Monday, 11 January 2016

I was doing a corporate shoot on site today. After I finished shooting, I gave my memory card to the designer so that she could progress to the next stage on her machine. Five minutes later, the designer told me that there are no images on the card, and as I put the card back to the camera for a double check, all the images are gone and the card is corrupted. :(

I was checking the card content in a Windows machine and it didn't look too good.

From an IT perspective, deleting files or quick formatting a disk does not actually destroy the data itself, it is only removing the file reference from the FAT table such that the files are not visible. With a bit of IT knowledge, and the right software, recovering lost images is not totally mission impossible as we speak.

Bunch of images found as scanning in progress
Ta-da! Took awhile to scan and recover, but I restored all the images successfully.

It is very important that in the event of a card reading error, one must
  • Stay calm!! Focus on what could be done to rectify the situation but not what should not have done.
  • Unplug the card only by following the hardware removal process according to the operating system. Forcefully unplugging a card or a card reader might damage the data integrity of the card.
  • Do not perform any write operations to the card, a.k.a.
    • Do not copy any files to the card. 
    • Do not use the card for further shootings.
  • If it is a studio shoot, do not pack up your lights until the images are stored in a more persistent media storage. It may save you some re-setup times should you need to re-shoot.