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When Bad Things Happen to Good Photographs

In the world of digital photography, losing image data is equivalent to having a photo lab destroy your film. With more and more professional photographers switching to digital as their sole medium, fast and effective data recovery is imperative for photographers to safeguard their work. While there are plenty of articles written about how to best to back up digital data, photographers have been dramatically underserved by articles that focus solely on backup and not the more urgent problem of what to do should backup fail – which inevitably it will.

Thankfully, data recovery exists for just those types of situations. It is imperative that digital photographers know they have options when they experience digital photo data loss since their choices were limited in that regard with traditional film. Before digital photography, mistakes like a film door opening on a camera or someone opening the door to a dark room during exposure would destroy the pictures forever. With digital photos, the victim at least has the possibility of a second chance if something goes wrong with their digital media.

When deciding what type of data recovery service to engage, photographers have two options: simple do-it-yourself software applications or sophisticated data recovery company services.

The choice of one approach over another depends largely on whether the problem is logical (user error, typically in the form of deleted files or reformatting) or physical (dropped camera that leads to damaged storage media, water damage, anything that causes the media to become unreadable) and more importantly, how valuable or irreplaceable the photos are. Many logical errors are fixable by data recovery software. Data recovery software is also good for situations where the value of the photograph is lower – where pictures can either be re-taken or where the media is still working and readable as usual.

Conversely, all errors caused by physical damage, and photos that are irreplaceable and of high value, need service from a professional recovery company to ensure the best result.

For professional/serious digital photographers, professional data recovery service is always the best option because recovery companies provide the most complete and comprehensive data recovery effort possible. The main problem with do-it yourself software is that results can be uneven it works well in some cases but in other cases does a partial or poor job compared to professional service. Moreover, attempting to do-it-yourself first can sometimes make matters worse and it can be difficult to tell the true quality of a do-it-yourself recovery effort. A photographer might think the software path is working after using recovery software, but often professional service would provide better results. It can be the difference between software providing partial photos and professional service providing perfect photos.

The experts at Ontrack Data Recovery, who have successfully recovered thousands of lost or corrupted images from all forms of digital storage media (including SmartMedia, Memory Stick, MMC, SD, xD, microdrive, PC Card, etc.) have experience working with professional photographers. It’s crucial for professional photographers to have a resource that they can trust when faced with data disasters, especially since, in most cases, their pictures cannot be recreated. As Kizzy Sanford from Photography By Karen in Welsh, La. explains, having Ontrack Data Recovery on their side made all the difference in dealing with data loss caused by Hurricane Rita:

“Our studio uses only digital camera systems that were affected by power surges and high moisture levels after Rita hit,” said Sanford. “Our media cards were not reading, which was a major problem since the items on those cards were images from weddings and other events that cannot be replaced. Thankfully, we contacted Ontrack Data Recovery, which was the best thing we could ever have done.”

Sanford continued, “Since the storm, Ontrack Data Recovery has been able to retrieve several cards we’ve sent to them, always providing extremely quick and prompt service. Thanks to Ontrack Data Recovery for saving our company from a lot of unwanted stress and difficulty. We will recommend their services to anyone who is in need.”

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