During an October photo tour that I guide in Alaska’s Arctic, one of my type II flash cards got corrupted during a Lightroom import. I recently received it in the mail from www.datarecovery.com and had a chance to look at the pictures contained within. However, that process did not turn out to be a simple one. When attempting to import them into Lightroom on my iMac via a flash card reader (I tried two different ones), I kept getting errors about an inability to read data on the type II flash card. In the Mac Finder window, I could see some thumbnails of the RAW files, and other ones were either black or had a partial black preview. Some imported fine, others did not.
So as a work around, I grabbed an old PC laptop and copied them directly from the type II flash card reader on to the laptop’s hard drive. Then I copied them back onto an SD card, which I could later insert directly into my iMac without using a card reader. I then copied them from the SD card to the iMac desktop, and from there imported them into Lightroom with no problem. I have not spent much time trying to figure out why all of this was necessary, I just know it worked.
The reason I was so intent on recovering these images was that I remembered a particular moment when the light was gentle and warm, as it washed over the back of a male polar bear walking on the thin sea ice. What was also very distinct about this set of photos was the very low angle perspective, literally eye-to-eye with this beautiful bear. This was possible because the bear was walking along the newly formed sea ice and we were in a small boat in a section of open water. Situations like this are a rare opportunity.
The flash card will certainly get retired, and I’ll get yet a third flash card reader to use in the future just to be safe. If there are any computer geeks out there that might have insight, feel free to chime in.