July 13, 2010

Data Back-up and management

After the morning session at Patan Palace, breakfast, I got to have almost 90 minutes in my hotel for rest,  also to back up all the images to my remote hard drive, a Western Digital 1.0TB 2.5" hard drive, in an opened aapter which has the USB 2, 1XIEEE 1394 and 2XIEEE 1394b port, very useful for data back-up.  Of course, this is my preference, I rely on more stable firewire device, but also often use USB-only remote hard disks, they are all good.  Is there a risk? Sure.  But this is a long trip, I have CF and SD cards with total capacity over 200G, probably not enough, so I always store the raw images and video footage in remote hard drive, and run the CF or SD cards until I have reformat them.
I keep my working computer, whether it is desktop or an iMac (which I use a lot in studio captures) or Macbook Pro with just operation and application/execution softwares, some essential data and music/songs in the iTune, that way the scratch disk on the working computer is large enough to run whichever application program efficiently.  Almost anything else is on remote hard drives, whether it is stand along or a more complicate RAID system.   Most people may not need this, but if you could, it is highly recommended.  The computer hard drive today is relatively inexpensive, and to me, still the most convenient conventional way of storing and back up data.  The Holographic drive, most promising, but still not widely available, and expensive. With the technology continue to evolve, several other types of storage is under development, for example the Tapestry Media - also developed by InPhase Technologies, promise the room for higher resolution of still and motion picture production and archives.
The digital technology has proved, at least to me, much efficient and affordable for my own works.  I have my own archive of digital stills back to those early days of usig digital camera, from the primitive Nikon Coolpix, later to the Nikon D1X, follow with Contax N Digital, Canon EOS 1D/1Ds and Phase One digital backs, Hasselblad backs, and Sinar backs, all clearly dated and categorized. With films, they all sat quietly in the closet, hardly tocuhed, and considering all the amount of color slides and negatives, I just don't know where to start. It is a distant memory, but wihtout doubt beautiful memory.
Coming back on the subject itself.  For stills, I shoot RAW almost without exception, and Phase One's Capture One Pro is my key developing software. And since I rely on it so much over the years, it is often one factor when I buy a new digital camera if its RAW file was supported. And under Capture One Pro,  I always started with creating a new session, assign a location in the storage media, and then import the raw images.  By doing this, I always have designated folders where the oriignal RAW file, a recipe how those files were adjusted, and its corresponding export folder, and etc. This way, regardless where I moved the data to, the original RAW files, the developed files and adjustments all in the same folder, and with the "Capture One Session" file (XXX.col50 - the latest version), it directs you go back to the last moment you worked on your computer screen, regardless which computer you use as long as they were installed with the C1 Pro software.
For videos, yes, video.  The development of modern digital camera has finally put still and motion together, therefore, photographers today often find themselves using the same device for both.  But regardless it is still, or it is motion, they are all essentially the same images; except with still image - you see them as still images; and motion, you see them as a moving pictures - of varies frame rate (frame per second).  My preference of video footage is MOV, for simple reaosn - it is easier for me to cut and edit with either iMovie or Final Cut on my Apples.  So far, I store the video file similar to what I did for stills, by dates and project, but don't take my words on the video, I am also just learning.

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