Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Feeling the loss...

Yesterday morning I was not at my best. I had had a fairly long sleepless night - my poor wife had been up and down with what we suspect to be food poisoning. As a result neither she or myself were at our best when the kids tumbled out of bed at 6.45 demanding food and attention.

Eventually I staggered to the computer and decided that as it was going to be a long day, looking after both the patient AND the kids, I'd do something useful - and set a backup of all my files running... I keyed in the cmd line (being an IT guy I feel clever and smug being able to use command line applications like Robocopy and in fact, there is no better backup program IMHO - as long as the user has a brain, and is WIDE AWAKE!)

After a good 10 mins (and a cup of coffee) I realised I'd been a very silly boy and mirrored my laptop's files over the hard disk in my backup drive, not usually a problem except I'd archived a bunch of 2008 photos to it (try several thousand...) and these were now deleted and partially written over. As you can imagine, I panicked...

Now before I get lots of posts suggesting ways to prevent this, or recover the files, bear in mind I was an IT guy for 15 years. I SHOULD know better. But - the bottom line is that we ALL make mistakes, and we ALL lose files sometimes. Backups are essential to minimise the risk of this, but sometimes, things just go wrong...

I accept this fully; I made a dumb, tired mistake - I should have wrote a little script that I clicked on each time -to avoid any dumb, tired mistakes... But I didn't.

As a result I lost some files. I managed to recover an awful lot using a wonderful free file recovery program called Undelete Plus, which I would have no hesitation in recommending, should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of having deleted/lost files.

But here's the thing. I realised that most of the files I lost were worthless - RAWs I'd never need to process, or look at ever again. And of the more "valuable" ones - well - it made me realise that I can't bask in past glories forever, constantly playing with old "great shots" I took at rock festivals or other memorable events. As a photographer, as an artist, as a creative creation, I am only as good as the last thing I did. If I don't keep taking photos I am no longer a photographer (good or bad!). I *was* a photographer.

So in a way I'm quite GLAD I had this upset - it's made me think ahead, and "archive" my past achievements. Bring on the jobs, the magazines the degree - I'm ready!

And this time I'll be backing up my photos properly too!

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