June 29, 2005

Great info for stupidity

Going into my 2nd wedding for the season and just completing my first the week before, I knew I was approaching the fine line of having enough cf cards, or not... I brought along my laptop just in case I did need create more cards, on the run. The proceedings were going well as the ceremony was approaching. I knew I was getting roughly 55 to 60 images per 512 mb cf card and I saw I had shot around 30. I figured now was a good time to switch to my one and only 1 gig card as the ceremony was beginning. I also decided not to flip my card I was just shooting to designate that the card was full. I was planning on finishing the card off after the 1 gig was full. The ceremony ended and I started on shooting the reception line when the 1 gb card was full.

So... I go back to the not full 512 card I has just used previous and by habit..., I went thru the menu to start to format it... It did click in my head that I shouldn't format it, but my fingers went thru the motions and poof, images are gone... The moment I took my finger off the last button, I knew what I had did. Feeling really sick at that point, I turned the card to flip it and rotated it a quarter turn to designate that card was THE card I should no longer touch. Through out the wedding, I kept getting that feeling and thought I really fucked up. I knew I had some important family formals on there, and though I recreated them as best as I could remember in other locations, I was never sure I recovered everything. Also, I got killer portraits of the bride on that card. In the battle of trying to recreate those shots, I overexposed them over a stop... Fucking HELL!

Anyway, to the chase. I come home and do a search of data recovery institutions as well as software. The institutions no doubt charged both arm and leg, but some of the software seemed reasonable. Also, many of the software allowed you to recover thumbnails, as a trail. If you were able to recover the thumbnails, you more than likely were able to recover the entire file. I tried 3 and only Photorescue brought back all but 3 files. The other companies rendered nothing. btw, I also recovered files I had shot way back last year. I think how this works is if you format the card and not overwrite on them, your In like Flint. Otherwise, at least with Photorescue, your images are in fact gone.

Proof that it works!!!

June 22, 2005

With Great Respect to Sports Shooters...

As a photographer, all I really have to do is control what is going in a little box which is my viewfinder. I decide what stays in, what doesn't. In theory, having to control that little box of space would seem rather easy to do. But I know better. And to learn my lesson even more, I tried to go out and shoot bike racers. Only behind the camera trying capture these human powered rockets seemed an impossibility. All the rules went straight out the door. No composing, no care about background, no thought about peak moments... all I wanted was sharp photos.

I won't tell you how many exposures I took during my 3 hours of covering these races. It is not important. Really... it is not important...

June 15, 2005

Backing Up

I've always took seriously the importance of backing up. But I am surprised how much I have gotten away with keeping only one copy of important files on my main storage drive. Well, in recent weeks, I've gone and have a back up drive to the back up drive and now, I'll be burning dvds as a tertiary backup. Automatic software to make this task of backing up will also be put into place and to make the routine a routine.

The dvd burner is new to me. I just got the drive today and have all ready burned over 25 gigabytes of image files. I don't see this trend changing any either because of the larger and larger image files. Also, the fact that my workflow has changed dramatically adds to the process of having larger files. It is a good thing that burners, media and hard drives have come down in price.

I don't ever want to have a major catastrophy of loosing my own important files, which I have done on a smaller scale, but even more so, client files. Believe me when I say I am knocking on wood.

June 12, 2005

Proof Sheet

You know what I miss... I miss the tactile feel of glossy paper with texture of a china marker on it. I miss even the impossiblilty of trying to view a tiny image and imagine what it would look like as an 11 x 14 or 20 x 24 inch print. I look thru a book that has quite a few of these proof sheets in it and remember my own. What I realize most about proof sheets is that it is a story within a timeline and it shows truth. The incorrect exposures, the moment when winder stopped working, but more importantly, the path of stealing the perfect photo, the road in which how you got there. It is true that the destination is almost as important as how you reached that destination. The road is so much more interesting. I don't see going back to shooting film in the near future. I do realize the importance of having to hold something in your hand to be able to really understand a process. Seeing it on screen is not quite the same.
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