About a year ago I lost 18 months of the work that I had on one hard drive.
Usually, I back-up my photos on a semi-regular basis, copying them all to a couple larger hard drives but for some reason with this drive I didn’t.
I know it’s an accident waiting to happen, having only one hard drive with all your images on them but for some reason, I thought I could play Russian Roulette with these shots. I was sitting on the couch editing a selection of them and when I stood up my hard drive fell off my laptop and hit the floor…
Farewell hard drive.
Now, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me. I’m sure most content creators have been through something similar. You work on a batch of images, or put together the edits on your video and then when you go to export them they are lost.
Two summers ago, at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy, I was competing in the photo shootout. Each photographer goes out for two days with two climbers and puts together a slideshow that’s 2-3 minutes long on the Saturday night of the event.
On Friday afternoon, after working on the photos and slideshow for probably close to 16 hours, moments before the cut-off time when the submission was due, I exported the slideshow and then, during the export process my computer died…great…
Arguably my computer was a bit older and was a significant reason why the edits took so long to begin with, but I didn’t expect it to die…just before I had to submit the slideshow.
I wanted to cry…I’m pretty sure I just yelled “Fuck!” instead.
These events came to mind this morning as I was looking through older shots trying to find one to post to Instagram.
I came across one of those few shots that I had uploaded to my website from that hard drive I dropped on the floor. I had edited a couple pics from that particular day and uploaded them to my site, but it was just one shot of the hundreds I had taken on that one shoot.
On that drive, I had photos from the Wind Rivers in Wyoming, the Bugaboos and lots of local ice climbing…all lost.
I was definitely an idiot for not backing up my work. After the hard drive cratered into the hardwood, I tried to save it. I googled all the fixes, and one of them worked but only momentarily and not long enough to export a significant number of files.
I wanted to yell again…
We took the drive to our friend Mark who’s computer savvy and knows what he’s doing, but he could only recover the folder names…
Now I just have a permeant reminder of all the shots I lost but none of the photos…
I could still be angry about losing all those images, but that won’t help me.
Off days occur, it doesn’t help to be frustrated about it.
I no longer use a piece of crap computer and now backup all my shots, in a minimum of two places and sometimes a third.
Unexpected accidents happen, but now instead of being frustrated by them, I try to learn from them and move on as fast as possible.