Sunday, March 12, 2017

Time for an update- and a "Tech Tip"- "Nerding Nerding Out Workflow"

Well, its been almost a year since my last post- why do I keep doing that? Oh well, guess that's just how it goes.

I have been thinking for a while to start doing some "tech tips" on photography since really, that is what I am good at. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen my first (personal not business) Facebook Live posing- if not, here is a link- Facebook Live. In that video, I show a new (to me) portable hard drive I am using for my 2017 OTR Images (on the road). Since posting that video, I have finally upgraded my home file system and photography workflow.

Now here is where most people's eyes glaze over and you go back to facebook looking for cat videos...wait, don't do that yet...Fist, this is NOT that hard. Second, this is targeted for the casual to heavy photographer, not a hard core pro who shoots gigs upon gigs at a wedding or sporting event so stay with me.

The Challenges:

  1. 8 Hard drives sitting on my desk attached to multiple computers
  2.  Image files stored EVERY WHERE!
  3.  Backup- safety measure in case of lightning strike, drive failure, or other disaster

Creating the process:

First you have to get somewhat organized. I was fairly organized by date, event or project using Adobe Lightroom, however, it was spread across 2 2TB drives and a few portable drives. So I sat one day drawing on a napkin how I would think my worklfow SHOULD look....My drawing skills are quite awful, so here is a recreation of that sketch-

I know, I know, your thinking- that's NOT 8 drives... no, I am simplifying here. I have already told you my "OTR" drive is my portable 2017 disk. If I fill that, I purchase another drive to continue 2017. So that's the easy part. Here is where it got complicated. I was storing files across MANY drives but NO real backup plan. If a drive failed, the chances were, it MAY have been copied to the other drive if I remembered. So here is what the above system does- First, one of the 2TB ("A") drives is legacy images (Selects from 2016 and earlier from those other hard drives that are no longer cluttering my desk that are now sitting safely in a gun safe). The other ("B") is a TimeMachine system (iMac) back up. Since TimeMachine likes 2x the space of the backed up items, this is 2x my 1TB internal hard drive of the iMac. The portable drive is automatically copied to the 6TB RAID the instant it is attached to the computer. Here is an important note- The RAID is my WORKING HARD DRIVE NOT MY BACKUP. RAID drives are never the back up, but that is for another tech article.

What you need:

In order for this to work you will need to put in place a few tools to help.
  1. A good fast RAID or LARGE storage area. (I picked up one of these in a 6TB configuration on a close out sale- G-Technology Studio RAID.
  2. A reliable cloud storage system. I am currently using BackBlaze. I like the simplicity, mobile access and monitoring and for the price, it seemed to be what I needed. 
  3. A customizable drive cloning software. For this, I am using Carbon Copy Cloner. This is what automatically copies the portable drive to the RAID. There are PC applications as well such as Acronis True Image and others, but I have not tried any of them so do your research.

The Process:

Once those are in place you can build a very easy, quick workflow that is somewhat bulletproof and uses a 3, 2, 1 plan (3 copies, 2 different locations, 1 off site).

The 2TB drive and the portable drive are basically the unedited files, the "raws" if you will. Those two drives get copied to the Backblaze cloud along with my local hard drive (yes, I know its on the TimeMachine, but that's a LOCAL BACK UP).
Also, My Lightroom catalogs are stored on the iMac HD, so that keeps ALL my settings from the image edits. If for example I have a RAID failure and have to re-edit an image, I have a copy of the Lightroom catalog I can pull down no matter where I am and access the images.
Lightrooms image directory is the RAID. This is SOOOO much faster than using a standard external drive- that's what RAID's are best for.

I think that's enough to get you started, or at least thinking about your workflow. This is such an important part of being a photographer. Just imagine what would happen if your hard drives were zapped by a power surge or worse, you had a fire in your house. Where would all those important memories be?

Until next time, see you on the road :)


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Truly On The Road

Well, this photographer is truly on the road. The road to Long Island New York. Gone are the 180 days a year on the road teaching, demonstrating, and giving work shops. My days as a Canon Product Educator with Markerstar are done (very bittersweet feeling)... However, I'm still very much involved in the photo industry and will still be at shows and events across the USA. 
I'm going to now work for Canon USA in Melville, NY as a Senior Technical Specialist.  I'll get to work with new exciting products, act as a media person for Canon USA, help research and drive new ideas for products and much more. 

BUT! This is not the end of POTR! I hopefully will have more time to shoot for myself. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Capturing the Classics: Old Cars and Antique Trains With Rick Sammon and Canon

This past weekend I had the oppertunity to work with Rick Sammon, Canon Explorer of Light here in the Atlanta area to assist with Canon's Live Lerning Destination Workshop. We took 8 attendees out to 2 locations; the Southeast Railway Museum and Old Car City. These are two places I have never been- odd since I have lived here for well over 20 years- I guess I need to explore my city more huh... The workshop was centered around getting great images using some of Ricks techniques. I have to say, it was one of the best Destination workshops I have had the pleasure of working on. Here are a few images from my camera...

Canon EOS 5DS EF11-24mm f/4L USM

Canon EOS 5DS EF11-24mm f/4L USM

Canon EOS 5DS EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5DS EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5DS EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5DS EF180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

Saturday, July 11, 2015

It happened again...

Ok, it happened again... I neglected this site for WAY too long... so, I introduce to you a new fresh look at The blog is still here (hopefully I update it more), a new gallery for viewing- you can still purchase pieces through my FAA page  and I will be working on incorporating that into this new site. In the meantime, feel free to browse, click, and if there is something you MUST have on your walls, and its not in my FAA gallery, email me and I will make all your dreams come true...well, at least dreams for art on your wall.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Painting on the Lake

Here we are again... on the road in Salt Lake City, UT for a team meeting. A few of us got in a day early and decided to head out and play south of Salt Lake City and light some night sky... and some other things... turns out, that lable that says "do not hold mortar in hands" is a good suggestion. It typically results in a trip to the ER. This time our co-worker was somewhat lucky (if you can call it that) he can still count to 5 on his right hand.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Here's "The Shot" that will probably be the most expensive shot Jeff has ever done lightpainting...

Canon EOS 5D Mark III EF24-70mm f/4L IS USM

Monday, May 12, 2014

Arches, Cowboys (and Cowgirls) and Sunsets

One of the great things about my "day job" is I get to work with some AMAZING people in truly breathtaking locations. This past week I was out in Moab Utah in Arches National Park and based at Red Cliffs Lodge. If you have not been out to that part of the country, your soul would greatly rewarded making the trip. Photos just cant do it justice in any way.

The workshop was with the Canon Destination Workshops and Tyler Stableford the Explorer of light. He's one of the few who's as sharing with his knowledge as he is talented.

So if you're ever in the area, stay at the Red Cliffs Lodge and spend a week or so roaming in Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. 
Sunrise through North Window looking at Turret Arch

Sunrise in the Windows of Arches National Park

Sunset towards Double Arch from North Window

The "Three Gossips" at sunset

Of course it would not be a trip to the desert if I did not do some light painting :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

One Last Spin in Valley of Fire

This is probably the last trip (this year) for me to Valley of Fire...but you never know :) so we took advantage of our NAB travel to Las Vegas and went out to the desert again. This time most of our team that could make it in early went out with us. We had a great time but I can tell you this, when you get 13 people who all are Canon educators, the knowledge level is pretty high and you better be on your game...otherwise, well take a jab at each other at any opportunity, needless to say, we laughed pretty hard the whole trip. I work with a GREAT team!

There is just something about the sunsets there that are inspirational.

Of course, we had to break out the "illuminating tools"...

The "river of light" was not added in PS, modified a little, but...
Here is the original, which do you like better?