That horrible sinking feeling…

Two days ago I was full of that horrible sinking feeling. The feeling that I had done something very, very wrong. The feeling that I had been totally careless. The feeling of complete foolishness. And it was all because of my digital camera.

It seems like a dream, but it was only 6 weeks ago that we got back from that amazing 28 day trip across our far and wide country. We took pictures and videos every day from the girls here and there to architecture, landscape, animals, historical sites, hotel rooms, restaurants and many other interesting (at least to us) things and people. 28 days worth of photos – probably something like 1200 or more.

Each evening (for the first three weeks anyway) I would plug in the camera to J’s laptop and download the pics. Then I would immediately upload them to Shutterfly. Once we got to Quebec, I stopped uploading them to Shutterfly (not enough time, too tire) and after Halifax, I didn’t even download them off the camera.

When we got home, I immediately dumped the camera card, full of the Maritimes, onto our Mac. Since we have a 16GB card, I took all the other photos from J’s laptop and put them on the card, intending to move them to the Mac too – about 1100 photos. But the Mac was full. Well, almost full. Too much trash, too many movies we don’t watch, too much junk in general. So I planned to clean it all up and make room for the photos. I really just wanted them safe on the harddrive, safe on the backup disc, and safe on Shutterfly. Then probably burned to disc too, just to make sure. But we had to move and the Mac was full and well, it didn’t get done. I always made sure to be careful with the camera – no delete all, no formatting card, don’t let the kids have it.

And two days ago I finally got some time to work on importing the photos. So I picked up the camera and starting looking through the recent pics (a HUGE spider on my deck – more on that later) and THE TRIP PHOTOS WERE NOT THERE.


I could only find photos from June 14, the day we moved in, and later. WHERE DID THEY ALL GO?

And so that horrible sinking feeling set it. Somebody deleted them. Careless children. Negligent husband. Terrible mother. Guilt, guilt, guilt.


I immediately searched the Mac, Shutterfly and the external hard drives to see if I had already dealt with them or saved them and just forgotten.


I called J at work – are they still on the laptop? He didn’t think so. I was heading to his work that afternoon, so I looked myself, even in the recycle bin.


Well, I guess it’s time for a reality check. We have photos from the beginning until Ottawa uploaded on Shutterfly, and PEI till the end on the Mac. So we’re missing Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Over a week of photos. In some of the most interesting places. And Auntie Jen and Theodore Tugboat, and the Frontenac, and Fredericton… I wanted to cry. I wanted to vomit. I was so upset, frustrated and mad. And to top it off, you have to pay to get your photos off Shutterfly (more on that later…)

So then I decided that I should try a disc recovery program on the camera card – I had bought a very expensive one back in the fall when I though we had lost ALL of our photos (that was another horrible time in my digital life…) So the plan was to download what is on the card and then do a recovery of the card to see if anything turns up. So yesterday I plugged the camera into the Mac and iPhoto starts up and…

There are all our photos. All 1100+ of them.


Joy and elation set in. So does sheepishness. Oh yeah. I put them into a separate folder so the camera couldn’t access them and they would be safe.

And that, my friends, is why we triple-back up and in the very near future will be paying for online storage.

Anyone have any recommendations for good online storage solutions? Not too expensive but a small monthly fee is ok and we need lots of room.


3 responses

  1. I’m glad you found your pictures. Online storage is the best solution. You need a place that lets you upload and download the uncompressed files. Costco or Shutterfly or other print places will make you prints, but won’t let you download the actual files (but you probably already know that.) I think the cheapest is Fotki. They let you put unlimited up in your first 30 day trial. That’s what I did after we returned from Kenya. After your trial period you can get 200M added every month, or pay $1.00 a month for unlimited. I found it a little hard to organize my pictures there, but I didn’t spend too much time on it. They are up there and backed up for me. I like that I can share with people but was allowed to password protect them, so only people with my password can see them and/or download them. Their customer service is excellent via email.
    You probably know about Flickr. The Torenvliets use them. I also liked Photobucket, but it’s more $$ and you can’t try before you buy, like Fotki.


  2. Oh Maggie! I’m so glad you found them back. Seriously my heart was pounding for you. 🙂

    I use Mozy ( for online backup. It’s cheap and it runs in the back ground. I do find that it slows my computer considerably but it’s worth it?! Especially peace of mind. I’m crazy about backups too. No way do I want to risk losing years of photos.

  3. Hey Maggie,

    As I’m sure you know because you’ve used recovery software: if you erase the pictures on your card there is a image of those pictures left on the card still (almost like a negative imprint). I found out that the key is to catch the mistake before you take more photos with the card. You generally can salvage most, if not all your photos if that’s the case. We found this out after the exact same horrible sinking feeling after our Hawaii 2006 photos were deleted and the computer crashed (hard drive physically blew up).

    Just FYI, I believe we still have the program we used to retrieve the photos in case you can’t find yours (for possible future mishaps?)


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