Back It Up!

Here’s your New Year’s reminder: back your stuff up. Do it redundantly, with extreme paranoia, and do it now. If it helps, I’ll even say “Pretty please.”

You put so much time into your work, and harddrives fail all the time. So really, this is not paranoia. It’s wisdom. My preference is that every file, including my Lightroom catalog files, be on three harddrives, one of which is always off-site. So at home I work on an iMac, my files are all on a G-Speed Q RAID drive. Every week, or after any real work session, I run a Super Duper backup of that RAID to one of two G-Tech 4TB drives. I could automate this, I suppose, but I’m really organized, so I’ve never felt the need. The other drive is in a Pelican case at my manager’s office, off-site. He comes over, brings the drive and we swap the week-old one for a new one, always leap-frogging the current drive. This means I’ve always got my files on 3 drives, or at minimum 2, and one of those is always off-site.

There are other solutions out there for off-site back-up. I’ve not tried any of them, though all my personal and business administration files go to DropBox. I’ve heard good things about Backblaze, Amazon Glacier, and Crashplan, all of which are off-site and cloud-based.

The storm, Sandy, that the east-coast of America dealt with recently is a good reminder that the unexpected happens. That’s one of the reasons I keep a drive in a Pelican case. It’s why you should have your stuff off-site and redundant. I know, we’d all rather have a new lens than to have to shell out for drives, but it doesn’t take much to lose it all.

Want more? Check out this video from Chase Jarvis. It’s probably way more than you need, but you’re bound to learn something – if it’s good enough for Chase, it’s worth listening to.

Already backing up your stuff? Well done! Tell us about your strategy and then go calibrate your monitor. :-) Happy New Year.

Nov 23rd


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CategoryPosted in: Antarctica, GEAR, Travel

Packing For Antarctica

If there’s an upside to jetlag, it’s productivity. I was up all night so I packed early. Nothing to do now but sit on my thumbs and wait. On Sunday, Nov. 25, I fly to Toronto, then Buenos Aires via Santiago, then on to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, the far southern tip of South […]

Jul 23rd


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CategoryPosted in: GEAR

Gitzo Systematic Tripod (GT3542LS)

Emily, my Gitzo Systematic Tripod, and Me. 2012. Photo: Al Smith I’ve written before about tripods and my growing insistence on using them for my own work. Here’s a look at the one I favour these days, with a few specs and mostly wild opinions that stem from personal use. Disclaimer: I love this tripod. […]

Jul 4th


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CategoryPosted in: GEAR, Travel

Packed: Mongolia

I’m flying to Mongolia tonight. I have two carry-ons; a Kiboko bag and a Think Tank Retro 30. And I have one checked piece, my dented but beloved Rimowa Topaz. For the curious, here’s what I’m packing. And man am I happy to be going in the summer! Last time it was February and much […]