The Lessons We Learn…and Forget…and Re-learn…and Quickly Ignore
I’ve learned a couple of very important lessons recently in regards to taking care of my prized possessions and the consequences of failing to do so. The most recent pertained to the proper humidification and maintenance practices for an expensive acoustic guitar and the irreversible damage caused by failing to do so. Apparently, I’ll never get the sweet top end back and it’s become somewhat fragile, but I still like how it sounds and plays and the bridge can be reset.
That whole ordeal got me thinking of a post I had written on my Google+ a month or so ago after my hard drive fried. It’s a bit more photography related, and since I want to post more regularly than I have in the past, I’m going to repost it here.
“A couple of weeks ago, I experienced one of every photographers worst nightmares, my hard drive seized. Forensic recovery level seizure, at that. Sadly, my backup practices had become, well… lax. 6 months worth of work just gone. Shame on me, I know. I’ve written blog posts and berated my own parents about the virtues and ease of creating a backup regimen, but preaching it and living it proved a problem.
Luckily, I had a couple of things going for me. For starters, some of the photos from the lost months have been spread about the internets and can be recovered. Unfortunately, my piracy paranoia trained me to reduce the resolution of shared images, so the best I’ll be able to get back in most cases is a 5×7, but it’s better than nothing. The other thing working in my favor was that I actually fell out of love with photography for a good part of this year. More specifically, I came to detest the editing process, which I came to view as a black hole of unfulfilling time suck from which there was little hope of escape. Because of this, I took far fewer photos than I normally would have, therefore I lost less.
Tonight, I discovered an unsettling side effect of this loss, one that has positive and negative ramifications. While I have complete backups from much of the period while I was using Lightroom, the backups of the earlier Photoshop-only days have the unprocessed versions of the images and nothing else. This means, whenever I need to make a print of the old stuff, I have to get into an excruciating re-editing process, trying to match what was done previously with better equipment and improved skills. What a pain in the balls. The good news is that the new photos are coming out much better than the originals. The bad news is that I now have the urge to re-edit every photo I’ve ever taken.”
So, to follow up:
I’m ashamed to say that my backup procedures have not really improved all that much. Being poor is prohibiting me from getting the external drive I so desperately need. On the upside, I haven’t started taking all that many photos yet, and the ones I care about have been stored across the internet in one form or another. Also, while I have a few people asking me to produce prints to place in their shops for potential sale, other obligations have prohibited me from spending the time on re-editing anything yet. The day is looming, however.
I’ll share the good ones. By the way, to see the original version of this photo, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opusinfinity/4842895504/in/set-72157626798092614/lightbox/