Monday, January 12, 2015

Mourning the sandstorm

It's gone. I've lost it through a combination of carelessness and dumb luck. Pleading and bargaining with fate has failed. My efforts to do an end-around have failed. I have to force myself to accept the ugly truth: My beloved Monument Valley Sandstorm, Infrared, is no more.

Oh, I still have a gorgeous 36x24 gallery wrap on my office wall, and the web-sized version you see here persists. But the original RAW file is gone. The full-resolution tiff and Photoshop working files are gone. The finished-edit jpeg is gone. Which means I can never make another quality print of this image, which resonates with me at a level hard to explain.

The sad discovery of my loss came about because I had an offer to publish it in an upcoming photography book. I felt all the regular emotions--excitement, validation, yadda yadda--which quickly gave way to sorrow and denial when I could not find a single print-quality file. I'd had many multiples of this image on my home computer, my laptop, my work computer... all gone. My work computer ran out of hard drive space early this past spring, so I deleted all of my personal stuff to clear operating room. My laptop suffered a Windows implosion, so I did a clean install, wiping everything from it. All those duplicate files on my home computer? I deleted those duplicates, and apparently the master file as mixed in amongst those. Ah, but what about the official backup, the one kept by The Wife? Well, those turned out to be on an external hard drive I accidentally knocked off her desk and destroyed whilst attempting to install some new hardware. The awful part is that this drive continued to function for another dozen hours or so before going kaput, hours we foolishly did not use to transfer everything off it. We couldn't remember what was on it at the time, and didn't worry too much, because there were multiple copies of files kept elsewhere. Except those that weren't.

Other images are gone as well. All of my photos from the Very Large Array (with the sole exception of "Listening to Nightfall") and the Horseshoe and the Grand Canyon... Some of those were good photographs. None of them were great. All of them can be replicated, more or less, by me in the future if I ever return to those locales. But Monument Valley? In a sandstorm? Under these unique lighting conditions? Never gonna happen.

It's hard to let go, but it's time to move on.

Now Playing: SixMileBridge No Reason
Chicken Ranch Central

1 comment:

  1. For whatever it's worth to you, Jayme, I'm sorry about this.