Peregrine Falcon on a cold winter morning – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1600, ISO 250, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
Yesterday afternoon I made a mistake, one that could have been worse, because I was thinking about something else when I was getting ready to go down to the local pond in the afternoon. For a short trip down to the pond I usually check my battery level, grab my memory card from the card reader in my computer, stick it in my camera, reformat it and head out the door.
Let me start with the morning first though so I don’t get ahead of myself…
Around 10 am I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items and on my way home I drove down to the local pond to see if what birds were there and I found the female Peregrine Falcon I photographed on the 4th of January perched on a pole. I’ve seen her four or five times since the 4th and haven’t been able to get decent images of her for one reason or another. So I went home, grabbed my camera and went back down to the pond hoping the falcon would still be there.
She was still there sitting on top of the pole, the angle was a bit steep but the light was good and it was nice to see her back by the pond, so I took photos of her on the pole stretching, lifting her wings, pooping and just looking around. The images weren’t all that exciting but hey, the neighborhood falcon is always a delight to see and photograph.
I went home, put my memory card in the card reader and got sidetracked by other things. You know, like life.
About 3:30 pm the light was good and I started to get ready to go back down to the local pond, checked my battery level, it was only down one click so that was good. I grabbed my memory card from the card reader, inserted it in my camera, turned on the camera, hit the menu button, selected the XQD card slot and said “OK” to reformat it.
It was less than a tenth of a second when I realized that I hadn’t uploaded the photos to my computer that I had taken of the falcon in the morning to my computer. They were wiped right off of the card. Gone.
I thought I could recover the image files using the SanDisk Rescue Pro utility program I have on my computer but that was a no go, it wouldn’t recover the files and the program crashed. I don’t know if that is because my XQD card is manufactured by Lexar and not SanDisk or if it is because that program doesn’t work with Windows 10. I don’t even know if I ever used that program for myself before, I know I have used it for a friend who lost files because of premature reformatification.
I quickly searched the web for a Lexar file recovery application, found a free one from Lexar, downloaded it, installed it and got ready to recover the files. Only the free application has a limit of only 1054 MB (or something like that) and to recover more than that you need to purchase the “Pro” utility application. I knew I had taken more images than the limit would retrieve so I sat shaking my head at my self created folly.
At that moment I knew I would miss the “good light” at the pond if I purchased the Pro application and spent the time setting it up and going through the process of recovering the RAW image files which can be time consuming because the files are large and I came to the conclusion that I should just accept that the files were gone and go down to the pond to photograph whatever I could find there.
The Peregrine Falcon in the photo above was taken nearly a year ago as it rested on a rock on the causeway to Antelope Island State Park. I guess I can take consolation in the fact that the photos I took yesterday morning weren’t quite as lovely as this one is.
I lost those Peregrine Falcon images because I had other things on my mind and prematurely reformatted my memory card. I spent the afternoon and evening kicking my own butt. From now on I will make double sure to upload my images files to my computer before reformatting my memory card. Lesson learned.
Life is good. Right?