Never leave your backups to chance
I get a lot of questions about how and what I use to backup data when on an expedition. We sometimes take multiple TB or more of data between stills and video when working with a client. On a cave style expedition there is no room for error and we must have the reliability for data backups that can't fail us. Especially in moist gritty environments we cannot chance anything and must use the best. My team relies on G Technology drives and RAID system to keep client visuals safe.
On a recent expedition to Hang Son Doong Cave in Vietnam, we decided to capture the story of the world’s largest caves and relied on the support of the G-Technology as his go-to back up storage solution. Read more of his journey and the workflow process he used with G-DRIVE to share the story:
Hang Son Doong Cave Vietnam Watch our for Dinosaurs one of our team stands up top of the massive stalagmite looking rocks to show scale
Inside Han En Cave on route to Hang Son Doong Cave Vietnam is a stopover after 12km jungle trek through rivers and mountain ranges. Down below is our camp at night time where we offload data.
Capturing the Hang Son Doong Cave
As part of my workflow I needed a solid solution that was rugged enough to handle 12km treks, rock climbing and extreme environments. I needed the drive space to do redundant backups while inside a cave or in my tent/campsite. Capturing images is one thing but when memory cards fail that is a whole other problem you never want to deal with.
A river crossing above a waterfall in Hang Son Doong Cave Vietnam how we transport our rugged G-DRIVE ev ATC thunderbolt drives
Behind the scenes Inside Hang Son Doong Cave in the evening while offloading onto G-DRIVE ev ATC inside my tent
A look at our charge station inside the cave powered by generator and offloading to 2 G-DRIVE ev ATC Thunderbolt drives
As part of my workflow after each shoot or during the shoot I backup the data on to portable drives that can withstand the grit, moisture and shock of a cave environment. Rugged travel life means you are pretty much wet or dirty all day including your hands covered in some form of grit from rock bouldering. I needed a workflow solution that could solve the need to have immediate backups inside a cave or up a mountain and also have the ability to make redundant copies keeping client’s work safe until I return from an expedition.
A look at camp environment where we offload data every night onto our G-DRIVE ev ATC Thunderbolt drives
Must Haves in your Photography Bag
One of my “must haves” for any trip is the G-DRIVE ev ATC with Thunderbolt, a super rugged hard drive. I needed these all terrain drives with me as I journeyed through Hang Son Doong. The great part is that the G-DRIVE ev ATC hard drive stays protected while sealed inside the watertight, dust resistant shock proof case.
This cave alone is a lifesaver because I only need to plug in the Thunderbolt cable to offload my data. This avoids having a delicate hard drive exposed to extreme nature environments and possibly failing due to grit, water or dirt being exposed. I usually travel with at least 4 or these drives while making copies on each. It is the worst feeling losing data that you shot and have no way to recover it other than a re-shoot. So I explicitly trust G-Technology hard drives because they truly help me become a better storyteller. And it’s re-assuring to know they go the extra mile in technology and reliability to have my back.
Behind the scenes: Hang Son Doong After a day of Grit - We rely on offloading onto G-DRIVE ev ATC Thunderbolt.
Home Base Back up Solution
For our team’s home base in Los Angeles we have a G SPEED Studio XL RAID 8-Bay Thunderbolt™ 2 Storage Solution. This is our “data control center” as we call it. It has 8 bays to add up to 60 TB of storage capacity for offloading. The real beauty of this solution is we can configure it how we want and replace or upgrade drives for any slot as needed. The biggest advantage is that we can offload wirelessly when we get back to base to our G SPEED Studio while making redundant RAID copies of the data. Our goal is to have a minimum of 5 copies of all data in case something becomes corrupt or we lose memory cards during our travels.
Any traveler knows memory cards are so small it is easy for them to go missing especially rushing through a TSA inspection! With G-Technology RAID, you can avoid a catastrophe like this altogether. With a transfer speed of Up to 1300MB/s this helps tremendously with our 4K and 6K footage due to larger file sizes.
Performance and reliability are vital to my success as a storyteller. I have utmost confidence in G-Technology as my workflow partner for any project size or location. Plus I’m happy to say that finally, there’s a solution to accommodate my field needs and grows with my team as we grow.