The constraints of Covid are really only now beginning to be felt in Hong Kong. Frustration with long quarantine requirements has given way to frustration with rank incompetence on every front. My time at home is getting longer each day it seems. How better to occupy some idle hours than to ransack Aladdin’s cave?
In this the case the cave is quite small. In fact it measures 11×8.5x2cm. And it has the letters WD written on it. It is a very old hard drive. Stuffed to the gunwales with digital photos going back to 2005. I am still working my way through it. So far I have found over 10 different camera models used by me over the time the HD covers. The earliest seems to be a Canon 10D and at the point I have reached I am using a 1Dx. So what have I discovered?
I took a lot of photos. A huge number. And a lot are very poor quality – mainly the flash photography is bad. There are also some surprisingly good ones.
I had no technical understanding of flash and white balance. They are awful. No really, shockingly poor.
Shooting in RAW means I can rescue even those where the WB is terribly wrong.
I have natural history records I need to preserve. Those are being downloaded on to a new 4TB HD and the best backed up elsewhere in the cloud.
I can remember the vast majority of them. I mean it. Almost every photo I look at I think – oh yes, I remember that, I know exactly where I was. I remember who I was with.
With good exposure the 10mp frames are still extremely usable and much better than I would have expected.
Had I not gone through this exercise I would have overlooked and possibly lost a considerable record of my life. From routine record shots of moths, to the family dogs to our lives over the 10 years, so many gaps would have remained unfilled. Yes, I have them in my head but now I also have digital files to fill in the blanks.
The good photos are startlingly good. I used a tripod in those days. Almost all the time. I used Live View for many natural history shots. I even used a rail for macro and did proper stacking. My word it shows. I could carry a lot of heavy kit, that is clear. Not so now.
I was probably much happier then as I seem to have spent day after day in the field without the worry of ageing and covid.
And the good news is I have another hard drive to explore after I have finished this one. And then another.
A couple of hours a day pass quickly and if I present one image I honestly don’t feel it matters which one I choose. I shall post two anyway and I hope you agree, the past is worth reliving.