What’s the worst that can happen to a photographer?
Top of that list has to be hard drive failure. This happened to me, losing around 60% of everything I have shot over the years.
There was no warning, no hints, just one day when I turned on my PC it would not recognise the drive. It was one of those stomach chilling, nausea inducing moments. Rather than panic, I asked a few friends for advice and they took me through some steps to see if the drive could be read. I am not that competent when it comes computers so when I ran out of talent, I took the hard drive to work.
Fortunately they had some pretty decent software that would scan the drive. It took 6 days to find data on the 1TB drive and then a further 2 weeks to recover it. I went through a raft of emotions during this time trying to come to terms with the fact that I might well lose everything. I started to hunt around for a replacement drive and then a back service of some sort. I opted to go for a Western Digital My Cloud service and a Western Digital Passport. This way I can work on the Passport at home or at work and then back up to My Cloud when I am done. The “My Cloud” allows me to access the storage over the internet or through an app which makes life easier when sending last minute things to a client.
Naturally I felt awful at the fact that I had lost so many images. Frustration soon boiled over into anger which then melted away into despair and regret. I had heard this story numerous times before, it even happened to many of friends. I had no idea when I decided to ignore the warning signs. Ultimately my old external drive gave up the ghost. I guess it had been written to and read from too many times over the year.
For now this is the setup I will use, I will however change my Western Digital Passport each year once they have been fully backed up. This way I will have one physical copy and one virtual/physical copy. I would ideally like a third backup just to be safe. I am looking at Amazon Prime Photo, it just has terrible upload speeds at the moment. What backup storage systems do you use?
2016 has been a year of polar opposites, work wise I have been incredibly busy, photographically I have been very quiet. I have shot much less but what I have shot has gone much further. Because I have been shooting for clients and not myself a lot of my work has remained on hard drives until they have been published. In July I attended an event called GATEBIL at Rudskogen Motorsenter in Norway. If that name rings a bell, it is because I went last year which you can see here. This is hands down my favourite motorsport event I have ever had the pleasure of attending and this year I got the extreme honour of shooting for their own magazine, predictably called GATEBIL MAGAZINE. I was tasked to shoot several feature cars, one of which is this super rare, Steatlh B7 which is one of one! What I didn’t know until this month was that I made the front cover. And I don’t mean I got a small picture on the front cover…I GOT THE MAIN IMAGE! Thanks guys! Anyway, here is a few images that didn’t make the cut. Thanks to Jan Øivind Ruud and Team RR for being so helpful during the shoot and thanks to Kaj Alver for getting me the gig.
How’s it going guys, did you have a good Halloween? Have fun during Guy Fawkes night? Well as usual on Halloween, Amy and I put on a little photoshoot to celebrate old hallow’s eve. I even bought a smoke machine for the occasion. Previously I had used smoke pellets and they work great but they just burn a little too hot which always makes me a little nervous and scorching the ground or setting fire to a model.
This year we headed down to my parent’s house and roped my sister into joining. Amy and Clare went for a gothic witch look where as I bought some props to look like Jason from Friday 13th. Here are Clare and Amy’s finest efforts:
And there here is some of me:
Clearly this is a strobist (off camera lighting) setup so for each photo I also included a lighting diagram along with the camera settings to help you if you wanted to create something like this at home.
Sun, trees, tarmac, rocks, undulating terrain – add in the whiff of high octane fumes and the shrill sounds of a highly blown in-line 6 engine and you might be able to get close to picturing Gatebil.
Previously I had shown you what the human element of Gatebil was like, this time I want to show you the real reason people make this pilgrimage from all over the Globe to just south of Oslo Rygge. It’s for the cars, they are the stars of the show, exploiting every inch of real estate on track, pulverising tyres into carcinogenic smoke which washes lawlessly across the elevation changes in the Rudskogen Motorsenter.
To the uninitiated the internet hype and videos from Gatebil fill you with you both excitement and frustration, yet again you missed another event but you have just begun planning your trip across Europe for the next event. Well for the last few years I was in that camp, I was the uninitiated. That was until July this year when I made the trip with fellow photographer Bill. Both Gatebil virgins, both had had enough of watching videos and hearing stories, it was our time to go and see what the fuss was about. Writing these posts makes me feel reflective, I felt like I didn’t get what I wanted out of Gatebil, I felt like I failed in my duties as a photographer to effectively convey they emotions and atmosphere of the event, But a few months down the line, looking back through what I captured, I did ok, I did captured enough to spark memories and emotion looking through these photos, to me as a pretolhead, this is what I get excited about. The test will be, whether you like them. Here are my favourites from the track action. Enjoy.
Some of you may or may not know that I am an Automotive CGI Artist at a company based in the heart of London. I create images for brochures and websites for many different car manufactures. One of which is Honda. Whilst on a photoshoot for the new Civic Type R I decided to capture some behind the scenes imagery whilst working with top automotive photographer Rob Tomkins. My job isn’t necessarily to photograph cars. I recreate the lighting and the studio in 3D to try and replicate the lighting Rob does. Working with a true professional like this is a great way to learn how studio lighting really works. As a CGI Artist you have a good idea how it works but seeing it in the flesh really helps improve your work flow. These may not be the best behind the scenes photos but they look pretty nice 😉
Do check out Rob’s site http://robtomkins.co.uk/ he is talented and knowledgeable guy and is happy to answer my questions (of which there were many). Thanks man!