The edge of the world has a dock

dock on foggy lake
It is perhaps best not to ask what actually moors to it…

The night and thus the morning was foggy and I was up early with nothing pressing to do, so I headed down to Jordan Lake to do something interesting with the conditions. I was down there for about two hours I think (I don’t really look at my watch when I’m shooting,) and captured something like 175 images. But, this post could be better – I know, that goes without saying, but I mean, better than normal for me – because of an uncommon but probably unavoidable occurrence. A large number of the images from the memory card simply disappeared.

I unloaded that 175 count of files from the card. Checked the folders, ensured that the beginning and end images were there, then deleted them from the card. There’s several aspects of reasoning to this. First, I make sure that I got everything from the card (which I didn’t quite do – I knew I had the first and last dozen or so images, but never confirmed all the ones in the middle were intact.) That way if any were missed, they could still be retrieved from the card. But I soon delete the images from the card, because if I forget, I end up trying to download them again later on, and then playing around with determining the most recent files. There’s a small factor in keeping the most amount of space available on the card, but with 8Gb and jpeg files, it would take a long time to fill it – like a week of heavy shooting.

Anyway, something happened – I suspect with the card reader, which as I type this still thinks that the card is present though it’s been formatted and returned to the camera (and formatted again, but I think I’m going to make it an emergency backup instead.) This is a relatively new compact flash card too.

foggy flooded region in woods
I’ve run into this before – it’s something you just have to be prepared for when shooting digital. It happened with film too, only with bad batches, accidentally exposed film, or errors in processing. Sometimes you simply lose images. However, there is a program called Zero Assumption Recovery that does a pretty nifty job of recovering images from memory cards – even after you deleted them and/or formatted the card; it’s the nature of how files are actually stored and retrieved in digital memory. I’ve used it quite a few times, sometimes on my own cards, sometimes for other people, and while it usually doesn’t get everything, it can recover a lot of stuff that was believed gone forever.

Sometimes, a lot of stuff. Computer (and thus camera) memory isn’t actually deleted when you hit delete, it is simply marked as usable space, and ZAR ignores those markings and finds all the files. You may end up recovering things from months to years ago, though the present versions allow you to set date parameters. However, if you deleted files, used the card for more shooting, and then want to go back and find old files, you may not – that space may have been overwritten by the new files. Also, sometimes the files just become corrupt, and even ZAR can’t repair them. Sometimes you get incomplete images or, like in this case, a bunch of files with corrupt headers that simply cannot be read. I had to recover just shy of a hundred missing files, and ended up with 37 of them. So it goes. Naturally, the ones that I felt were the most fartistic were among the missing.

drops acting as lenses
A quick note about this image. The trees in many cases were dripping with water, which became almost like a light rain under the horrid longneedle pines, and I made several attempts to go in close with the macro lens and tripod to do this kind of drop lens effect. I talked about the difficulties of doing this before, and it played out this morning. I would place the tripod carefully, find I was a little too far away for maximum magnification, and try to scootch closer. This was all on small trees and saplings, by the way, the ones where the branches were at the right height to be photographed. Which also means the branches were at the right height to be bumped, and three separate times I disturbed the tree as I tried to get in closer. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the contact is, because such useful drops are on the fine edge of giving up the fight with gravity, and that tiny vibration on a branch well away from the one I had chosen was still enough to dislodge the drop. You know how trees are wider on the bottom, right? So are tripods. Feel free to try it if you don’t believe me.

odd-shaped web with dew and occupant
I have shot this kind of web many times before, once here, but this time, I actually captured the builder in the pic – except I didn’t see this at the time and so didn’t focus on it; it’s that grey spot at the bottom of the bowl in the center. I hate noticing details when I get back home that I wish I’d seen when shooting. This was just a casual grab-shot, and I could have done some nice detail and discovered what species of spider makes it. Foggy and dewy mornings, by the way, make it abundantly clear just how many spiders there are in any given location – the webs are always there, you just can’t see most of them.

And I close with another dock shot, as a morning fisherman headed off into the mist – this gives a fairly good idea how thick the fog was. It also distinctly shows the effect of an aspherical very-wide lens, in this case the Tamron 10-24 at 10mm – look at the dock.

fishing boat disappearing into foggy lake
Wide-angle lenses are going to distort – it’s necessary to fit the broad view angle into the narrower aspect of the frame. Old spherical lenses used to distort the edges so badly there would be a ‘fisheye’ effect, which the newer lenses largely correct – but this situation demonstrates that it can’t be perfect. But this image also, originally, gave a fairly good idea how much dust was on the sensor again! I just fucking cleaned the bastard not two weeks ago! Granted, doing multiple lens changes in such conditions certainly doesn’t help, but shit, I’d hoped it could stay clean for a month or so. Anyway, that all got edited out for display here, before I go back and clean the goddamn thing again…