Drawing a blank

FTLComm - Tisdale - Sunday, January 19, 2003
I have been relying upon the remarkable ability of digital photography since 1996 and during that time I have only lost two sets of pictures. The first set of images that I lost was just absent mindedness as I wiped out the memory in a compact flash card thinking I had saved the images into a file in the computer. Though we had worked out a protocol to prevent this from happening years ago that one time I missed a step and lost the project. My second loss was today.
For several weeks we have been planning to go out to Weekes to see the provincial natural ice championships. This is a really important event for such a small community and the organisers have put every moment they could spare into making it a resounding success. So yesterday morning we cleaned up the work here and we were on our way out to Weekes.
What a remarkable event teams from Osage, Endeavor were on the ice and the Weekes' team lead by Ardith Lindenback was playing a fine game. SaskPower had pitched in with sponsorship of the event and the Weekes community was behind the project with the viewing area jam packed with spectators. As I savoured a smokey on a bun Mervin Kraft filled me in on the fun everyone was having with a banquet on Friday night and perfect ice conditions Ice maker Tom Lindenback had the ice perfect and with a load of volunteers everything was running just great. I snapped off a bunch of images of the fans, the competitors, the rink and where my smokey came from and then we went out to the Lindenback farm. I was able to show Pauline the pictures on the camera's back and at three we were on our way back to Tisdale.
Mission accomplished. On the way a jet high above the altostratus left neat shadows in the sky and I was able to get pictures of that unusual phenomena Back in town some shopping then a visit to Tisdale's publish library and I put together a magnificent QuickTime VR for you to see today.
When we first started using digital photography one of the discoveries we made was the extreme reliability of both the camera system and securing the images. Compact flash cards and a card reader made handling the images a sure thing and that's why this is such a sad story. I have absolutely no explanation as to what became of the sixty images in the camera's compact flash memory. I had checked and seen them, they were there and available yet when I went to move them from the card to the file in the computer there was nothing absolutely nothing there.
My chagrin is complete, not only do I not know what happened a day's work of excellent pictures and a great story about a little community putting on a great competition went down the tubes. The loss of the pictures remains a mystery and really shakes my confidence in the system even though we have taken thousands of images this is truly unsettling. While I was wringing my hands this morning and lamenting my loss on the phone to relatives I realised that though it was unfortunate it is far from tragic, sometimes things just don't work out and that is all there is to it. In the back of my mind I remember a similar situation after snapping off the greatest pictures ever and rewinding film on a 35mm only to discover that a load error had occurred and I had nothing. That happened lots of times as we would often be using three cameras interchangeably just to make sure that we had back ups for the images we might lose because of film carriage problems on any one of them.
After I moaned a good deal I clicked off two images to see that the camera is still working and the card reader not at fault, the picture at the top of the page was a test image but the scenes of the Weekes competition only exist in my memory and will soon fade as the details of that event merge with others.

Timothy W. Shire



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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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