photographers – back-up plans for disaster

A photographer’s studio in New York state, showing the damage that was caused by unexpected flooding during Hurricane Sandy. For all the damage to photo equipment and computers, no data was ultimately lost!  (Photo used with permission.)

My own family was very fortunate in that we weren’t hurt or sustained damage to our property. The worst we had to endure were the four days without power. There are so many heart-rending stories of lives lost and lives disrupted with the storm, that it just highlights how lucky most of us in the North-Eastern USA were during all this.

With the news so vividly fresh in everyone’s mind, I would like to use this moment to speak urgently to photographers … and anyone who has data that is important, whether personally or for your small business.

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photography workflow – back-up plans (update)

A previous article, photography workflow – back-up plans for your main computer, dealt with two ideas:

  • safe-guarding yourself against catastrophic failure or loss of your computer
  • preparing yourself for when your hard drive crashes.

I do think the ideas there are solid – making sure you’re not vulnerable to a single point of failure in your system. The comments from others supported this and also offered a lot more advice and other possibilities. With that, I slightly adapted what I was doing:

  • my bootable clone hard drive is now a fire-proof & water-proof safe made by ioSafe
  • Backblaze as an off-site / online duplication of my files
  • Using the PackRat feature of Dropbox

With all this in place now, I think my back-up plans are very solid, especially with some extra redundancy thrown in there …

Learn more inside…


photography workflow – back-up plans for the main computer

The photograph above was shot with my iPhone while I was waiting for a corporate photo shoot to commence. The sky over lower Manhattan was grim and rainy. You can see the reflection of the fluorescent lights inside the room. This gave the city scene a Blade-Runner-esque feel. And with that, this image is perhaps suitably Apocalyptic for this topic – what are your plans for catastrophic failure of your main computer?

The idea for this article comes from a discussion with another photographer – she cringed every time I mentioned, “so what happens to your business if your house burns down and your computer is gone?” My other remark that her computer’s hard drive most likely will fail at some point, didn’t seem to lift her spirits either.

So with that, let’s look at those two points:
1. Safe-guarding yourself against catastrophic loss of your computer.
2. Preparing yourself for when your hard drive crashes.

The solutions are fortunately quite simple and elegant …

Learn more inside…


the iPad – not a review

September 15, 2010

By now everyone is well clued up about the iPad:
– its capabilities – that it is a ‘game-changer’
– the iPad’s popularity – selling one every 3 seconds in the first three months!
– the iPad’s wonderful display – just look at it.  Images just pop off the screen.
– that it is like an oversized iPhone, but without the phone or a camera.
– the Pad’s limitations – that it seemed to have been designed with consumption of media in mind, rather than creation.

the iPad – not quite a review

So this is not quite a review on the iPad. That would be fairly redundant now, 5 months after release. Rather, this is some of the experience of using the iPad as a photographer’s tool.

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February 1, 2010

about this Mac thing ..

Until recently, I’ve been a PC user.  I didn’t have much interest in using a Mac, although I dearly loooove my iPhone and iPod.  I also have a high appreciation for Apple’s minimalist design and aesthetics.  Macs do look very cool.

Yet I didn’t feel the need or desire for a Mac.  PCs run fast.  It’s a stable platform with a wide choice of programs.  On top of that, there were some things which put me off the Mac.  The thing I found most annoying was the fanboyism of the Mac enthusiasts.  Any problem you’d encounter on a PC, you’d get a gloating chorus of,  “just use a Mac.”   Equally aggravating was the assertion that Macs are sooo intuitive.  You know what?  If Macs were so intuitive you wouldn’t have to explain their operation to me, would you?

I was a happy PC user, until the middle of last year.  Then without prior intention, I decided to get a fully kitted 17″ MacBook Pro Notebook Computer, with 8 Gb RAM.

Initially I was a little under-whelmed with the Mac experience, but then a few things fell into place for me in terms of software and hardware options … and then I switched my main computer that I work on (ie the laptop), over to the MacBook Pro.  Suddenly it all made sense!

All of this will be old news to Mac lovers. When I was gushing about my new setup to a friend of mine last week, she just laughed, “Where have you been all this time?”.

The things that fell into place for me had a big impact on my post-production workflow and efficiency, and I’d like to share some of my observations and new experience …

Learn more inside…