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Pro Photographer Help
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pra9ab0y
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Oct 18, 2009, 05:51 PM
 
Hello all! Not a new user here but had to make a new account due to email problems.

Anywho down to business.

Basically I am a freelance designer and professional photographer. Mainly events, weddings and local borough coverage for my council. I am looking to move into Advertising Photography and more studio based shooting in the next few months so need a plan! and a good one!

What's brought me here to ask is the lack of workflow I currently have!

I use a macbook pro for all of my work and have most of the data stored locally on the macbooks hard drive and also as a backup on an external discs. (All stored in a shoe box in my wardrobe!)

Only problem is one of those discs died, causing me to waste valuable hours of verification and copying to a new drive, this I dont want to have to do again!

So the basis for my question!

With my new field of work, I am going to buy a mac pro tower and 2 23" displays. I have the setups configured and ready to go with a built in 1TB of hard disk space.

Current workflow is
• Shoot the images
• load images to macbook
• make a backup of RAW files on external disk and file away
• with local RAW files I copy them to Aperture
• rate files and sort them good to bad.
• retouch using aperture/photoshop
• export TIF files
• print or send to client depending on the job.
• export the project as a vault and copy to different hard drive and file.

thats my current workflow.

but its not good enough. I am basically planning to leave the mac pro in my office, and take my macbook out to test the shots check im happy with them and all that. then use the mac pro for all editing and archiving.

I basically need a workflow that involves using a raid setup for everything. So I can hot swap a drive to update and store it offsite. and have one onsite.

I shoot about 1000 to 5000 on any given day. so I use a lot of data space. I kinda know my basic workflow. Import from the cards to a folder. back everything up and then start my editing but its how to backup. I want to use raid so that if a disc fails its not a big issue and I also want to have a drive offsite that has everything on it just in case my house burns down or something.

If anyone has any ideas or tips it would be great to know. Or any Pro photogs workflows/setups would be great! knda in a jam at the moment and need some friendly advice!

Thanks,
Ash
     
reader50
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Oct 18, 2009, 06:32 PM
 
pra9ab0y, PM me the details on your old account. The email address, the nature of the problem, etc. Chances are we can fix you up.
     
pra9ab0y  (op)
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Oct 18, 2009, 06:38 PM
 
done!
     
NeverTriedApple
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Oct 24, 2009, 06:20 AM
 
Based on above workflow, I would buy top range 17" Macbook Pro with plenty of RAM and do all my work on it. That, external monitor and storage. No multiple computers to take care of, no files to transfer. Retouching of photos requires lots of memory and CPU not graphics.
     
GuyWithACamera
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Oct 24, 2009, 11:20 AM
 
I don't like to rely on my Macbook Pro's screen for color critical work. I'm still clunking away on a dual G5 for the time being with plenty of attached storage.

I make a DVD/CD backup of all RAW files before I even touch them. Yes, I should cull out the non-keepers, blinks, etc. but storage is cheap.

I've also been keeping a separate backup copy of all working files on an external HD. So basically, I have 3 or more copies of an image.

Your workflow is your workflow - what works for you. I think it's something each of us have to develop for our own style and comfort.

Have you thought of looking into online storage such as Carbonite? I'm seriously looking into this but not going to rely on it solely. It seems like a good deal for unlimited and automatic backup.

I can't help you with a raid setup but will be reading the responses in that regard.
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pra9ab0y  (op)
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Oct 24, 2009, 05:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by GuyWithACamera View Post
I don't like to rely on my Macbook Pro's screen for color critical work. I'm still clunking away on a dual G5 for the time being with plenty of attached storage.

I make a DVD/CD backup of all RAW files before I even touch them. Yes, I should cull out the non-keepers, blinks, etc. but storage is cheap.

I've also been keeping a separate backup copy of all working files on an external HD. So basically, I have 3 or more copies of an image.

Your workflow is your workflow - what works for you. I think it's something each of us have to develop for our own style and comfort.

Have you thought of looking into online storage such as Carbonite? I'm seriously looking into this but not going to rely on it solely. It seems like a good deal for unlimited and automatic backup.

I can't help you with a raid setup but will be reading the responses in that regard.
The whole issue with online servers for backup is that my upload speed is slow. Its not because I don't pay enough for it but because of the actual hardware limitations in my area. So to upload everything would take literally forever!

- I have found after a lot of research that a workflow differs from person to person. What I find easy might seem hard to someone else so what im basing mine on is bits an pieces from others. One thing I will not be doing is going back to the Apple store to ask a few questions! I couldn't believe how much they were pushing time machine? I stated I didn't want to use it because I don't need to "go back in time" I just need an exact replica of the folder and file structure from 1 drive to the next and time machine doesn't offer me that!!
     
Westfoto
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Oct 26, 2009, 04:45 PM
 
I apauld your efforts. One thing to keep in mind on items such as image files there are some people who think the file does not excist untill it is in 3 places.
The working drive
The Back up
The Back up of the Back up
Mac Pro - 12 GB RAM - 30" & 23" Displays - 10.7.1
MacBook Pro - 2 GB RAM - 10.6.8
Airport Extreme • Canon iPF5000 • PIXMA Pro9000 • Xerox N2125
     
Westfoto
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Oct 26, 2009, 04:48 PM
 
I also agree with above that the laptop screen, any laptop, is not color critical for any color work. Get a desktop monitor to do the color work on, it is also bigger to boot.
Mac Pro - 12 GB RAM - 30" & 23" Displays - 10.7.1
MacBook Pro - 2 GB RAM - 10.6.8
Airport Extreme • Canon iPF5000 • PIXMA Pro9000 • Xerox N2125
     
tonywong
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Oct 30, 2009, 04:46 PM
 
Get a dock like one of these:
icy dock

Get an eSATA card or interface for the MacPro and copy all the files over to the the hard disk on the dock and take it off site. You can use USB2 but it will be significantly slower (eSATA will be HD rate limited usually but USB2 will be interface limited).

Up to 2TB single drives are available now, so backing up a complete image of the system can be done if you are worried about getting back up and running quickly. IE, if your hard disk fails, you can swap out the drive for the backup and be up and running without too much of a hiccup. Test your backups from time to time in order verify that they are working (Danger's sidekicks learned this the hard way).

Use SuperDuper! or CCC to do differential copies in order to make the backup as fast as possible. This way you can keep a RAID configured for stripe (performance) and still have a good backup or configure it for mirror (safety) and have more margin built in.

Just remember that if you are imaging a complete disk about the fact that your passwords and other private data is capable of being lost with the disk.

Keep 1 disk stored locally and 1 at your offsite. Rotate as many disks as you feel are necessary based on the value of your data.

Make sure you have a gigabit switch to network (wired) the MacBook to MacPro when you need to transfer files across. Turn on Jumbo Frames if both macs support it for faster copies. (unless you are using target disk mode on the MBP)

The rest of it sounds fine. And if you are really paranoid, make sure you are using a hyperdrive or epson P series to backup your cards as you fill them up, or better yet, get a Nikon D300s, D3 or Canon 1D series and shoot with full mirrored backups, and separate the cards/storage so if you travel that any loss or destruction won't result in data loss. A laptop works but tends to get in the way if you are going to be shooting without an assistant.

If you are going any heavier duty than that, I'd recommend you build a server that is at least RAID 0+1 and use SSDs on your workstations. This way you get fantastic speed but you have to sync your current work over to the server, and then back up the server on a regular basis. Depending on the capacity of the server, using an external dock may not be feasible. I would recommend with going SSDs in the first place, but given the volume of shots you are going through you're probably going to fill up the current generation of SSDs rather quickly.

PS. this article just came out if you are going more hardcore into backups:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...s/backup.shtml
( Last edited by tonywong; Oct 30, 2009 at 05:40 PM. )
     
Veltliner
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Nov 4, 2009, 04:00 AM
 
Why do you import the images, and then COPY them into Aperture?

Why have every file twice? Importing them would be enough, and actually you can import right into Aperture.
     
OreoCookie
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Nov 4, 2009, 11:56 AM
 
One thing I noticed right away is that
(1) you are doing backups manually and
(2) you're not using Aperture vaults properly in my opinion.

First of all, you should automate things like backups as much as possible: once you've set it up properly, you don't have to do anything anymore (humans tend to be lazy). There is too much that can go wrong if you rely on manual backups. Although you haven't mentioned anything specific, I hope you're not relying on clones as backups. Cloning is a very, very bad way to do backups.

My proposal doesn't depend on the hardware you use:
(1) I would use Time Machine as a basic backup. This should cover your data, your OS partition and -- if you have enough space -- your photo libraries. You can get 1 TB drives for very little and even 2 TB drives are affordable.
(1b) (optional) I you insist, you can use OS X' Disk Utility to make a clone of your Time Machine drive in regular intervals. Keep the drive offsite for as much as possible. There is no point in keeping the second drive attached to your computer.
(2) Use Aperture vaults to backup your whole Aperture library on at least one separate drive. This drive should also be an external drive. If you split libraries, use separate vaults for separate libraries. It sounds as you take a lot of pictures, so it might be necessary to cycle drives, i. e. get a new one once you fill up your other drives.

Also, you should forego the step of copying your pictures manually and import them using Aperture directly. I typically wait to delete the picture on the memory card until I'm sure I've imported them all.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
   
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