... blog post:


Ever lost a set of digital images and their back ups as well after a disk crash? Yes? Me too, a very long time ago, but I was still able to recover a few of them recently...

The pictures in question had been taken in 2001 in Egypt, obviously, on a Nikon Coolpix 990 with about 3 and a bit mega pixels as I recall. Some time later the duplex disk system on which they were stored crashed catastrophically and that, as they say, was that.

Needless to say, as a big time Apple Mac user these days with multiple back up systems this is highly unlikely ever to happen to me again but back then, well...

I resigned myself to never seeing my pictures of the pyramids, the trip up lake Nasser and visits to various temples and tombs ever again.

Then, this month, something fortuitous occurred. We were clearing out the garage and found a box of old prints produced and discarded two decades ago. There, mixed in with all sort of uninteresting stuff, were fourteen A4 prints made from images taken on that particular trip. Result. Well almost.

Years of alternating hot and cold plus the damp conditions of garage life had caused the prints to leach some of their ink from the surface of one onto the back of another in the stack, leaving marks and streaks in the pictures. This was going to have to be dealt with, but I am getting ahead of myself.

So what to do recover a set of usable images? Well, scan the prints for starters obviously. This I did using a Canon flat bed scanner using multi pass scanning to extract the maximum detail and tonality out of each print.

Then each scanned image was edited using a combination of Photolab 4, Photos and PefectlyClear to restore them as far as possible fixing the ravages of 20 years of garage life of the original prints.

Finally, each image was rezzed up in GigaPixel to create a decent size, usable file for the future and 'presto' a memento of a memorable adventure, thought lost for ever, recovered.😄. Talk about jam and bread!

Now, you must remember these images originated from an early tech digital camera of a mere 3.34mp 'resolution' subsequently printed as 10" x 7" @ 200dpi pictures. Thus theses prints were very low resolution images to be working with in the first place and they were fairly badly degraded too due to the already mentioned storage issues. Thus the resulting recovered images may not look so hot by modern standards, but I am pretty pleased to have retrieved anything 'usable' at all.

✧ Jokul Frosti ✧

A space containing the thoughts, experiences, photos and collected curiosities of a walkabout photographer with a snapshot style.