Case Study: Page (1) of 1 - 02/06/18

Endurance Trials

Saving the Best of Sports Action

By Miles Weston

Being in demand is a good thing ... except when it's not.

A photojournalist for more than a quarter of a century, Gregg Ellman worked for numerous mid-market newspapers across the country before settling down in the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) area with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 
Gregg is what some people call a hybrid--a technology expert who writes a nationally syndicated review/what's new column, a freelance technical advisor to Canon, a highly respected motorsport and a sports action photographer.  

To many, it sounds like he has a dream job - flying around the country, getting up close and personal at sporting events and snapping pictures of all the action.  

He's become a regular at NASCAR events, college athletics and even professional bowling.

Second only to American football, NASCAR racing is followed by fans across the U.S. and around the globe who are eager to watch men and women push themselves and their machines to the limits on the oval track.

With a checkered past of highs and lows, professional bowling is on the rise today with networks such as ESPN and CBS regularly broadcasting tournaments.  The sport is now followed by men and women who enjoy watching a sporting contest where people pit their skills against 10 pins and each other. 

It's also a sport that individuals of almost any age can enjoy, even if they only accidentally knock down one or two pins when they roll their ball down the lanes.  

Gregg's job is to capture those moments of the sports that are challenging, exciting, exhilarating, disappointing; and at times, even dangerous. 

But this past Fall, Gregg had his own endurance run, racking up 13,592 air miles and accumulated about 205GB of sporting digital files with his Canon 1DX MK II's.  On the rare days he was home, he covered college sports action, handled several corporate projects and assisted his wife, Sharon, with some of her photo assignments.

During the two-month period, he crisscrossed the country on assignment in locations that included Richmond, VA; Dover, DE; Louisville, KY; Albuquerque, NM; New York City; Syracuse, NY; and momentary stops along the way, including home state events.

Once he was finally home, Gregg calculated his air miles and GB of storage for the period:
9/1 TCU (Texas Christian University) vs Ball State soccer
9/3 TCU vs Missouri soccer 
9/5-7 PWBA Tour Championship Richmond 
9/8-10 HHP (NASCAR) Richmond
9/12 SMU women's basketball 
9/13 UTA (University of Texas, Austin) women's basketball 
9/16 TCU vs SMU Football 
9/21-24 HHP (NASCAR) Kentucky 
9/27 - Team USA women's bowling 
9/27 - UTA Endowed Professor Reception 
9/28 - 10/2 - HHP (NASCAR) Dover
10/6 - 10/16 Canon - Albuquerque Balloon Festival 
10/20 TCU Equestrian 
10/20 TCU fall baseball 
10/21 UTA fall baseball 
10/21 TCU vs Kansas football 
10/22 USBC coaches certification 
10/24-29 Canon - New York City Photo Plus Expo 
10/30 UTA baseball awards
10/31 - 11/2 Syracuse PBA (Men) US Open tournament  

Yes, it was ambitious and hectic; but what was the one constant for the travel and shoots?
His compact 4TB OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual mini gave him the reassurance that every image was safe.  The portable RAID unit gave him the backup redundancy he needed until he could get home and back everything up to one of his multiple Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 units.  

"Carrying around that volume of digital files reliably would have been impossible just a few years ago," he noted.  "The RAID provided the redundancy I needed to move quickly from one shoot location to another without having to constantly check to ensure all of the shots were there."

"I don't know a professional photographer who will risk working without the safety net of foolproof backup and redundancy," he emphasized.  "We all know that the one time we don't save multiple copies, disaster will strike because you simply don't know when your computer hard drive will die.  

"If it does, and there's no backup, you'll pay almost anything to rescue the files," he emphasized. "So, backup begins with the first group of shots."

When he finally returned from the extended photo shoot, one of the first things Gregg did was retreat to his office and began his technical ritual of logging and cataloging photos from the various shoots.

Then, he backed them up - twice.  

First, to his home RAID system - 80TB of four OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 units and finally to the cloud ... just in case.

"It may sound a little paranoid to backup files three and four times, and maybe it is," he acknowledged.

As an afterthought, he added, "Until it's not."

Undercover author Miles Weston has spent more than 30 years in the storage, software and video industry, indulging in, among other things, marketing activities in promoting PC, CE, communications, content technology and their applications . Contact Miles through his editor by clicking here.

Related Keywords:photography, sports, storage

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