Having taken a few photographs over Christmas, I thought I'd better save them from the camera - to free up space and just incase I lost the files. As usual, I loaded up my Mac and connected the external hard drive. It's a WD Elements drive. Western Digital have a good reputation, so it's a safe place to store them. Until last night, when after connecting the drive, I received an on-screen message saying that my computer didn't recognise the drive.
After a few desperate attempts to restart my Mac, the same message appeared. Frustratingly, whenever Apple update their Operating System, it can conflict with third party software and hardware. I think that this might have been the cause of the problem. A very big problem, because all of my photos from the last 8 years are on that drive...and that includes all of my images for this landscape course. I know that Digital Photographic Practice included information about backing-up as part of a photographer's workflow, but rightly or wrongly, you put your faith in the technology. Also, the amount of digital images that you are able to capture nowadays, creates a mountain of information to store and secure.
Whilst I've anxiously been trying to retrieve my images, this dilemma has made me think further about why are we taking photographs. Is it to be kept in a small box, never to be seen again? Or should they be able to shared further afield. I've learnt my lesson that storing them in one place means they don't really exist. It's difficult to contemplate the work gone into an image that is viewed as a bunch of pixels on a thin screen. A framed picture or photo book, has a greater physical presence. You can hold it, put it down, and pass it amongst others - it exists.
Having downloaded Wondershare's data recovery software, I am hopeful as it displays the files it has found so far. This experience has made me consider more about the final product. If an image isn't worth making, then it's not worth taking. Instead of relying on digital, maybe I need to consider other outputs for my next projects.