Friday, February 19, 2010


I try to be very good at making sure I have multiple copies of my data. I used to do DVD back ups of all my photographs and my i-Tunes library along with have a a copy on an external hard drive. Last June I started using Backblaze instead of DVD's. I always stored my DVD backups off site. But due to the large amount of photograph's I was taking it became cumbersome. I have over 250 gigabytes of data on DVD. Backblaze provided the solution. It offered real time, unlimited storage, offsite backups for $5 a month per computer. So I decided to see how it worked. After several weeks of it uploading my data for my initial backup, it kept up to my workflow and pace quite nicely. I was and am very pleased.

So Christmas day 2009 my wonderful elderly sheltland sheepdog helped me out. Since winter had taken hold she found a nice warm place to sleep, beside the desktop computer. Well on Christmas day she pulled the 500 gigabyte external hard drive off the top of the desktop's tower onto the floor. This corrupted the entire hard drive. The hard drive was half full with about 250 gigabytes of photos etc. on it.

So the day after Christmas I was rushing to Wal-mart to get a new hard drive and start restoring my data. I bought a new Western Digital 1 terabyte external hard drive and began recovering my data. I only had about 6 months of data to recover from Backblaze. I did find that several of my DVD backups were corrupted. After cataloging what I was able to recover from DVD's I began downloading my data from Backblaze. It was a slow process but I was thankful I had my photos back.

So now I have 3 backups of my data. I have 2 external hard drives now with matching data and an off-site backup thanks to Backblaze.

So I took apart the old hard drive and shot this photo of it.

This was shot with a black foam core under the hard drive. A 32" diffuser in the back with a Lumopro LP120 at 1/4 power with a red and purple gel behind the diffuser. The hard drive is lit with a Sony HVL-F58AM with a home made grid that is flagged from above and camera left. The shot was with a Minolta 50mm prime at f4.5 at 1/125, using CTR-301P radio triggers.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Symmes Creek Hike

Today I completed the 6 mile Symmes Creek loop in the Wayne National Forrest. I did this hike along with some friends and my Dad. The primary reason was to help a Boy Scout obtain his First Class Scout.

We have had more snow this winter than in a long time and it made for a wonderful winter hike. The snow was not deep and in places on the trail you could see bare earth. This was a very well laid out and maintained trail. You start out hiking up a ridge and following the ridge for the first half of the trail, then the second half you follow Symmes Creek. During the hike you pass several stands of evergreens and several cliff faces. We also saw many wildlife tracks including turkey, rabbit, coyote and of course deer.

I took the camera along and shot several different shots.

So here they are.


Pittsburgh, PA

My father is a Pittsburgh native and a while back he saw a panorama of Pittsburgh on the internet and thought it would look nice on his wall in his home office. With Pittsburgh being only 4 hours away, on December 7, 2009 I packed up and headed that way. I had planned the shots I wanted to get by searching Flickr, Google Earth, and looking over a Pittsburgh map. I was hoping for good weather but found none. I left the house and on the way up it began snowing. When I arrived in Pittsburgh the afternoon was heavily overcast, windy and cold. I started at the bottom of the Dusquesne Incline. I lugged my equipment on the incline. I rode to the top and shot the first panorama from the observation deck. When I got home I stitched the Panorama using Hugin and post-processed the image in Lightroom 3 Beta and as always click on the photo to see a larger version.

After getting this shot I headed over to one of Dad's Alma Mater's, the University of Pittsburgh to the Cathedral of Learning. I shot several pictures of this wonderful building but was not happy with the results. I am still working on the pictures so hopefully I can get something.

I planned the day so I would arrive in late afternoon and with dark falling early in December I was able to get some night shots before returning home.

This is the other shot I took. This is taken from in front of Heinz Field looking out toward Point Park. Again this image was shot using the Panosaurus head, stitched using Hugin, and post processed in Lightroom 3 beta.

Thanks and Enjoy.