Gone . . .

July 04, 2018

I’ve used a number of different ways to back up my RAW files over the last decade – first CDs & DVDs, then external hard drives – at first a single internal hard drive, then multiple external hard drives – separate units, then NAS, then RAID, and then cloud storage. They’ve all failed me, all of them. I’d back things up manually, as the automated back-ups were never reliable. I’d lose one drive, make sure I had everything, then get another external drive to replace the failed drives (looking mostly at you, Seagate). The NAS drives had software that was so wonky, it wasn't worth it. The last plan was to use mirrored RAID drives. I loved that system – until it failed. The Master Boot Record failed, and no matter what I did, I couldn't recover it. I lost about 10 years of RAW images – not all of them, but most of them. I thought I could just use my cloud storage to restore lost images. Nope – the file folders were there, but no RAW files had been uploaded, apparently. I’d checked when I first uploaded (a long, painful process to be sure), but now? Nothing, nada, zip, zero – nothing. I debated about trying to do professional recovery, but I finally decided against it. Let them go. That was my old work. Let it go. I’m sure that many photographers are having conniption fits reading this. That’s OK; I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. I’m doing new work, exploring new directions, trying different genres. I don’t have to hang on to the past. I can mourn their loss, and move on. I’m not a full time professional – if I’d done lots of commercial and client shoots, I’d likely be approaching this in a much different manner. But I’m not, so I have some flexibility. I’m considering this dancing lessons from God – explore the new, investigate other options, don’t be too tied to the past. Maybe the old images represent a chrysalis, with the new, evolving me having emerged without the need for my old work. I’m embracing the new way, letting go of the old way. I’m excited to see where this takes me.

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