Monday, July 27, 2009

How I store/backup my photos.

I'm gearing up to leave this week for a month of shooting in the Atlantic Provinces (PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland). The original plan was to spend August in the Yukon, but the mishap with the van (see earlier post "van vs tree") and subsequent time to have the body work done ended up pushing back my departure date. Facing a 5 day drive (each way) and reduced window of time for the trip, I've decided to go to the much-closer east coast.

This past week I did a marathon of office work (processing raw files) to be caught up before hitting the road in a few days. Over the duration of my travels since last October, I've added a huge number of photos to my collection. The importance of properly storing and backing up the collection is always on my mind. Several people have asked me how I do this, so here's the scoop.
For years, my approach has been to have 4 copies of my collection as follows:

1) Primary drives in my desktop computer that I use as the current working copy of my photo collection.
2) A second set of drives in my desktop computer setup as a "Raid 1" configuration. These automatically mirror the primary drives so there's an up-to-date backup copy in case of a primary drive failure.
3) A backup copy of the entire collection on external hard-drives that I keep offsite at a friend's house in case of fire or flood at my house.
4) Another backup copy of the photo collection on external hard drive that travels with me so I always have access to my photos.

It should go without saying that you need to backup regularly!

My photo collection has grown so large that it has become difficult to manage storing it on individual hard drives. Last week I bought a Drobo storage system and a set of new drives (Western Digital Caviar Green drives which are rated as some of the most reliable drives) which will replace the function of #1 and #2 above. I'm not a technology expert so I won't try to explain how the Drobo works, but you can google it for more info. After I get back from the Atlantic trip, I'll be migrating my files to the Drobo and look forward to the new system.

Happy shooting!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Georgian Bay

It's been a very productive week on assignment shooting outdoor tourism photos in the Georgian Bay area. The weather has been great and the models were excellent to work with. Thanks Karen, Lauren, Scott P, Jenn, Scott C, Melissa, Vera, Freeman and Pat for your tireless patience! Check out the initial previews below.

I'm en route to Manitoulin Island for a few days of shooting up there. My van is finally in the shop getting the body work done on the back end, so I'm cruising in a stylish new rental car. In a couple of weeks I'll have the van back in top shape ready for the next leg of my trip!

If you're interested in a trip to the Georgian Bay area, here's a link to a website with lots of great info:

Photo 1: Kayakers paddle by Flowerpot Island. EOS 1DsIII; 70-200/2.8 lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer

Photo 2: That's me floating in Georgian Bay to shoot water level photos of the kayakers. A semi-dry suit kept me warm in the frigid waters and the lifejacket is for buoyancy to keep the camera above water. I shot handheld the 5DII, 17-40mm lens and a Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer.

Photo 3: Hikers stand on a Georgian Bay overlook in Bruce Peninsula National Park. EOS 1DsIII; 24-70/2.8 lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer & 2-stop soft edge ND grad

Photo 4: Me on the overlook. Here's why I always carry a point & shoot camera... to get images of me in the field.

Photo 5: Mountain bikers stop for a break on the trail. EOS 5DII; 17-40mm lens; 580EX II flash for fill; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Georgian Bay

Photo 1: A touboat passes a Georgian Bay vista in Bruce Peninsula National Park. EOS 1DsIII; 24-70/2.8; Singh-Ray 2 stop hard edge ND grad (4x6" size)

I'm currently up in the Georgian Bay area shooting a tourism assignment and having fun visiting my favourite photo locations and connecting with old friends. It's been a busy week taking care of all the logistics for the assignment.... coordinating models, locations, support, etc... but the photos are starting to come together.

I just bought a Canon EOS 5D mark II for a secondary/backup body..... my initial impression after a couple days is that it's an amazing camera. More about it later. I also replaced my waterlogged Canon G9 with a new point & shoot. The G10 was high on my mind until a friend at the FotoArt camera store in Owen Sound put a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 in my hands. I became enamoured with it. Why? It's shockproof, waterproof, easy to use, 12MP and bright blue. It should be fairly difficult for me to lose or destroy, at least that's what I'm hoping. Why do I carry a point & shoot? To capture shots of me in the field, and to spare the risk of pulling out an expensive SLR after a couple bottles of wine at a party.

Photo 2: Photographer on Georgian Bay shoreline in Bruce Peninsula National Park. EOS 1DSIII; 17-40mm lens; Singh-Ray LB Colorcombo polarizer & 2 stop hard edge ND grad (4x6")

Photo 3: Photographer silhouette at sunset. EOS 1DsIII; 70-200/2.8 lens

Photo 4: Friends admiring a Georgian Bay sunset. EOS 1DSIII; 24-70/2.8 lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer & 2 stop hard edge ND grad (4x6")

Photo 5: Using my new point & shoot camera to photograph the best-patch of Showy Lady's Slippers I've ever seen. [don't ask where, I'm sworn to secrecy on these]. EOS 1DSIII; 24-70mm lens; Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Cliffs & Caves: Bruce Peninsula Photo Workshop

Photo: Halfway Log Dump in Bruce Peninsula National Park
[image taken during previous workshop]

Photo Workshop Announcement
Cliffs and Caves: The Bruce Peninsula Landscape
September 12-13, 2009

Join Ethan on the Bruce Peninsula for some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada. Learn pro tips and techniques for making dramatic landscape photos.

Click here for more information or to register.

Book now to ensure a spot, this workshop is expected to fill quickly!

SOLD: Canon 50D - like new

Canon 50D body with accessory BG-E2N battery grip and spare battery. Price: $1400 Cdn takes all. Will include shipping within Canada. This will save you a few hundred bucks if you were to buy new in Canada now (with taxes).

The camera is in brand-new condition (purchased in February), in the original box with all the standard items (CDs, cables, strap). Still under Canon warranty.

This is one of my backup bodies and has barely been used Am selling because I just bought other backup bodies and no longer need the 50D.

The 50D is an excellent camera that impressed me with its lightening fast autofocus and fast frame rate.. ideal for bird or wildlife photography. Full details, reviews and photos of the 50D are widely available on the web.

Payment (cheque, money order, cash, e-transfer) necessary before shipping. I'll guarantee the condition of the camera as stated.... full money back if not satisfied.

I've shot some nice photos with this body including the Red-throated Loon in the previous post, and this American White Pelican photo: