If you’re working on a big photography project, shooting raw with a reasonable camera and use Apple’s iCloud Photostream feature you might want to turn it off before you start.
Any big project – like shooting King Lear – produces learning experiences. If it doesn’t you’re either very good at what you do or just not awake.
The biggest take home from this year’s Dartmouth Shakespeare week was the way I had to modify my workflow in order to accommodate using a Nikon D700 as the main camera. If you’re interested the various issues are detailed in another post. The biggest change/shock was what iCloud Photostream can do to your bandwidth, and the impact on your bill if you happen to use a broadband provider that applies the “fair use” principle.
My projects usually involve quite a bit of web-based work. There’s the trivial stuff, eMailing folks, coordinating, etc., these are all done through eMail, or things like Facebook groups. Some of the coordination gets done using Dropbox (for my contacts who can handle/value this wonderful resource) or by means of the excellent (free) WeTransfer service. These move the large ad hoc files effectively. There’s usually an element of research as well (thanks Google).
It’s not unusual for my bandwidth use to spike during a project. I shell out much more than the average broadband customer in order to never have to be bothered or surcharged by my provider. Except this year, with Photostream turned on, very early into the month warnings/threatening eMails arrive telling me that I’ve used more than 50% of my monthly “fair use” allocation. After the usual, small period of denial, I ran some network diagnostics, looked at the blinking lights on the comm’s kit and quickly worked out that something was beating the hell out of the upstream broadband and nearly saturating the local WiFi. Ten minutes later it was obvious the cause was Photostream. It was diligently trying to sync thousands of raw (24 MP) photos to iCloud and thence to all of my Mac OS and iOS devices. Action – disabled Photostream on everything including Aperture. Network traffic dropped through a hole and the coms kit lights reverted to their normal sedate rate.
All’s well that end’s well?
Not quite. Although the timely warning from my broadband provider made me remedy the problem, Photostream burned more than half a month’s bandwidth in a couple of days. The process of getting photos out to various stakeholders, publishing and updating this site, and related Facebook sites have taken me to point where less than 5% of my allowance remains. I expect I’ll get screwed for violating “fair use” this month. My opinions on “fair use” are the subject of a separate post.
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