Aug 13th


Comments Comments 8
CategoryPosted in: GEAR, Links, Travel, Workflow & Technical Issues

Your On-Location Backup Choices

Long-time readers know (and love?) my paranoia. This paranoia is nowhere more evident than when I travel on assignment. I have this weird need to keep my image files safe. This means a laptop with redundant external drives. But what if my laptop dies? Well I have a back-up bootable drive if it’s a simple harddrive issue, but if it’s more than that, I have to rely on a different solution. Carry two laptops? I could, and some do. But I’m already packed to the gills.

There are some excellent options out there in self-contained hard-drives that will download and, in most cases, preview your images for you.

For the last two years my Hyperdrive HD-80 has been a faithful companion, has never failed, and was always there when I needed it. It has an 80gb hard-drive, which now is too small for my needs. So I’ve recently upgraded, and that journey forced me to consider my options.


( The above photos are not meant for comparisons so don’t look, for example, at the screens and think that the JOBO has the biggest screen – in fact, the Epson screen is 4″, the Hyperdrive is 3.2″, the Jobo LCD is 3.7″ – I just put the pics in and scaled’em so they fit. Now you know.)

The industry leader, at one point, was the Epson P-2000 and all the subsequent numeric incarnations. Their latest, the Epson P-7000, has a capacity of 160GB. I had trouble with my Epson P-4000, so it’s left a funny taste in my mouth. That said, I know there are many photographers out there who love them to the point of neurosis. My primary hesitation is the price. At $800 it’s alot of sheckels to part with. But the display is undeniably gorgeous. It gets a 10 for being sexy, but it comes at a price.

The one I’ve most liked in my hands is the Jobo Giga Vu Extreme or Evolution. They just seem right. Matt Brandon uses one and I love the look and feel. It functions as it ought to so I can’t contribute more on that front, but the armour on it is nice. Screen is great. They max out at 120GB, nearly $700.

I finally settled on another Hyperdrive after playing with Gary S. Chapman’s. He also made me buy an 85/1.2L – he’s a bad influence. The Hyperdrive Colorspace O is available up to 500GB. The 250GB version is $457 at B&H. Nice screen, great capacity. The interface is a little odd, but totally workable. Overall it’s not as sexy, and far be it from me to settle for the less-than-sexy option, but in terms of bang for buck, this one has it in spades. It’s fast, too. And it comes with card-recovery functionality. When mine arrives, I’ll review it.

These aren’t the only three, they just seem to be the only ones seriously considered as contenders. I bought a no-name digital card wallet last year as a “just in case” purchase. It wouldn’t download a single 8GB card on one battery charge, so I’m sticking with the ones I know. Regardless which of the reliable options you get, the convenience and piece of mind they offer is worth paying for.

Aug 5th


Comments Comments 1
CategoryPosted in: Links, Thoughts & Theory, Travel

Travel Photography: Ten Commandments

Tewfic El-Sawy has posted his version of the travel photographer’s ten commandments and while they don’t give Mosaic law a run for the money – I still contend we ought not covet our neighbor’s donkey – these ones have their own special relevance. Take a moment to read them HERE. Tewfic’s blog, The Travel Photographer […]

Aug 5th


Comments Comments 5
CategoryPosted in: Travel, Without The Frame

Without The Frame, XI

Some photographs you just love for the stories that surround them and not merely for the ones within the frame. This is one of those. It was taken in Douz, Tunisia, on the northern edge of the Sahara. It was taken in the midst of some frustration; my expectations had once again got in the […]

Aug 4th


Comments Comments 1
CategoryPosted in: GEAR, Travel

Spot Marks the X

Ok, lame title, but check THIS out. It’s called SPOT and it’s an international satellite messenger device and service. For assignment shooters in remote locations, this is pretty cool. It’s about $170 and then $100/year for the service, but if you’re doing alot of exploring or if your adventures take you off the beaten track, […]

Aug 1st


Comments Comments 9
CategoryPosted in: GEAR, News & Stuff, Travel

Polaroid POGO: Video Review

Ok folks, take two on the video thing. I just got my hands on the new Polaroid Pogo printer. Not surprisingly, I love them. Here’s my review in Quicktime format. I’ve made it much larger, so apologies to those of you without the bandwidth. (Short version: Small portable printer, and I love it.) This one’s […]