Making the shift to 4K part 2: external media storage

On my old set up I was using cheap two and three terabyte drives that were designed for simple storage of files. For reference they were usb three and got somewhere in the range of 75 to 100mb/s. In most cases they were fine for shooting 720p HD from my 60d. Once I upgraded to the fs700, the slowness of the drives really started to show, but I decided that I would just deal with it. 

Well, now that I have a new and extremely powerful computer, I wasn't about to let a crappy hard drive slow me down. I started looking into different options for storing my media. I knew i wanted a few things right off the bat, one being that I could user-upgrade the drives if need be, two, that the drive had thunderbolt 2 connectivity for future proofing, and three, that the device had more than one bay for drives. This really narrowed my results down. I saw a few drives that were already set up with raided hard drives with up to 8 or 12 gigs of storage but they were quite a bit out of my price range (upwards of 800 dollars) and they were only getting speeds around 250mb/s which isn't a huge advancement, although it should handle most 4k prores files. I then looked into a pure ssd drive from those same manufacturers and the price was about the same and the storage capacity was significantly less, around 1tb and sometimes as low as 500gb. I realized that I wouldn't have enough space for much more than one working project on those drives. I then figured that I could potentially get one of the smaller ssd drives and then a cheaper 5 tb drive strictly for backup of completed projects. It wasn't until this time until I found a very small selection of thunderbolt compatible, multiple bay hard drive enclosures. These were just what I was looking for. There are a few out there by (most popularly drobo) and a few other brands.

I ended up going with the OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini. This is just the one that I found with the most positive reviews, had all the things i was looking for, and as an added bonus, was already set up for 2.5 inch drives which means that I didn't have to get adapters for the SSD drives that I was planning on putting in. On that note, I got this setup right around black friday so there were a bunch of really good deals on SSDs at the time so i just got two 500gb Samsung SSDs. My favorite part about this setup is that it is completely user upgradable, with room for four drives and thunderbolt 2 technology that claims up to 20gb/s transfer speeds I think it will be a few years at best before I am maxing out the transfer speed. 

The setup of the device is extremely easy. The front comes off with the included key which reveals the four bays. Pull the tabs out and insert the drives accordingly. I used a program called softraid to raid my two 500gb drives together in raid 0 configuration for double the performance. 

Below I have posted a few pictures of the setup as well as benchmarks. Let me know about any questions in the comments and I'd be happy to answer them. Stay tuned for part three! 

Making the shift to 4K part 1: a new computer

Ever since I first used one of the original MacBooks in middle school many years ago, I have always wanted a Mac of my own. When I was a Junior in high school, I finally was able to save up my hard earned money from working at the grocery store to buy one. I ended up getting a baseline MacBook Pro. I got this right around the same time as I started getting into cameras. At the time I had a Canon T3. The computer handled the 12 megapixel stills and 720p video with ease. Once I upgraded to the 60d which has a slightly higher megapixel count and 1080p video the computer started to get a little bogged down but I could make it work. Then I found out about Magic Lantern. My baseline MacBook Pro was not having it. The raw stacks would take a ridiculous amount of time to render which made the workflow unusable. I did some research and found out that the model that I had was one of the last with user upgradable hard drives and ram. A couple months later I go a 240gb SSD and 16gb of ram. It was a relatively cheap upgrade, about 350 dollars at the time. I saw a huge boost of performance but there were still a few things I couldn't do… A year or so later when I got my FS700, I really was having trouble working with the higher bitrate AVCHD codec in videos over a minute or so long. At that time I started to bite the bullet and look for a new computer. 

I really wanted to move up to an iMac since I left my MacBook stationary most of the time. Right as i was starting to look into iMacs, Apple released the 27” Retina model. I was hooked that this was the machine for me, but it was a little out of my price range at the time. After about a year of waiting, I was ready to purchase. Coincidentally, Apple had also released a newer model with a bit better specs for the same price. 

My main goal was to get something that was a little more future proofed than my Macbook was. I maxed out the specs on the top end model; 4ghz Processor with turbo boost to 4.4ghz, 8gb ram (side note: its way cheaper to upgrade ram yourself if you buy separately. I got 16gb extra for like 100 bucks for a total of 24gb), 4gb graphics card and an internal 500gb SSD (another side note: external media is the way to go, check back for part two where I go over what I use for that). 

So far, I have had absolutely no issues at all editing on this machine, I currently have a new recorder for my camera on the way so I can shoot 4k (you guessed it: stay tuned for part three). I recently edited a big project with a ton of RED footage for a contest that The Berrics put on and it was a joy. I ended up rendering the whole project at times in seconds where as a similar project would have likely taken 10+ minutes on my old MacBook. I really couldn't recommend this setup any more. 

As always, leave any questions and comments in the section below and stay tuned for parts two, three and four. 

July/August Recap

As promised, July has been my busiest month of the year. This recap will probably be pretty short as I should be editing right now. 

The month started out with one of my favorite days to document of the year. 

The time in between the fourth and the 25th, I spent around the firehouse documenting trainings, editing photos, and organizing a few trips. I even photographed my first structure fire in shelburne. 

Welp, I forgot to post the July recap last month and I haven't gotten any less busier so I am going to tack on August to this recap. 

August is one of the hottest months in VT but we definitely did not get that get the best of us. I got some really amazing opportunities to travel and work on new projects. I spent a ton of time with a lot of old friends on the east coast and meeting new ones. 

Hawkegg, Brooklyn NY

BMX

Stiff, Pittsfeild MA

September will be just as busy as the last two months. I leave for Austin, Texas next week to stay with Jake Seeley to work on a project we started earlier this month for his shop, The Garden. The following week when I get back my good friend from woodward, Jordan Capeece is coming to stay the week to work on some new stuff for one of his sponsors. 

Barchus Forever

Yesterday I had the ultimate pleasure to have an amazing session with a ton of friends, new and old at the famous Rockwell Park. I actually took the chance to ride since there were quite a few filmers and photographers but you already knew that I couldn't resist popping off at least a few photos. Big thank you to everyone who made this awesome event happen. Heres what the jam looked like through my eyes. Rest in peace Matt Barchus you are a true legend

Denny Pescasio / Bristol, CT

Hawkegg / Bristol, CT

Jordy G / Bristol, CT

Jeff Dupaul / Bristol CT

Aaron Simone / Bristol CT

Denny Pescasio / Bristol, CT

BMX Road Trip

Working photo gallery of some stuff while I travel the east coast this week

Rob Starbird / Pittsfeild, MA

Ethan Cole / Pittsfeild, MA

Mitch Wilbur / Pittsfeild, MA

Hawkegg / Brooklyn, NY

Hawkegg / Brooklyn, NY

Jake Layton, Twin, Ethan Cole / Bronx, NY

Brandon Begin / Unknown, NY

The Streets

Structure Fire In Shelburne

Most of you probably already know that I enjoy photographing firefighters. This morning I finally got a chance to take photos at an actual scene. Strong work by all responding departments. 

June Recap

Just so we are all on the same page, I am starting this post on the 26th of June. Hopefully I can remember to get it out on time this month. Ill try to make this months update short and sweet. 

Where do I start... June and July are notoriously my busiest months of the year. Luckily we have been having really awesome weather lately so I have been getting a ton of chances to get out and make content. A few notable projects can be seen below. 

I had a ton of fun filming this bad boy with Ethan. Unfortunately this was supposed to be a much longer video but it was cut way short due to a rolled ankle. I am hoping to do more videos like this one in the future. Nice and short. 

July will be super busy for me. We have a ton going on at the firehouse and obviously the Fourth of July. By the way - expect a gallery of some sort from the day as I will be out shooting. 

*Update as of July 16th... Ive been so busy that I forgot to make this public. Sorry for the wait! Also, my next three weekends are packed full of BMX. TIGHT!