Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Recovered Puffins

My digital camera was giving me trouble on the last day of my Mull trip. The camera started with the 'format memory card' menu. But I just was not prepared to do that after the many, many bright sunshine 10x optical zoomed very close-up shots of Lunga Puffins of a few days earlier. Never trust technology, especially when one has become used to relying on it... Never trust computers...

Back home I searched the internet for tools that might recover the Puffins that fell to this acute 'digital bird flu'. Maybe too many puffins packed together on the memory card, I suppose... Anyway, I want to share with you how my Puffins recovered.

The freeware program 'PC Inspector Smart Recovery' allows you to read any (corrupted) media that can be attached to a computer. Even deleted images, as so far they are not overwritten already, can be restored. A small drawback is that the images are named and numbered in the physical order at which they are stored on the memory card. The internal JPG EXIF data still contains all the original date and time information, but individually renaming the files is a lot of work. But here another program came to help.

The program 'Sophisticated Rename' can rename files from the information stored in the JPG EXIF data. This is also a very handy tool to restore file date/time for all those people that use XP's 'easy' option of 'importing images to folder'. Unfortunately, this option renames all images and updates date/time and that does this on the physical order of the images on the memory card.

An advice from me: do NOT use the XP 'import' option! Instead, open the memory card with Explorer and copy and paste the images to a relevant named folder on your computer. In this way file date/time are not updated. And off course never edit, or even rotate, your original images, work on a copy instead. Otherwise image quality might be lost forever.

After I recovered my Puffins, I received three CD's full of pictures of another Mull trip member. Finding my way through the huge number of pictures it felt as if someone had dropped four boxes of unmarked slides. Try to re-order those! But now I had the tool to make life easier...

The future? Digital camera's with build-in GPS and electronic compass pinpointing every image, linking that to Google Earth... Never trust computers...