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Hard drive options

From: Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques

Video: Hard drive options

Hey, welcome. Here we are in my office, and I thought it would be worthwhile to step back for a few minutes and talk a little bit about digital asset management-- in particular, talk about hard drives and hardware. What I want to do first is introduce this topic, kind of philosophically talk about hard drives and different approaches to saving our photographs. Then near the end, I want to give you a few recommendations in regards to what hard drives you might want to pursue integrating into your overall workflow. Now, before we get to the hard drives themselves, I want to show you a couple of pictures.

Hard drive options

Hey, welcome. Here we are in my office, and I thought it would be worthwhile to step back for a few minutes and talk a little bit about digital asset management-- in particular, talk about hard drives and hardware. What I want to do first is introduce this topic, kind of philosophically talk about hard drives and different approaches to saving our photographs. Then near the end, I want to give you a few recommendations in regards to what hard drives you might want to pursue integrating into your overall workflow. Now, before we get to the hard drives themselves, I want to show you a couple of pictures.

I recently got back from a trip to New York, and, in New York, I had a phenomenal time. One of the things I was doing was a photo shoot and other thing was meeting up with photographer Rodney Smith, and here are some test prints from that shoot. Although these are test prints, they are images that I value. You can see that I am just working through some of my ideas here. And Rodney is a fascinating person. He is someone who inspires me, a mentor of sorts. You can see some of his photographs sitting behind me. The reason why I wanted to bring these photographs up is that whenever we are talking about hard drives, it's not about pixels or ones and zeros.

It's about the photograph and even a test print that has value to me, reminds me somehow that the images that I make have some kind of a distinct and inherent, important value to me; therefore, as we start to think about what hard drive approach, what digital management approach, digital asset management approach we take, we need to take one that matches that value, that saves those images for us now and also for the future. Well, what are the two approaches? Typically, the two approaches are referred to as JBOD or RAID. First, JBOD.

JBOD stands for Just a Bunch of Drives. In other words, you can get some inexpensive drives, like the ones that we have here, and you can use a number of different drives. Now, the advantage to this is that they don't cost a lot of money. You know how you can get really a high- volume, high amount of storage for really low price right now, and you can have a lot of these drives. The downside to this, of course, is that you are going to have a lot of cables, a lot of chords. You're going to be powering these drives on and off quite frequently.

Now, sometimes you just need to do to that. Say when you're traveling, you need a couple of small travel drives that you have with you, because you always want your data in at least three places: perhaps on the hard drive of your laptop, and then also on each of your external drives where other times in your studio you will have two different drives and typically you buy drives in pairs, so you can have data in two different places. Yet, the downside with this approach is that hard drives will always eventually die. If you were to call up a hard drive manufacturer and say, "Okay, well, how long do your hard drives last?" They are going to tell you three to five years.

That isn't a lot of time. Now that's assuming that you're really pushing a drive, you're really working with it. But the point is that eventually your hard drive will die. So when have a bunch of drives, it's hard to keep track. When did I buy that one, how much have I used that drive, and also is that one kind of on its final legs? One of the things that happen often when you're working with hard drives is that you'll notice the performance starts to slow a little bit. Then maybe you hear some strange sounds. Well, we like to convince ourself that we haven't heard anything.

So, a drive will start to click, click, click, and we say to ourselves, "Oh, I didn't really hear that," or "That doesn't really matter." Then all of a sudden the drive dies. I can't tell you how many students have students have called me-- I teach college-age students--and they call me after they graduate, and they say, "Chris, the last three years of my photography was on a hard drive, and it died. I've lost everything. What do I do?" I say, "Okay, well let's take a deep breath, and let's consider our options," and we look into data recovery, and typically that data recovery costs so much that is not worth it, and they've lost absolutely everything.

We don't want that to happen to you, or I don't want that to happen to you. So, what we have to do is say, okay, we have some kind of built-in redundancy. In other words, we need data on one drive that's also on another drive. Now, as we think about that, in any scenario, we of course need to have our drives perhaps together, where we copying data across where we are cloning it from one drive to another. Then also we need to have another version of that off-site, so we have that data backed up in another location in case there is a fire or theft or flood or who knows what.

So again, one approach is this idea to have just a bunch of drives. Another approach is RAID. RAID stands for Random Array of Inexpensive Drives and here I have a really good RAID box. It's the S Drobo. What this box does for us is it puts these drives together, and it builds in a little bit of logic. Here you can see I've a number of different drives stacked up. What that will do is when I copy an image onto my Drobo, I don't necessarily know there are a lot of drives in there via the interface, but Drobo takes care of putting that image in different locations for me.

In other words, if one of those drives dies, I don't lose the image. It also will give me an indicator saying, "Hey, this drive's acting a little strange." I can then swap it out and then put in a different drive. It will rebuild the data without any loss of information. Now you can learn more about Drobo by going to their site, so I don't want to get into the specifics. But what I do want to talk about is this concept of RAID, a random array of inexpensive drives. The type of RAID that we typically use as photographers is one which puts our information across multiple drives in order to have a secure, a more stable version of our files.

Now of course when you are using a RAID, you also need to have another version of this backed up somewhere else. It's kind of like wearing a seatbelt, so to speak. Just because you're wearing a seatbelt doesn't mean you can drive recklessly or really quickly or really fast. So what we need to do of course is have our data on here: a nice, stable, strong place. But then we need to back those files somewhere else. The way that I work that in my own workflow is that I have another drive where I clone all this information from this and bring it to an external location, and at that external location, I have it in a fire and waterproof safe.

Now, that safe, or those safes, only cost $60 or $70. So it's not a huge expense, and it's well worth it to protect that data again in that off-site location. So we've talked about these different approaches. So, what about advice? What about recommendations? What should we do? Well, a lot of it depends on our budget. A lot of it depends on how we shoot, and also we want to think about how we can create a digital asset management system that works today but is also forward thinking.

Will this work in five years or in ten years? Will it work to have just a bunch of drives? Am I going to have 20 different drives 10 years from now and not know which one to plug in, or turn on or off, or how am I going to do with all those cables and power connections, et cetera, et cetera? So again, we want to think about some of those issues. Now the JBOD approach is going to be more affordable. So maybe you say, "Right now with my budget that's the approach I am going to take. I am going to start buying drives in pair. I am going to have multiple versions of my content across these two drives. I am going to have two at one location then I'll have a third drive perhaps in an off-site location." Or maybe you say, "You know what, I really want to go for it.

I am going to save up, and I am going to get a RAID device. I am going to use that so I have this just really secure, really strong, really great way to save and store my photographs." Again, this is the approach that I use. You could also take another approach, where you are using a hybrid combination of both of these. Perhaps you are using JBOD when you are traveling, your small travel drives that you bring with you, and then you have a RAID device that you use when you back it in your studio. Now in regards to particular drives, I have a number of different brands here: LaCie, G-Tech, Western Digital, and Drobo.

I don't get anything for recommending any particular hard drive, but all of these I think are really good and strong. The one thing that you want to keep in mind as you get your drives is that you want to buy a drive that's good. You don't want to skimp when it comes to hard drives. You want to buy at the top of the line. So, a lot of times what that means for me if I have to recommend anything out of this set I would say these G-Tech drives are phenomenal and then also I think the Drobo, the S Drobo, is a really strong device. Now again, what you want to do in your own scenario is do some research.

You can do this online, and you can find a ton of information about the different drives that you can use. But most importantly, get the drives that are going to make sense for your own workflow, because keep in mind, remember when I started this off with, it's about our photographs; it's about our images; it's about something of value to us, and we want this to last. In photography, a lot of times it's easy to get caught up in the moment of capturing the photograph, or of working on it post-production, that sometimes we forget to have good and strong and stable backup.

We want to have a workflow that's tight, that's strong, that stable all the way around. Ultimately, by investing a little bit in hard drives or in digital asset management it can help us create more compelling photographs. It can give us that extra confidence. It obviously can help us with our client services and our own management of those files, because we get drives that are fast, and we can access our files quickly and deliver them to people. Also though, it will help us create a system, or an infrastructure, which will kind of launch us, or move us forward, in the future, so that as we move forward we can continue to create compelling, intriguing, and engaging photographs.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques
Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques

91 video lessons · 17715 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 57s
    1. Welcome
      2m 11s
    2. Strategies for success
      1m 49s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 57s
  2. 39m 0s
    1. Understanding how Lightroom, Bridge, and Photoshop work together
      6m 25s
    2. Working with Lightroom, Bridge, and Photoshop
      6m 35s
    3. Maximizing compatibility with Photoshop
      4m 7s
    4. Resolving Camera Raw mismatches
      7m 47s
    5. Customizing external editor naming
      3m 54s
    6. Stacking multiple photos
      5m 25s
    7. What to do when Bridge isn't seeing the raw adjustments
      4m 47s
  3. 18m 30s
    1. Setting up an additional external editor
      6m 38s
    2. Should I work with TIFF or PSD files?
      1m 3s
    3. Setting up an export preset
      4m 4s
    4. Integrating Photoshop actions into Lightroom
      6m 45s
  4. 11m 46s
    1. What are catalogs and why do they matter?
      3m 38s
    2. Where are my images?
      4m 2s
    3. The nuts and bolts of catalogs
      1m 52s
    4. Understanding catalogs, collections, and folders
      2m 14s
  5. 15m 22s
    1. Working with folders
      3m 22s
    2. Working with collections
      3m 55s
    3. The collections workflow
      8m 5s
  6. 16m 5s
    1. Exporting and importing catalogs
      7m 52s
    2. Diagramming multiple catalogs and computers
      2m 10s
    3. When to use multiple catalogs on one computer
      3m 40s
    4. Cleaning up the catalog mess
      2m 23s
  7. 10m 55s
    1. Catalog backup defaults
      4m 7s
    2. Performing a better catalog backup
      3m 45s
    3. Restoring from a backup catalog
      1m 27s
    4. Optimizing catalogs
      1m 36s
  8. 12m 24s
    1. Hard drive options
      9m 50s
    2. Further resources
      2m 34s
  9. 9m 46s
    1. Setting up tethered capture
      3m 12s
    2. Custom tethered capture white balance
      6m 34s
  10. 43m 38s
    1. Enhancing eyes
      8m 59s
    2. Whitening teeth
      2m 51s
    3. Smoothing skin
      6m 45s
    4. Reducing small blemishes
      6m 56s
    5. Darkening or dodging with the Adjustment brush
      2m 29s
    6. Adding dimensions and contrast
      4m 53s
    7. Retouching workflow with Photoshop and Lightroom, pt. 1: Reducing blemishes
      7m 10s
    8. Retouching workflow with Photoshop and Lightroom, pt. 2: Smoothing skin
      3m 35s
  11. 21m 42s
    1. Understanding color space and preventing color profile mismatch
      3m 29s
    2. Monitor calibration with ColorMunki
      1m 5s
    3. Working with ColorChecker Passport
      59s
    4. Creating and exporting a ColorChecker Passport profile
      5m 44s
    5. Choosing and applying a profile
      6m 42s
    6. Saving a profile as a preset
      3m 43s
  12. 19m 0s
    1. Are your prints too dark?
      5m 47s
    2. Monitor brightness presets
      3m 4s
    3. Custom grid layouts
      3m 38s
    4. Importing and exporting custom presets
      2m 31s
    5. Exporting from Lightroom to Pictage
      4m 0s
  13. 20m 19s
    1. Designing a custom watermark in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    2. Implementing a custom watermark
      3m 54s
    3. Using a custom watermark for effect in a slideshow
      5m 54s
    4. Using a custom watermark for effect in a web gallery
      3m 31s
  14. 15m 28s
    1. Exporting images for a Blurb photo book
      6m 45s
    2. Downloading and installing Blurb BookSmart
      44s
    3. Building and designing a Blurb book
      7m 59s
  15. 17m 26s
    1. Publishing to the iPhone or iPad
      8m 45s
    2. Publishing to Facebook
      2m 24s
    3. Publishing to Flickr
      3m 19s
    4. Publishing to SmugMug
      2m 58s
  16. 17m 31s
    1. Web galleries and web hosting
      2m 52s
    2. Creating and uploading a gallery
      6m 29s
    3. Popular web gallery plug-ins
      3m 10s
    4. Installing and uploading a web gallery plug-in
      5m 0s
  17. 25m 44s
    1. Exporting to burn on DVD or Blu-ray
      5m 33s
    2. Exporting to a blog
      9m 16s
    3. Exporting for the web
      3m 26s
    4. Exporting and posting a slideshow or video
      4m 34s
    5. Creating a Lightroom screensaver
      2m 55s
  18. 10m 10s
    1. Creating a client web gallery template
      4m 1s
    2. Sending high-resolution images via FTP
      6m 9s
  19. 10m 23s
    1. Emailing images from Lightroom
      5m 31s
    2. Emailing images from Lightroom with Gmail
      4m 52s
  20. 11m 59s
    1. Installing plug-ins
      6m 17s
    2. Accessing plug-ins
      3m 10s
    3. Creative plug-in resources
      2m 32s
  21. 45m 6s
    1. General navigation shortcuts
      6m 21s
    2. Importing shortcuts
      5m 49s
    3. Library module shortcuts
      8m 15s
    4. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 1
      4m 42s
    5. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 2
      4m 29s
    6. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 3
      5m 24s
    7. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 4
      3m 39s
    8. Develop module shortcuts, pt. 5
      5m 11s
    9. Shortcut resources
      1m 16s
  22. 6m 13s
    1. General tips
      2m 28s
    2. Increasing the cache size for greater speed
      3m 45s
  23. 55s
    1. Goodbye
      55s

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