The proverb “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” is applicable to many things as most proverbs are. If you have read my post Data Backup Goes Awry, then you will know on a recent trip to Costa Rica, I lost a basket. I broke some other stuff and lost still more but this is the story of the basket.
In my former life as a film photographer, the prospect of losing a roll of film was devastating. Normally on a shoot, I would snap the shutter a few dozen times and the loss of a single roll might represent the loss, irretrievably, of a entire day’s work and maybe opportunities which would never come again. And, there were times when you had to let that roll out of your custody and let some photo lab do its worst with your precious celluloid.
Memory Cards come in many sizes from
insignificant to critical-if you lose them.
Now, as a digital photographer, I am plagued and blessed by these film surrogates: memory cards. Memory cards aren’t quite the same. They cost much more than film ever did and they can hold many more pictures but they offset this by being compact, processable and, most of all, reusable.
“I tend to prefer smaller cards
to spread the risk of
something ‘bad’ happening.”
My errant card from Costa Rica arrived in the mail last week courtesy of Miguel at Target Car Rental in San Jose, CR. Thank you Miguel. He found it and shipped it back to me and when it arrived, there were 165 Images, intact, stored in the matchbook-sized device. The images represented the day of shooting from Breakfast at the Santa Maria Volcano Lodge to early evening at Arenal Volcano. I was shooting with two cameras so I was only missing bits and pieces of the day.
One of the Prodigal Images Returned
This shot of Mincho, the Chestnut-Mandibled Toucan, at the breakfast was among the missing shots. There were many shots of my daughter, churches and anything else taken with a wide angle lens during that eight hour span. This included a shot of my daughter with the toucan and other shots that I had no where else.
Nicole and Mincho
With film, it was difficult to put your eggs in one basket unless you lost the basket with all the rolls stored in it. This is provided you were foolish enough to store all your rolls in one film bag. Digital is another story. I carry 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB and 4 GB cards with me now. I use the bigger cards in the larger cameras with more Megapixels so that each camera has about the same 150 shots or so. It seems to work out.
The temptation is to buy bigger cards that allow me to shoot all day and the next and the next without ever having to change a card. A 16 GB card on my biggest camera would typically last me about 5 days in this environment. If I lost that card it would be devastating. Days of work and hundreds of pictures would be gone and I would be in tears.
But, you say, “Rikk, you would be extra careful with that bigger card wouldn’t you?”
I would. But it could be stolen, malfunction, be dropped, lost, have coffee spilled on it-any number of tragedies. In those cases, I could still have a card but not my images. And images, after all, is where it is at if you are a photographer. That is why I tend to use smaller memory cards to spread the risk of something bad happening. They are cheaper and your eggs aren’t in one basket. The bigger the basket, the more eggs are broken, and the bigger the omelette.
The Church at Fortuna from the missing card
I was lucky. My basket came back. Next time, I might not be so fortunate.
Rikk Flohr © 2008