Under the Gun, Deadline Fun, Saved by the Bell!
Working as Digitization and Post Production expert at Panoramic Images, the stock photo agency that specializes in wall size images, I find myself continually bumping up against no hard drive space and no headroom for my computer to work with. This day I was working on a project deadline for an anxious client where we were recreating a sunset that had been scanned five years ago. The scan was created on older, and different, technology and we needed to create a new scan of absurd size, which we refer to as a “ludicrous scan”.
Using a 6″x17″ transparency (the original panoramic film), we scan it in four sections with our Hasselblad Flextight X5 and then stitch the four individual scans together to create a new digital image. Stitching the images together creates a single, 4GB layered file which we then convert to a TIF closer to 2GB in size.
As the image conversion process is data intensive, the conversion software relies on ALL the system resources available to it to create a new image. As such, the solid state (SSD) hard drive on my core i9, MacBook Pro is used as a ‘swap file’ to cache data during the conversion process. Yes, it’s an eight core MacBook Pro with 32GB of memory but even 32GB of memory falls short in the task to be completed.
While performing the Digital image processing the MacBook Pro ran out of hard drive space for the caching process. Worse, my computer just stopped working! It stalled out completely! I was stymied as to what to do next. Then, opportunity knocked! Well, the doorbell rang, and UPS arrived with my OWC Envoy Pro EX, 1TB, with Thunderbolt 3, portable Solid-State Drive.
I’m always impressed with OWC‘s packaging when they ship gear. Not only is it protective but it is also Earth Friendly (easy to recycle). OWC has stepped up their game and now are providing beautifully made boxes as well. You really do feel like you are opening an extra special piece of equipment when you put your hands on the box.
The Envoy Pro EX is impressive, it’s small enough to truly be called portable. It is bus powered and it has protective bumpers and a sturdy cord attached (there will be no problems losing this Thunderbolt 3 cord because it is attached to the hard drive).
I connected the Envoy to my MacBook Pro and got to work setting up the device. Being a Macintosh user since the 70’s, I’ve never used any other setup software for formatting a hard drive, I’ve always used the Mac OS Disk Utility. I was in a hurry, but I was curious too, so I double clicked on the ‘setup’ icon and, lo and behold, the setup program that OWC has created is wonderful in its simplicity.
To free up space on the MacBook’s internal hard drive, I used Carbon Copy Cloner to move massive amounts of data onto the Envoy Pro EX via the Thunderbolt 3 connection. I was going to go get a cup of coffee but I didn’t have time, the data transfer was so fast I was amazed. The Envoy’s Thunderbolt 3 connection, working in tandem with the speed of the SSD hard drive, made the transfer super fast. So fast, in fact, that I have found it possible to work on images while they reside on the Envoy Pro EX external hard drive.
In less than half an hour after receiving the Envoy Pro EX, I was able to continue working on the important sunset image that our client has affectionately nicknamed “God’s Face” and, when finished, will be enlarged to more than 17 feet tall by 45 feet wide. I delivered the image before the end of the work day. Happy client. Happy Boss. Happy Robert!
Thank you OWC, once again, for saving the day!
I am not an affiliate with any of the linked products, manufacturers or resellers referenced, or included, in this review. Your clicking on a link here provides no compensation, to me, of any sort.
I do, however, contract my knowledge, experience and services to Panoramic Images for which I am compensated monetarily.
My knowledge, experience, and services, are available for contract to those who wish to benefit from them.
Robert E. Potter III
Robert specializes in photographing the creation process and human interaction and to spark an emotional experience in those who see the images he creates.
For more information on great equipment, photography, and photography lessons, call Robert at 312-226-2060.