Tricia Booker Photography

Angel Oak

Angel Oak Tree in Charleston, South Carolina

Angel Oak Tree in Charleston, South Carolina

The beginning of the new year often brings resolutions and goals. Over the years, some of my best intentions have become lifelong habits (giving up soda), others have started out strongly and then waned (daily treadmill workouts) and, sadly, more often than not, they’ve quickly been left behind as more “important” duties have superseded them.

As this year’s New Year’s celebrations came and went, I was immersed in an unfortunate experience in rebuilding my computer after the RAM went bad and took down my operating system, as well as the two external hard drives that were attached at the time.

My daily diligence in backing up via Time Machine was wiped out, as were the photos from 2013 and my Lightroom photo catalogs. Interestingly, after the guys at the Apple hospital returned my iMac and one non-functional hard drive, I realized that my New Year’s resolution for the year was simply obvious: back up the backups.

Thankfully, I’ve kept the photos from each year on separate portable drives, so it was just a matter of copying them back over to new external hard drives and rebuilding the Lightroom catalog. And, the last time I traveled on assignment, I’d backed up my main Lightroom catalog to a portable drive, so I was able to retrieve it without losing too much ground.

Nevertheless, it was an incredibly time-consuming experience, and I spent days simply reinstalling software, updating and figuring out where things were saved.

So, with 2014 comes a change in my back-up routine. I now rotate two 2TB back-up drives and only attach them when in use. Because of limited bandwidth, backing up to a cloud isn’t possible, so I’ve added redundant portable drives to my arsenal as well, just in case.

I was fortunate in the situation that I didn’t lose any important data, but I realized my back-up plan had some holes. I’m up to speed again now, and I plan to resume posting to my blog with a variety of goals in mind.

The Angel Oak image is my first installment in Friztext’s A-Z Challenge. I’ve participated in the past and look forward to another round. I also plan to revisit my 2013 photos and re-edit some favorites. When time has permitted, I’ve returned to the books, so to speak, and increased my knowledge in Lightroom and Photoshop through some ebooks and videos I purchased before my crash. As I proceed, I’ll share some of my newfound tutorials and teachers and let you know what I think.

I look forward to some fresh challenges in 2014, further expanding my photographic education, taking more photos, and, hopefully, keeping a resolution or two along the way.


  1. I had an external drive stop working, which as you know means all the data disappears. I bought another, but do not rely on it. I constantly copy photos onto flash drives. It’s obsessive, but necessary. Just like the weather, Apple’s cloud is temporary. Your experience reminds me to find yet another back up for the back up. Of course, nothing is really a permanent solution. The oak is serenely majestic.

  2. The tree is spectacular, Tricia! What a pain – the RAM crash. I did not know that event could destroy an EH. Enjoy everything related to your photography this year. I know we will enjoy seeing your work!

  3. Had the same issue in November…external just stopped working so I ordered a new G drive as a backup. I need to get another just to be sure. S’s externals eject themselves randomly from her machine. Good thing she has a server to back things up to along with her time machine. Scary stuff for sure. That sure is a neat old oak tree you found!!!

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