Dave Morrow Photography: A Place We Call Home - Alvord Desert, Oregon

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Place We Call Home - Alvord Desert, Oregon

I've been attempting to bring new topics to the table with each blog post and adding a little bit of what I know and even including some resources I used to find this information. This week I want to touch a bit on data / computer backup. No matter who you are ( photographer or not ) if you've got important data on your computer of any kind, being finances, family pictures, photography portfolios and so on it's very important that you back this data up. Even the best hard drives and best computers in the world fail at times. Unfortunately a single bad hard drive or disk failure and you've lost everything... most likely forever. That's where a good backup solution comes in.

I backup in a few different ways to cover all my bases. First there is at home backup which is done in my actual office. To do so I use (2) 6TB Western Digital Hard Drives which mirror ( are a direct copy of one another ) each other. You can do this with any size hard drive, I just chose to use big hard drives since I have a lot of data to store now and in the future. If you don't have a lot of data right now, hold off on a huge hard drive, since they do get much cheaper each year.

My personal preference for running this mirror back up is Mac's Time Machine which works really well. It actually allows you to jump back to a certain point/date in your computer's life and restore anything and everything that you had at that point. You can restore it all or just restore selective parts. This could include settings, files, and anything else that is possible to screw up. If I ever make a mistake I can revert to how things were in the past. My computer is currently setup to backup once a day on my home storage drives.

In lieu of mirror backups which require you to have double the amount of hard drive space as data you wish to back up there are also other disk configurations that do save you a small bit of space when backing HUGE amounts of data. These are known as RAID backup configurations. After reading up on these I decided the good old mirror back up was good enough for me at this point. But depending on your situation ( especially for time lapse photographers ) you may want to look into this.

The next line of back up I use is Crash Plan which is an unlimited online backup solution. The current plan I use costs around 5$ a month and allows for unlimited backup of your data. You can determine how often you would like Crash Plan to back up the files on your computer and even specify which files you do and don't want to backup. Personally I just have them backup my entire computer. 

If you decide to use Crash Plan and have a large amount of data to initially backup you will need to order a Seed Drive which costs a few extra bucks. In my case I had 2 TB of data which would have taken 40 days to upload to the Crash Plan Servers using high speed internet, so a faster more efficient Seed Drive was necessary. Once you order this drive Crash Plan sends you a hard drive in the mail which they claim to hold 1TB ( I found it to be more like 1.3TB ), you in turn put as much data from your computer on this hard drive as you can and send it back to them. After a few days it's on their servers. Now all you have to do is turn on the Crash Plan Program on your computer, now it only took a day for me to fully back up all my remaining data to their servers. From there on out it's all automatic and on their cloud.

In the case of a fire, robbery, or any other freak accident, all my data is now on the Crash Plan servers and backed up each night via high speed internet.

That pretty much covers my entire backup plan making sure that I never lose any sort of data no matter what problems may come at me. It seems like a lot of work, but is always well worth the cost.

If you want to see how I backup and store data in a very safe yet minimal way while on the road check out my post on Using Your Nexus 10 or Nexus 7 to Transfer Picture Files from Your Camera's Memory Card to an External Hard Drive.

The Shot
I've recently been going through my shots from this past year and stumbled across the Alvord Desert Album. I almost forgot about these pictures, which is funny since they are some of my favorites from the year. This particular night the sunset early and the Milky Way was bright by 8PM. I saw some clouds starting to roll in so it was time to get as much shooting done as possible before clouds encompassed the desert. After taking 15 or 20 different night sky compositions there was no longer any view of the stars or even the sky for that matter. This was one of my favorites from the nite. If you're interested in learning how I post processed or took this shot head on over to www.LearnStarPhotography.com for my Free Star Photography Tutorial and Star Photography Post Processing Video Tutorial.

Labels: , , , , ,