Naturally, perfectionist Barnes is a G-Technology devotee and uses highly portable G-RAID mini and G-DRIVE mini drives, as well as high-performance G-RAID drives. His choices, he explains, are ideal for a life spent in transit: "Reliability, size, and power supplies are my main issues. I travel a lot, so the drives I use need to be small and light but still tough. The G-RAID mini is perfect as it is compact and can live up to the struggles of life on the road.
"I can also fit multiple drives in my cases. I prefer to use BUS-powered drives as these reduce the amount of clutter/cables I have to take. This is especially useful when flying, when space is at a premium, and when working in remote locations where you would normally have no access to power."
As with any photographer, back-ups are critical. Barnes shoots while tethered to a laptop. This automatically backs up images to an external G-RAID mini. After the shoot wraps, he makes another copy to another G-DRIVE mini, ensuring he has three copies of the shoot on hard drives at all times until he gets back to the office.
&Barnes keeps the hard drives in separate cases during transit, to minimise the risk of losing a bag or disk. Back at base, he clears off the hard drive and the files stored in the server, and tags, renames and proofs the files using Adobe Bridge CS6. Finally, he works up the images using Adobe Photoshop CS6.
Naturally, all this adds up to a sizeable storage requirement and Barnes gets through around 80GB per shoot with rough edits, keeping all images for one year from the delivery date. After that, he removes unused or discarded RAW files. This takes the shoot size down to 10GB. Capacity, he says, slowly creeps up: "I have four offsite 8TB drives and will have to look at getting more soon."
A move to Thunderbolt is planned imminently. Why? "The main thing is speed. Thunderbolt is like racing a Formula 1 car against a go-kart. It’s a truly amazing standard and blows everything else out of the water.
"In relation to my workflow, everything will be sped up. I won’t have to wait hours for transfers to happen—instead, the job will be done in a matter of seconds or minutes. I’ll be able to deliver projects faster and can get on with jobs at once rather than waiting around for the hard drives."
Asked to choose the three most-impressive aspects of G-Technology drives, Barnes plumps for size, reliability and price: "The drives look great, but they’re compact, so I don’t have to worry about them not fitting anywhere. My assistants no longer moan at me for lumbering them with heavy drives.
"The reliability—this has to be the biggest factor in anyone’s eyes. After a lot of research, it turned out that people had great things to say about the G-Technology line of products. People said they were reliable and solid and, after having a few, I have to agree with them."
"The price of the drives—they say you get what you pay for. This is very much true with hard drives but, at the same time, the G-Technology range is very good value for money for the build quality, size, capacity and excellent warranty you get. Also, not many other drives come with carry cases and all the cables for all possible connections."