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Thread: The importance of having back-up equipment...

  1. #21

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    Don't get too drunk. Some PG left the bag in a cab, could not get it back even with a cash reward.

    Always do equipment check. In a hurry to leave a venue (most do), you could very well leave 1 camera on the stage and pack up only 2 in the bag. Do not leave the camera on the reception table and go to the toilet.
    You could very well leave a body in the cab, if you hurry to leave the venue as you have booked a cab, thus could not pack. This is especially so for those having many consecutive shoots and want to reach home the earliest possible time to bathe/eat cup noodles and then sleep. If you drive, then no worries.
    I will always decline politely when I am working and my client will understand..

  2. #22

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    If you are always on the move... my suggestion is always pack your bag the same way... You know something is missing if you are familiar with your bag workflow.

    Have a checklist of all the equipment before and after the shoot.

    I am anal about workflow, so I have workflow on everything I do so I can streamline and recheck my workflow from time to time to ensure I don't do unnecessary thing that is wasting my time.

    Of course, the biggest problem I have is lack of sleep tend make human error is unavoidable...

    The chance of having card error was so small, I now tend to shoot with bigger card and not many of them... it is easier to lose a card than to have a corrupt card, but that's me anyway.

    Regards,

    Hart

  3. #23

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    No worries, actually I part-time professionally in the IT industry now, 12 years in this line liao. (IT sux btw)

    RAID controller up the lorry also like that. Goner. For Enterprises and farms that's why they have been load-balancing and clustering for so long with backups in a remote location.
    For home use, that's why we need 2 PCs/notebook, then USB additionally as a mirror. Just swap around. Cannot be both PC and USB disk spoil, usually that means home fire (bigger things to worry about then).
    Yep, IT sux with laser margin these days. Professional services doesnt pay like the good old days.

    LB and Clustering is abit too high end for my home network, but it is definitely a stronger backbone compared to other solutions.

    I second you about the USB hard drive, lesser utilization although doesn't mean longer lifespan to me but it means a lower chance to corruption drives.

  4. #24

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    If you are always on the move... my suggestion is always pack your bag the same way... You know something is missing if you are familiar with your bag workflow.

    Have a checklist of all the equipment before and after the shoot.

    I am anal about workflow, so I have workflow on everything I do so I can streamline and recheck my workflow from time to time to ensure I don't do unnecessary thing that is wasting my time.

    Of course, the biggest problem I have is lack of sleep tend make human error is unavoidable...

    The chance of having card error was so small, I now tend to shoot with bigger card and not many of them... it is easier to lose a card than to have a corrupt card, but that's me anyway.

    Regards,

    Hart
    Exactly, for consistency and for speed. Once you are familiar with a certain setup you know what is your 'bare minimum gear' that you must have for each gig. And that includes cards and batts too.

    Also agree on large cards, when you have several jobs meeting many different people you tend to get confused. Don't wanna accidentally reuse a card that hadn't been uploaded yet, dont wanna run out of space on a card and then using another card from another job to supplement. It all messes up things.

    And in addition to large cards, here I wanna add another point - huge battery juice - that is battery packs for flashes and bodies. I read with interest in another thread on some views that one could shoot a whole wedding with just the inflash AAs and can't understand why some photographers bother with battery packs for flash. That is assuming you only have one gig a weekend.

    What happens when you have several shoots over different locations spanning over the Fri-Sat-Sun period? Or if you are juggling another job other than photography. Lack of sleep could do amazing damage. With a batt pack you have peace of mind on flash stamina and spends the valuable time resting for the next shoot, instead of charging and changing and sorting batteries.

    And gear always fails at the right time - right before a shoot or in the middle of one. Seldom after.

    Work flow is a big word for me as well. It streamline things and makes me more efficient. Some old timers had snickered at me using the term, even though these old timers themselves does have some type of workflow going on, just that they don't realize. Being conscious of it allows for fine tuning and improving efficiency.
    Last edited by sjackal; 2nd November 2010 at 11:01 PM.
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  5. #25

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Perhaps raid 5 is safer?

    Yes, anything can happen so it is a matter of charging enough and put in place a workflow that you are comfortable with.

    Regards,

    Hart
    Raid 5 is definitely better compared to Raid 0/1 but I can't afford the spares and time of maintaining these setups. haha.

    I think you are referring to "Getting the right customers and setting their expectations correct" on the pricing matter. This is certainly a thing that is hard to define, and debatable at the same time. Personally, I feel that photography business should be charged by the quality of the work, the efforts seen via the work and the time required to produce each picture. That also speaks of the customer who approach a photographer of his portfolio.

  6. #26

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by GeonSG View Post
    Raid 5 is definitely better compared to Raid 0/1 but I can't afford the spares and time of maintaining these setups. haha.

    I think you are referring to "Getting the right customers and setting their expectations correct" on the pricing matter. This is certainly a thing that is hard to define, and debatable at the same time. Personally, I feel that photography business should be charged by the quality of the work, the efforts seen via the work and the time required to produce each picture. That also speaks of the customer who approach a photographer of his portfolio.
    Clients generally don't really care what and how much time you spend to produce your work...

    Basically, what I said was, considering the backup equipment cost and built it into the margin that we are charging to the clients does elevate the worry of having the backup purely from the profit margin.

    I hope that make sense.

    Hart

  7. #27

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Clients generally don't really care what and how much time you spend to produce your work...

    Basically, what I said was, considering the backup equipment cost and built it into the margin that we are charging to the clients does elevate the worry of having the backup purely from the profit margin.

    I hope that make sense.

    Hart
    Understood you, thanks

  8. #28

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    Clients generally don't really care what and how much time you spend to produce your work...

    Basically, what I said was, considering the backup equipment cost and built it into the margin that we are charging to the clients does elevate the worry of having the backup purely from the profit margin.

    I hope that make sense.

    Hart
    Well said...
    But most of us may try to lower the cost so this is maximise the chance of securing the job from clients where they don't see this normally. To lower the cost of having backup equipments. The backup equipment can be slightly "less expensive" type or model. Of course must be able to the job like the main equipment. What is your opinion on this?
    AD Wedding, ROM, B'day and Other Events. Provide Service At Budget Rate
    Chuan PhotoGraphy

  9. #29

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Yes, you can always buy something of lower model, as long as you know there isn't any different in quality and the way you operate the equipment.

  10. #30

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Backup is key. So is every other business process.

    Should look into business continuity management. That would give you "what if" scenarios. That way, you can prepare for most hiccups if they really occur.

    SPRING has some grants going on at this moment, so it might be good to explore now.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Great coverage there Hart.

    Good thread. I agree on the whole. Back-up is important be it data storage, equipment or even manpower.

    As for focal length of lens, I personally work with a set of zooms and a corresponding primes on standby or vice versa + with an extra body as back up.

    As for pre-movement checks - I personally have a checklist for each specific shoot. Checking what goes into the bag before the shoot and rechecking the list during packing up - post shoot.

    Likewise as what Hart mentioned - specific location in the bag would be "home" for specific stuff. Till a point that you know whats missing or where the item is location in case you need to remotely give instructions to your assistant on fetching items.

  12. #32

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Though I do shoot with 2 almost identical bodies, 2 different set of lenses, 2 identical set of flashes, if not for back up purposes but also for convenience's sake (back up assistant?? err, I guess I could bring my daughter along and let her sit by the bags!!), it is a pain when it comes to sequence the photos especially at events. For portraiture, interiors etc, it's not an issue, pick and select photos for deliverables and you are done. But for events its just pain (lets just say 500 from one body and 300 from the second body!!) it takes time, and time = !

    -- marios

    Quote Originally Posted by sulhan View Post
    Great coverage there Hart.

    Good thread. I agree on the whole. Back-up is important be it data storage, equipment or even manpower.

    As for focal length of lens, I personally work with a set of zooms and a corresponding primes on standby or vice versa + with an extra body as back up.

    As for pre-movement checks - I personally have a checklist for each specific shoot. Checking what goes into the bag before the shoot and rechecking the list during packing up - post shoot.

    Likewise as what Hart mentioned - specific location in the bag would be "home" for specific stuff. Till a point that you know whats missing or where the item is location in case you need to remotely give instructions to your assistant on fetching items.

  13. #33

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by marios_pittas View Post
    Though I do shoot with 2 almost identical bodies, 2 different set of lenses, 2 identical set of flashes, if not for back up purposes but also for convenience's sake (back up assistant?? err, I guess I could bring my daughter along and let her sit by the bags!!), it is a pain when it comes to sequence the photos especially at events. For portraiture, interiors etc, it's not an issue, pick and select photos for deliverables and you are done. But for events its just pain (lets just say 500 from one body and 300 from the second body!!) it takes time, and time = !

    -- marios
    Aaia.... merge and sort by created: date / time, Why did I not think of that earlier after spending so many hours!!!

    -- marios

  14. #34

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by marios_pittas View Post
    Aaia.... merge and sort by created: date / time, Why did I not think of that earlier after spending so many hours!!!

    -- marios
    hhaha....

    One thing I always do is just before each event shoot where high volume is expected, I will re-enter the date and time on the cameras that I will be using simultaneously, so when you sort, it will go exactly rather than out by few seconds which is annoying if you are shooting in story line format.

    Just a workflow...

    Hart

  15. #35
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    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    I also have a back up photographer....
    It is easier to critique than to create ; www.razin-photography.com
    My studio is available for rent

  16. #36

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by razor View Post
    I also have a back up photographer....

    wahh.... many of us won't have that luxury...

    Regards,

    Hart

  17. #37

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Very useful tip, thanks.

    Just curious though, by how much do the clock of your cameras go off within a year or what ever period of time???

    -- marios

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    hhaha....

    One thing I always do is just before each event shoot where high volume is expected, I will re-enter the date and time on the cameras that I will be using simultaneously, so when you sort, it will go exactly rather than out by few seconds which is annoying if you are shooting in story line format.

    Just a workflow...

    Hart

  18. #38

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by marios_pittas View Post
    Very useful tip, thanks.

    Just curious though, by how much do the clock of your cameras go off within a year or what ever period of time???

    -- marios
    Approx 20 seconds every 6 months. So every month or 2 need to time check. I shoot with 3 cams, flash, lens, 9 batteries, 6 sets of NiMH AA plus 2 sets of Alkalines (I don't bring charger). etc. It gives you a peace of mind for those 4 consecutive AD periods.

    Once at Raffles City (Swisshotel), don't know what happened. Coz I got regular time 9-6 job, so arrived there 4.30pm (shh!) took out cams, all flat. So flat that you peeked through the VF the LCD is dimmed, totally flat. All 3 bodies. WTF?
    Got 2 more extra batt in the lowepro small bag, both less than 50%. And D200, you know how that is a sucker for electricity. Thought still can make it, but 50+ tables, at 6.30 decided cannot make it. Went down to Harvey Norman 3rd sty Raffles City and purchased a new battery to tahan (usually approx 40%). Also activated Wife to bring down charger to recharge. Just made it.

    Only plausible answer is that I packed the bag really tight, the cameras all pressing against each other during my 9-6 job (Shhh!), so the shutter button always in AF. Total knockout. Struck Toto, all 3 down.

    OF course, I still sometimes hear from couples quoting photographers that their body is professional grade, don't need additional as it would not go down.
    Last edited by 2100; 4th November 2010 at 07:43 PM.

  19. #39

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    Quote Originally Posted by marios_pittas View Post
    Very useful tip, thanks.

    Just curious though, by how much do the clock of your cameras go off within a year or what ever period of time???

    -- marios
    I think the one that mirror dropped out is over 200k on the clock, I bought the camera in Oct 2009? so just over a year. The shutter was replaced at 150k+ back in June as I changed it during my low season and hope I don't have to deal with down time... but then again Mirror is another thing I thought I should have have it replaced too...

    Of course, different camera has different mileage. I should be happy because there isn't one single problem through out that mileage.

    Regards,

    Hart

  20. #40

    Default Re: The importance of having back-up equipment...

    I never bothered with the camera clocks as I assumed its kind of like computers, the seem to stay accurate. But you guys have enlighten me on this today Then again nowadays computers sync with clock servers so don't really know by how much computers go off and how often (without the help of the OS).

    Batteries: I missed cameras that you can replace the "high performance" batteries with normal batteries (I think Sony high end cams also "suffer" from the "same disease", I would be ok if Nikon would allow us to shoot "slower" while using standard AAs, I am ok with that).

    While on a very short shoot, it did happened to me to see D3x reporting its battery at good enough level at home, and as soon as I start shooting to say empty - and it just won't let you click, that's it. I do have an extra battery, in this case the extra D3 kicked in, but now days I carry all three and charge even if it may appear that is not needed. It might kill the batteries earlier (I think according to the "when you are supposed to charge the batteries" guide), but at least I won't get killed by people whose pictures I am suppose to take.

    -- marios

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    Approx 20 seconds every 6 months. So every month or 2 need to time check. I shoot with 3 cams, flash, lens, 9 batteries etc.

    Once at Raffles City (Swisshotel), don't know what happened. Coz I got regular time 9-6 job, so arrived there 4.30pm (shh!) took out cams, all flat. So flat that you peeked through the VF the LCD is dimmed, totally flat. All 3 bodies. WTF?
    Got 2 more extra batt in the lowepro small bag, both less than 50%. And D200, you know how that is a sucker for electricity. Thought still can make it, but 50+ tables, at 6.30 decided cannot make it. Went down to Harvey Norman 3rd sty Raffles City and purchased a new battery to tahan (usually approx 40%). Also activated Wife to bring down charger to recharge. Just made it.

    Only plausible answer is that I packed the bag really tight, the cameras all pressing against each other during my 9-6 job (Shhh!), so the shutter button always in AF. Total knockout. Struck Toto, all 3 down.

    OF course, I always hear some people say my body is professional, don't need additional one.

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