Backing up your images with Gnarbox
Backing up images while traveling has always been an issue of concern for traveling photographers. While backing up at home is important, backing up on the road is even more important. As a photographer, you must always be prepared for the worst. I’ve seen cameras go off of cliffs and into rivers. What If you loose a camera that contains the only copy of two weeks worth of images? Your bad day just got a whole lot worse.
I recently had the opportunity to try out the new GNARBOX 2.0 and really enjoyed this portable backup solution. The GNARBOX is a solid state hard drive with a built in interface that allows for lightning quick backups without skipping a beat.
In the past I have used my laptop and imported directly to my Lightroom catalog. This is a fine option for those who are not concerned with time, power, and space. But waiting for Lightroom to import your photos at the end of the day can be a painfully slow process when all you really want to be doing is sleeping so you can be rested for the following morning’s early rise.
How the GNARBOX Works
GNARBOX 2.0 comes with a rechargeable lithium battery so you can easily backup your images anywhere at anytime. Once the unit is powered on, the first step is getting your images into the GNARBOX. This can be done with the built in SD card slot or with a USB card reader. Once your photos are imported you can connect your mobile device or tablet via WiFi to view the images and edit them using Lightroom mobile if you wish. When you get home from your trip you can then upload the images directly from your GNARBOX via a USB cable.
How I use the GNARBOX in my workflow.
The GNARBOX has not replaced my laptop when I travel but it is usually my first choice for backing up since it is so quick and easy. In five to ten minutes I can back up an entire days worth of shooting. In the past, I’d be lucky to power up my computer and launch lightroom in that amount of time. Traveling with the GNARBOX allows me to pull out my laptop only when it is convenient, such as when I want to do some post processing. Another benefit of using the GNARBOX in addition to my computer is that I now have three copies of my images that I can stash in different bags to improve the chances of my images surviving in the event of theft.
Storage Space and design
The GNARBOX 2.0 comes in three different capacities including 256GB, 500GB, and 1TB. It is built of heavy duty rubber and can withstand drops up to three feet high, or at least that is what GNARBOX claims. I have not tried dropping mine yet, so I cannot verify this statement.
My experience and initial thoughts.
The design of the product was thought out well and has quality craftsmanship. I had to update the firmware when I opened up the box, but that was not a big deal and pretty standard across electronic devices. I had one little hiccup where the initial firmware update froze but I was able to perform the update after I restarted the unit. It’s hard to say if the issue arose from the GNARBOX, my phone, or my internet connection. Either way, it was an easy fix and once the firmware was updated, my GNARBOX was ready to store my images.
Adding images to the GNARBOX is rather easy. All you have to do is connect a card vid the SD port or usb card reader and the GNARBOX will ask if you’d like to backup the photos. The unit is smart enough to know what Images are already on the drive and will only import images that have been added to the card since the last backup.
When I first received the unit, I wasn’t sure if I really needed it in my workflow since I’m generally not working on tight deadlines. After using it in the field and seeing how easy it was to create a backup I was very pleased and will definitely be bringing it along on all of my long photography trips. Being prepared is the best thing you can do as photographer.
Storing your GNARBOX while traveling
To help protect myself against theft, I have invested in a PacSafe locking bag that I always carry with me when I travel. PacSafe bags are made of intertwined wire and can be locked to a part of your vehicle or other secure structure. The 12L bag is large enough to hold a 13″ laptop. hard drive and your GNARBOX.
Subscribe to this Blog for more gear reviews.