the stitching time?

JPEGMini, what an awesome tool, thanks again!

Increasing the quality of the images used by DD increases the quality of the results.


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