After 5 years it’s time to replace my Drobo with a Drobo (FS ->5N2)

I have been using a Drobo FS file store for over 5 years.  I purchased back in 2011/2012 and started out with 2 x 2TB hard disks (Which at the time seemed a huge amount).  Over the years I’ve added drives and replaced drives both because of failure and upgraded.  I’ve got from 2TB to 4TB, to 10 TB to it’s current state of 13.54 TB.

Screen Shot 2017 08 26 at 13 44 37

In all this time I’ve lost no data and managed to survive 2 drive failures. Obviously the reasons for buying a Drobo vs the likes of Synology or QNAP are well documented.  Whilst I would have  had to buy a QNAP system and 4 match 2TB disks all in one go, with the Drobo I’ve been able to buy disks at the time I needed them.  I checked the receipt recently and when I first bought the system my 2TB drives were just over £250 each.  Fast forward 5 years, and a decent 4TB drive is now just over £100.  This flexibility is just too convenient and leads to a near complacency.

So why am I changing?

Firstly, I’m moving to another Drobo and secondly I’m not replacing but augmenting.  My plan is to add one of the new 5N2s with 3 x Segate 10TB Ironwolf Pros and a 240GB m.sata accelerator SSD.  In due course I’ll likely migrate most of the FS data onto the new 5N2, but I will have a period where I run them side by side.  I’ve still not fully decided if I’ll sell on the FS and move over wholesale.  Certainly moving 15 TB (the contents of my FS & some USB attached drives on my server) will take a good few days to move- so I’ll maybe put that decision off until later in the year.

What’s new in 5N2

I’d looked at both the D810N (the 8 bay SMB system) and the 5N2 which, when I began my decision making, was very new.  I decided to go for the 5N2, after considering the facts and realising that the 5N2 would give me 40TB usable storage for under £2200 at today’s prices (and hopefully less as drives drop in cost).  Secondly the SSD acceleration and tiered storage is now available in the 5 bay format, which should make for much greater disk performance.  

Drobo 5N2 m.SATA Accelerator.jpg

Coupled with the new dual gigabit network ports, and the latest generation Seagate Ironwolf drives with their 210MB read speeds, and I hope the whole system should be way more flexible and give me the capacity I need for the next 4 or 5 years.

Drobo 5N2 dual gigabit

An amazingly unique gift, now available to order

For my mum’s 70th Birthday we decided to create a montage board to allow people who were present at her party to sign a message.  The image is created in Photoshop from around 100 scanned images resized and placed behind a mask.  Whilst this example is of 70th birthday party graphic, the technique could be used for any wording or lettering, combined with any images.  Total work time for this example (with around 100 pictures) is in the 4-6 hour mark ,but its’ come out beautifully.  The black background goes ideally with metallic silver, pink and blue pens for signing, before looking fantastic when framed on an A1 matted frame.  Finished product can be delivered as in a tube or pre backed on foam for added quality.

70th Birthday graphic

With around 100 photos in it, with a similar or greater number of layers, this graphic needed a powerful machine to process.  A DNG file size of 1.5GB meant that the Mac Pro really worked it’s socks off to get this render.

I will be producing these for family occasions, weddings, birthdays and the like, with prices from £149 (A1) and £199 (A0) with a range of options for printing and framing.  Turn around is within a week, with a review session before printing/backing and sending.  Please contact for more information.  Graphics can be created and sent worldwide – a unique gift that will keep the memories alive long after an event.

A B&W Dock- with perfect Symmetry

Nikon D810 / 24-70 @ 24mm / f16 / ISO100 / 1/80 second.  Post production to B&W.

Nikon D810 / 24-70 @ 24mm / f16 / ISO100 / 1/80 second. Post production to B&W.


I’m really proud of this picture. This was taken up in cabin/cottage country North of Toronto, by a lake in the Lakeshore region of Peterborough County.  The original picture was shot full resolution RAW on a Nikon D810 camera, and post production was accomplished in Adobe Lightroom to give it the black and white smoothed look.  Apart from a bit of straightening, balancing and noise reduction, the trees and the sky have a slight burn to enhance the lines.  A beauty- available for purchase framed or unframed, and available in sizes up to A1 (UK).

I think it’s turned out great, but what do you think – hit me up on Twitter for comment, information or ordering!

Old Black and White Typewriter

Saw this kick ass old typewriter at a relations house, just had to pull it out and take some pictures.  Not done much research but seems to be from the Underwood company.  Then cool thing about it is that it has elevated posts which when shot from the front make it look like the type writer is floating! Killer..
All taken on the D810 with 24-70mm sense, I know that it’s not well though of by a lot of photographers ,but for a single do “most thing” lease it’s pretty sweet.  I can get a reasonably wide 24mm at 2.8 plus go through the standard 50mm for day to day, and even at a push a wee bit of zoom with the 70mm – I’m a big lad, so the weight doesn’t bother me (considering it’s on a D810 body with an extra battery pack, the lens is the lease of the issues).

via Flickr

Winter comes to Glasgow Green, January 2016

Footprints in snow

The first day of snow in Glasgow came early this year.  I took the opportunity to jump out as quickly as I could and take a few shots, figuring that snow is at best fleeting in Scotland.  As it turns out, now at 9am (nearly 12 hours later) there’s still an abundance of the white stuff.  I started outside my flat on Glasgow green whilst the powder was still falling.  Heading West towards town managed to grab this lovely picture of the Glasgow Green sign, I like the absence of colour and the yellow and blue of the signs (it saves me doing my usual trick of B&Wing the picture and then introducing a single colour.










If I’d tried to go and take these now I’m sure there would be a lot of the ground “missing” we have about a foot lying now – I’ll try to take some photos… sounds like a good reason to go to WEST, well it’s for the art 🙂


Glasgow Doors Open 2015 – Bridgeton Bus Garage

DSC 6018

For Doors Open 2015 in Glasgow, we visited the Bridgeton Bus garage.  It’s amazing the places you find on your doorstep, that you’ve missed simply because you’ve “not gone up THAT street”.  I was truly blown away by the selection of buses, the care of the individuals concerned and the sheer variety.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting this gem then take the oppurtunity to join them for their open day on November 10th and 11th


Check it out at :