Photography on tour - a cautionary tale

The Japanese Garden at Hillwood - my favourite spot
Just to prove I really was there - a lovely photo of Hillwood with me for scale taken by my friend Barbara 

It's taken me a while to get round to writing about the wonders of this year's Garden Bloggers' Fling, primarily because I don't have photos for most of it. It means lots of the coverage I'd planned from all but the last day won't be blogged, or I'll use post-Fling photos instead.

I got home from a wonderful holiday all fired up to tell you all about it, loaded up my SD Cards in readiness... then found all my photos from the first 5 days of our holiday were missing. I know they were there originally because I showed some of them to NAH, but even his prowess with SD recovery programs failed to find even a ghost of an original photo.

This is what I think happened...

On Fling Day 2 I arrived at our first garden (this wonderful one, full of neat little touches and that bench in Pam's blog post was a shoe-in for a Friday Bench on't other blog) only to find my camera battery died after taking the first photo. Luckily Teri had a spare camera, so I was able to load my SD card into it and click happily away. I then recharged my camera's battery that evening and returned to using my own camera for the rest of our holiday.

It looks like either changing cameras or recharging the battery led to my original photos being wiped. Of course I'm kicking myself for making such a basic mistake, especially as I took a spare camera, batteries and SD cards with me to the States. BUT it was so hot in DC, I decided not to take any spares with me, I even left my phone in the hotel, so keen was I to travel light that day.

Garden Bloggers' Fling 2017: Group photo in the Lunar Garden at Hillwood
Spot me in the Fling group photo - photo credit: Wendy Niemi Kremer

So what should I have done?

I should have taken my phone, or my spare lightweight camera, or a spare battery with me that day, despite the heat. Like Helen does when she's on tour, I should have used a fresh SD card too. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

In an ideal world I would have taken a laptop with me to the States and backed up my photos onto it each evening. That's what I did in France earlier this year, and I got extremely grumpy lugging it around with me as it was so heavy. I knew that was a no-no for the States, besides I've never lost any photos before. That smugness was my downfall.

What else could I have done?

I did take my tablet with me, plus an SD card designed to fit in both my camera and the smaller slot of my tablet. I could have used these to backup my photos onto my Google Drive each evening. I have 21 GB of free space there, which is plenty. Why didn't I think of that before?


Tammy Schmitt at Casa Mariposa
At last, one of my photos: Tammy welcomes us to Casa Mariposa on #GBFling2017 Day 3 

Luckily I still have my memories and NAH took some photos when we were together in Washington DC. Plus there are all the blog posts from my Fling friends to make up for the lack of my own photos and posts.

In some ways my photo woes are a blessing as I have far fewer stories to blog about, when the garden and allotment are still calling me for attention.

How do you prevent photo mishaps when you're on the move?

Comments

  1. I wonder whether the problem was using two cameras with the same card. Could the naming structure be the same and the new photos taken with your camera overwrote the first lot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Possibly Sue. I'm not sure of the make of the camera I borrowed... I regularly swap cards between my Canon and Olympus cameras without any mishaps, but then they use different conventions. However, if the borrowed camera did use the same naming convention, why didn't it just carry on the sequence? I guess I'll never know and it's time to learn my lesson and move on. Thank goodness I didn't have any writing commissions in the pipeline depending on the photos I did take.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so sorry, Michelle. That has got to be incredibly disappointing. I admire your clinical analysis of what went wrong and how you can prevent something like that happening next time. I think I'd still be sobbing bitterly myself. ;) Like you, I don't take that many precautions, although I know I probably should. I bring multiple SD cards, but generally just keep using one for the whole trip unless I run out of room. I don't back up my pics to another device because I don't bring one (weight concerns, same as you). I do carry a spare battery at all times and have my battery charger in the hotel room for nighttime charging. My biggest concern has been camera loss or damage, but your tale shows that photos can be lost in many different ways.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like we've had a similar approach to our photography until now Pam. It's been a sobering lesson.

      Delete
  4. Yikes! I am so sorry to read this...what a huge bummer (I want to use a stronger word, but trying to keep if family friendly).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Loree, I've struggled to keep this sorry tale family friendly too ;)

      Delete
  5. I had a similarly weird photo mishap on this fling too - I use both my phone and my camera to take photos (using one or the other depending on the type of photo I'm taking) and I did download both my camera and my phone's photos onto my laptop after the 1st day.

    But as I was reviewing the photos, I realized that my (new) phone had the same numbering system as my camera....and one of the devices (can't recall which right now) overwrote the photos downloaded from the other! I didn't even get a "you have two files with the same name" warning - I was NOT happy!!

    Unfortunately, I always have the phone/camera set to delete the photos once they are downloaded otherwise I would run out of space in no time. So I too am without photos for one portion of the fling (well, at least those I took on one device)...as you say, it's a lesson learned that I will likely not forget anytime soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Margaret I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm sure you should have had a 'same files' warning, it seems strange that you didn't :(

      Delete
  6. Definitely upsetting, but perhaps sometimes it's worth considering focusing on the garden memories, too. And as you wrote, there are a lot of great Fling photos out there, but difficult not to have your own, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right. I remember saying at the Fling I usually go round a garden twice - once for the memories/taking in the atmosphere etc and once for taking the photos. I often find the camera gets in the way of seeing and feeling a garden properly.

      Delete
  7. That's terrible - I'm so sorry. I just had a thumb drive corrupt all the Fling photos I brought up on it to work on at the lake. Fortunately, they're still on my computer in the city, but I must twiddle my thumbs 'til I get back to my office.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you'll find plenty of other things to do Janet, so there'll be minimal thumb twiddling!

      Delete
  8. OH dear Michelle!! I hope that the use of the borrowed one did not make the original ones disappear. I will be more than hapoy to share any that I have, although I might not have as many as zi wanted since I had to make certain my bus companions were taken care of. Let me know if I can help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Teri for all your help and for being such a great bus captain. I enjoyed our Fling chats :)

      Delete
  9. Michelle, that's awful!
    You are welcome to any pictures I took at the Fling.
    And, I really enjoyed talking with you on the bus Friday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy, that's so kind of you and welcome to Veg Plotting :) Our talks on the bus were great!

      Delete
  10. Oh such rotten luck VP! Luckily it sounds as if blogging friends might be able to plug some of the gaps. I've always just kept my fingers crossed that everything will be ok when the camera is away from home but no doubt there will be a mishap out there just waiting for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's taken 10 years for it to happen to me Anna, but quite a lesson. For me, it highlights making memories without a camera is the most important thing to do.

      Delete

Post a Comment

I love hearing from you and welcome thoughtful conversations :)

Comments aiming to link back and give credence to commercial websites will be composted!

Your essential reads

GBMD: I Love Compost

VPGGB # 6 - Compost

#mygardenrightnow - the garden's reality at winter's end

Introducing the #mygardenrightnow project

Down to Earth with Monty Don

Seasonal Recipe: Garlic Powder

Ulting Wick: drier than Jerusalem? One of the Secret Gardens of East Anglia

Here comes the judge

Summer Showcase

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: Persicaria 'Fat Domino'