MacWorld Shoot, Day 0

by James Duncan Davidson

I'm revved with anticipation about MacWorld. But it's not for the same reason that most of you might be. Sure, I'm looking forward to the iTV, some sneak peeks into Leopard, some new hardware, and maybe a new phone. But, what's really fueling my excitement is that I've got a`n awesome photo gig lined up to shoot some material for a client at MacWorld. I simply can't wait to get on with it.

For this shoot, I'll be using Aperture as an essential part of my workflow. And, I've decided to take you behind the scenes as I work this gig and provide day-by-day postings throughout MacWorld. My hope is to offer you a glimpse into what it's like using Aperture in such an environment and document some of the ways in which I move through the mountain of data that comes off of my camera while working such a gig. And maybe, since this is the first time I'll be writing about workflow publicly while in the heat of a shoot, I'll identify some areas in which my own workflow can stand a bit of improvement.

Today, being the Sunday before MacWorld, my thoughts are all about preparation. Of course, I'm thinking about the camera equipment I need to have, as well making sure that it's all clean and ready to go. Just as important, however, is the computing part of the equation. I used to show up with just my laptop and a card reader, but experience has taught me well to have a few more things with me.


2007-01-08 05:30:24
You forgot Gaffers tape. Make sure to bring some Gaffers tape! Don't leave home without it.
James Duncan Davidson
2007-01-08 08:33:26
Oh, I've got Gaffers tape with me. I always have it in the camera bag. The last time I was at K&S down in Palo Alto, I found a little mini roll of it which is the perfect size to fit in my carry bags. In the big bag is the big roll of Gaffers tape.

The camera equipment checklist would be a dooozy indeed, but Gaffers tape would be near the top.

2007-01-08 11:28:00
Interesting - can't wait to hear what goes wrong that you haven't planned for! In bocca al lupo (good luck).


btw "all of it's time" should be "its", "loose the RAW" should be "lose", and "publically" should be "publicly".

James Duncan Davidson
2007-01-08 14:23:28
Thanks! So far, so good today. There's been a few catches, but nothing hardware or Aperture related yet. That comes later today...

Thanks for the catches.

Andrew Wooster
2007-01-10 21:28:16
I bring a cable lock for my laptop. It would be no fun to come back to my room or car to find my laptop missing.
2007-01-11 12:30:32
How often do you need Gaffers tape? What do you find yourself using it for the most? Just curious as I've never had a need.

I'm just starting out, but I just got a Jobo GIGA VuPro Evolution (enough names?) and Lacie ruggedized 80GB HD (only 5400rpm USB2). I'm thinking of returning the Lacie for the 7200rpm drive, but is it necessary? Is the HD speed really a bottle neck at 5400rpm?

Btw, Rob Galbraith did a review on a preproduction Jobo GVPE last year.

As always, thanks for sharing your insights on Photography, James.

James Duncan Davidson
2007-01-11 22:20:17
Andrew: That's a darn good suggestion--especially when you are in an unknown situtation. Or even in a hotel room. Hrm... I may have to add that to my arsenal.

KG: Sometimes I'll use tons of Gaffers tape. Sometimes not at all. I've used it to strap a light onto a post when a clamp broke. I've used it to modify the way clothing hangs on someone. I've even used it to strap down my camera when set up on an intervalometer for time-lapse work which helped keep it from getting bumped about by other people. When you need it, it's perfect stuff.

The GIGA VuPro looks pretty cool. It's something that I'd like to play with for sure and see how it works. What you describe would definitly fit the bill of being able to have your photos on two drives while out in the field.

As far as hard drive speed, the best that can be said is that YMMV. From everything I've read, there's not a bunch of difference in the speed when you're doing lots of random access. But when you're pulling a bunch of linear data of the drive at once, the 7200 drives are noticeably faster. YMMV and all that. :)

2007-01-12 09:27:48
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

The GIGA Vu Pro Evolution (GVPE) has been selling out at B&H (etc...) very fast. I just got mine last night and the screen is very nice. I'm hoping I'll get a chance to test it out this weekend. If you're ever in the Phoenix area, shoot me an email through flickr or whatever.

2007-01-12 13:41:47
I would make sure that the power strip has built in surge protection. Last time I stayed at a hotel and had the laptop plugged in overnight, the power supply was dead in the morning.