Have you ever wanted to walk into your boss’ office, quit your job, and head off to do the thing in the world you love doing love doing most?
I’m sure you have. We all have, whether it’s during the particularly tedious moments of our daily 9 to 5 existence, or when we’re contemplating what we want out of the future. But few people are actually able to go and do it—we have obligations & responsibilities that get in the way.
Marsel van Oosten was in much the same boat about ten years ago. An art director at one of the leading ad agencies in Amsterdam, van Oosten had spent years working his way up the corporate ladder. Along the way, he had worked closely with a number of professional photographers, inspiring him to take up photography as a hobby and to escape from the fast pace of agency life. Over time, however, this hobby became more and more serious – van Oosten refers to it as ”it got totally out of control” – which eventually led him to one conclusion: starting a new career in photography. With the help of his wife Daniëlla, van Oosten sketched out a roadmap to jumpstart a new company that would specialize in nature photography tours all over the world.
Today, this husband and wife team are the owners/operators of Squiver, hosting nature photography tours to exotic locations like Svalbard, Antarctica, and everywhere in between. Van Oosten has accumulated a rather impressive trophy case during this time, having been named Nature Photographer of the Year in the International Photography Awards two times in a row, and winning first prize honors as the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Travel Photographer of the Year and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. His work has appeared in National Geographic multiple times, and many of his tours for the next few years are already sold out.
And he’s brought LaCie along for the ride.
A workflow that spans the world
Whether he’s in Africa or Louisiana, van Oosten relies on LaCie products for his data storage needs. Like many photographers, van Oosten’s major fear is a total data loss that can ruin an entire trip, so reliability is of paramount importance when it comes to choosing the right storage solution. But van Oosten isn’t leaving anything to chance.
“I’m constantly making backups, and when I’m traveling, I always keep a drive on me,” he said. “Even if the drives are stolen out of my hotel room, I still have all my shots from that trip.”
And there can be a lot of shots. On Squiver’s last safari in Botswana, van Oosten shot more than 850GB of images in a little over three weeks. What’s more, the ever-increasing quality of camera sensors and the resulting images means that these files are only getting larger. That’s where the speed of the storage solution comes in handy. When in the office, van Oosten works off a MacBook Pro connected to a 40TB LaCie 5big Thunderbolt 2 with enterprise-class disks. This not only provides the storage capacity and reliability he’s looking for, the speed of the Thunderbolt connection can keep up with the processing speed of the Mac, keeping his workflow fast and stable.
While traveling, van Oosten travels with a number of drives:
- One LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt drive: used to backup images, create a bootable backup for his MacBook and accessing high-res files in areas lacking an internet connection.
- One LaCie Rugged and one LaCie Rugged RAID drive: used in harsh conditions where there is no escaping from sand and dust, with the added protections afforded by RAID.
- A LaCie XtremKey USB 3.0 drive: van Oosten calls this a “small flash drive that’s built like a tank.” This is where he keeps private data like passport and credit card information.
Van Oosten’s workflow reflects his “not leaving anything to chance” approach. After a day of shooting, he downloads the data to his MacBook Pro and makes two backups on the LaCie Rugged drives. Once back in the office, these are transferred to his primary LaCie 5big drive, with backups made on a second LaCie 5big drive. And when leaving on the next adventure, van Oosten copies his processed images to a LaCie Rugged drive for quick and easy access to his files wherever he ends up. It’s an approach designed to minimize risk—but while this may seem like a bunch of extra work, it’s actually saving him plenty of time.
“My workflow is faster than ever before,” reports van Oosten. “Whether I’m transferring data between my MacBook and LaCie drives or reading and saving files to my two 5bigs, it’s all very fast. If I had to name just one benefit, this would be it.”
But that’s not the only reason why van Oosten has decided to go with LaCie.
“I’m not a tech freak. I use computers and peripherals because I have to, not because I want to,” van Oosten said. “In my photography, I like to keep things as simple as they can be— strip it down to the very essence and not overly complicate stuff. Less is more. The people at LaCie have the same philosophies: everything they produce is extremely easy to set up and to operate.”
We’d like to extend a big thank you for Marsel for sitting down with us to talk about his photography. If you’re interested in van Oosten’s work or would like to head out on one of Squiver’s tours, be sure check them out at www.squiver.com.