2nd Apr 2012, 8:38pm

Every photographer knows that hard drives are fickle beasts. We know that there is no such thing as 100% reliable and we know that every backup system has vulnerabilities.  We prepare for the worst all the time...which goes against my optimism in all other areas.  Because we know that hard drive failure is a question of when...not if.  It will happen, the trick is to minimise the loss and to minimise the down time as everything gets restored from backup.  I personally think wedding photographers get the worst of it...our work generates vast quantities of very precious data...we have more to lose in so many ways!

Anyway...this Saturday our number was up (like the opposite of Lotto).  As I was uploading the cards from the wedding I'd just shot my main computer just up and turned itself off...Stu eventually got it going again (it had overheated due to a jammed fan) but the short version of the story is we had to reformat the main drive.  It's a sickening feeling...just nauseating.

I knew we had backups in two other places and that we could rebuild it but it's still a slightly uncomfortable place to be.

In the end...after two days of restoring files, the only thing that's missing is some pictures from a family birthday last year that I hadn't backed up. I'm really proud of that. And even though I'd rather not go through it again, I know that we will.  And we'll have learned a bit more from this and we'll recover a bit better and a bit faster next time.

One of my takeaways from all of this is that even the family birthday pictures deserve to be backed up!

And I guess I want yours to be the same...if it was worth shooting in the first place, it's worth backing up!

wedding photography back up


28th Mar 2012, 10:23pm

On Saturday I was second shooting for Nikki South at a wedding in Rotorua.  When I arrived to photograph the guys getting ready the groom showed me a small cannon that they had set up.  An actual cannon, that fires cannon balls!  And he started asking questions about how many frames per second I could shoot...turns out he was keen to catch the fire trail as the cannon ball shot out of the mouth of the cannon. For real!  I started thinking about how I was going to do it...the technical challenges were not small; the darkness and the one-chance nature of the thing, the split second timing and the fact that it started raining about an hour before the scheduled time.  Let's say I wasn't exactly 100% confident that I could pull it off :-)

Which is why it was that much sweeter when, after some educated guesswork and some pushing of the cameras limits I checked the back of the camera and saw this:

Specs for the geeks: iso1600, f4, 1/160...shot on continuous high speed

And yes, I definitely did a happy dance!

All of which reminded me of another awesome wedding a while back where the couple, Gemma and Lester, told me that they were basically getting married at night and could I rise to the challenge? You can see their wedding album here and judge for yourself.  I love those images because they're different and because they were a challenge.

So I guess what I'm saying is ask about pushing the boundaries...challenge us!


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