My first year of college is over! Looking back it was a great experience and has left me with many frames. Many frames.
Digital asset management, DAM, hasn’t ever been a huge priority of mine. My standard workflow was putting everything in one Lightroom catalog and sorting things by date when I needed to find something. This worked well for a while but at University a typical week would bring in upwards of 800 frames taken with cameras such as the D800 & a Mamiya medium format system. All these large files in one catalog really hampered my 2009 iMac’s performance.
I dedicated the past month to devising a DAM system that would not only be able to handle years at University, but – hopefully – be able to handle a professional workload.
I started off by switching from the old iMac to a new 15 inch Retina Macbook Pro + 16GB of RAM. The sheer speed of the solid state drive was mind blowing! Startup would take less time than waking up the iMac.
With only 15 inches of screen space it took some time to get used to editing, but it was nothing inching my chair a few inches closer couldn’t fix.
There was only one real problem; the 250 GB drive. After all the programs were installed I was left with about 180 GB of free space which would easily be chewed threw in a matter of a few weeks.
I went on a hunt for a new hard drive. Having been satisfied with G-drives in the past I looked there first, but was disappointed with their selection of drives with thunderbolt connectivity. Coming in at $700 for 2 TB the G-Drive PRO was out of my price range.
Looking at similar products I eventually happened upon the LaCie d2. Sporting USB 3, Thunderbolt, and 3 TB of storage for only $280 it was an easy choice.
So how do I take advantage of the speed of the rMBP and the space of the LaCie d2?
I keep all my programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop on the solid state drive for quick access. ALL other media is stored on the LaCie which is backed up onto an old g-drive everyone now and then acting like a mirror for when the LaCie fails (which will eventually happen to all hard drives).
I sort each shoot into a folder that contains the media, weather its photos or video, the Lightroom catalog data and any other files such as model releases or notes that would accompany that shoot. Basically; I imitated the file system that Capture One uses but in a Lightroom setting.
By no means is this a complete system, and might only make sense to me. But that’s the neat thing about DAM; everyone’s different but they all seem to work.