Pho­tog­ra­pher’s Fear #121 — There were no pho­tos on the mem­o­ry card that should be there. This hap­pens for var­i­ous rea­sons — it may be a break­down of the card, it may be a banal absent-mind­ed­ness when a per­son for­got to upload a pho­to to a com­put­er and for­mat­ted the card. What to do in such a sit­u­a­tion, we under­stand in this arti­cle.

What to do if every­thing is gone? First of all, do not pan­ic / Pho­to: unsplash.com

You can no longer shoot on the card if the pho­to is gone
Pro­grams for recov­er­ing delet­ed pho­tos
One ter­ri­ble rook­ie mis­take that can’t be fixed
How to pro­tect your­self from pos­si­ble loss of cap­tured pho­tos

The first thing to do if you notice that impor­tant pic­tures have dis­ap­peared from the card is to stop using it imme­di­ate­ly. The fact is that the effi­cien­cy of recov­er­ing miss­ing files is direct­ly relat­ed to the num­ber of card over­writes. If, after the pic­tures were gone, some­thing was tak­en over them, the chances of recov­ery go down sharply.

Next, you should insert the card into the com­put­er and care­ful­ly look through all the fold­ers. If, for exam­ple, you noticed the loss while view­ing pic­tures from the cam­era, it is pos­si­ble that the pho­tos have not dis­ap­peared any­where. But for some rea­son the cam­era sim­ply stopped rec­og­niz­ing and dis­play­ing them. Such mis­takes do hap­pen.

If there are still no pic­tures on the card, you will have to get acquaint­ed with the soft­ware for recov­er­ing lost data.

If the card has not been over­writ­ten, the chances of recov­er­ing acci­den­tal­ly delet­ed pho­tos are quite high. This will require spe­cial soft­ware.

Recu­va. One of the most pop­u­lar pro­grams for recov­er­ing lost files. She has a crack, there is a free ver­sion.

The pro­gram allows you to scan a flash dri­ve and shows what files can be found there. Recu­va also shows their sta­tus. You can restore those files, the state of which the pro­gram con­sid­ers excel­lent or good. You can then choose which files to restore.

Recu­va is a sim­ple appli­ca­tion. It is well suit­ed for sim­ple cas­es — recov­er­ing recent­ly erased files / Illus­tra­tion: Alisa Smirno­va, Fotosklad.Expert

Phoenix. Anoth­er pop­u­lar Russ­ian-lan­guage appli­ca­tion. It also search­es for files and allows you to choose what to recov­er. Well suit­ed for all cas­es of file loss, except for media dam­age.

Disk Drill. This app has both Win­dows and Mac ver­sions. There is a free ver­sion with­in which you can recov­er files up to 500 MB. The pro ver­sion costs about 8 thou­sand rubles.

Ease US Data Recov­ery. Pow­er­ful file recov­ery tool. Often copes when the same Recu­va says that she has paws. For exam­ple, when pho­tos are not just acci­den­tal­ly delet­ed, but the disk is dam­aged. But there are sev­er­al dis­ad­van­tages: there is no crack and a long time of work. Scan­ning and search­ing for files may take sev­er­al hours. How­ev­er, if the miss­ing pho­tos are real­ly impor­tant, you should be patient and let the pro­gram work out. Dis­trib­uted for free.

EaseUS Data Recov­ery inter­face / Illus­tra­tion: Alisa Smirno­va, Photosklad.Expert

Puran File Recov­ery. Free and Rus­si­fied. There are sev­er­al scan­ning options: fast, deep and full. The pro­gram has a good inter­face, works well with flash dri­ves, suit­able for Win­dows.

I must say that it will be pos­si­ble or not to recov­er files with a par­tic­u­lar pro­gram, this is large­ly a mat­ter of luck. If it’s real­ly impor­tant to get back the miss­ing pho­tos from the card, you need to be ready to install and try out sev­er­al dif­fer­ent appli­ca­tions.

Most like­ly, if the card was sim­ply acci­den­tal­ly for­mat­ted, it will be pos­si­ble to restore the pho­to. If the card just gave an error or broke, every­thing becomes a lit­tle more com­pli­cat­ed. You can try to dri­ve it through the reduc­ers, but be pre­pared for the fact that this will not work. In this case, you can try to give the card to the ser­vice. Some­times pro­fes­sion­als man­age to get data even from dam­aged cards.

There is one sit­u­a­tion that a com­plete­ly novice pho­tog­ra­ph­er may encounter: “shoot­ing” with a cam­era that does not have a card. The fact is that many cam­era mod­els, when there is no card in them, start shoot­ing in test mode. From the out­side, it looks like this: a per­son press­es a but­ton, a pic­ture appears on the screen. It is not saved any­where, it exists only in the inter­nal mem­o­ry of the cam­era. And with the next press of the shut­ter but­ton, the pic­ture is reset. The per­son con­tin­ues to “take pic­tures”, but in fact, no pho­tographs are record­ed any­where.

This error can­not be cor­rect­ed in any way, since the pho­tos sim­ply were not record­ed any­where. You can only pre­vent: once every few min­utes, look into the view­ing menu and check if there is a pho­to there. Noth­ing is stored in the inter­nal mem­o­ry of the cam­era; with­out a card, the cam­era takes a pic­ture only so that the own­er can make sure that it works at all.

It may seem that only a com­plete­ly stu­pid per­son or a green new­bie can get into such a sit­u­a­tion — well, who will go to shoot with­out a card at all. Then imag­ine this turn of events: a per­son is film­ing, for exam­ple, a wed­ding cer­e­mo­ny, at some point the card gives some kind of error. And the new­ly­weds at this moment change rings. He quick­ly reboots the cam­era, the cam­era seems to con­tin­ue to shoot fur­ther. And after reg­is­tra­tion, it turns out that at the moment when the card showed an error, it broke. And every­thing that was filmed after the reboot was no longer record­ed. Although phys­i­cal­ly the card was inside the cam­era.

Don’t for­get to insert the card / Pho­to: unsplash.com

Shoot two cards at once. If the cam­era sup­ports two cards, be sure to use this func­tion. As a rule, RAW is record­ed on one, JPEG on the oth­er. And even if one card is dam­aged or care­less­ly for­mat­ted, the sec­ond one will remain and the shoot­ing will not be lost. Yes, you can extract less from JPEG than from RAW, but some­thing is bet­ter than noth­ing at all. You can set up full dupli­ca­tion for both cards, but this already smells a bit of para­noia and waste of resources.

Always car­ry a spare card with you on all shoots. And if the card shows any prob­lems or mis­fires dur­ing oper­a­tion, imme­di­ate­ly change it. Do not risk the fact that lat­er the pic­tures from the bug­gy card will com­plete­ly or par­tial­ly dis­ap­pear.

Don’t skimp on mem­o­ry cards. A more expen­sive and more secure card will work bet­ter and faster, and in which case it will sur­vive swim­ming in the water (espe­cial­ly true for drones) and oth­er extreme con­di­tions.

For exam­ple, San­Disk SDHC Extreme Pro is not afraid of water and shock / Pho­to: unsplash.com

Copy fin­ished pho­tos. After film­ing is com­plet­ed, imme­di­ate­ly dump the footage to a com­put­er, hard dri­ve or cloud. Thus, the chances of los­ing a pho­to are reduced. When the pic­tures are copied, you can not be afraid that the card will dete­ri­o­rate, you will lose it or acci­den­tal­ly for­mat it, for­get­ting about every­thing before the next respon­si­ble shoot­ing.

By the way, this life hack should be used in both direc­tions: do not clear the cards before you have at least looked at the pho­tos you have tak­en. Ide­al­ly, you should for­mat the card after the pho­tos are com­plete­ly ready and giv­en to the client, if this was a com­merce. Hard dri­ves can also dete­ri­o­rate, lap­tops can break. Cloud stor­age in this regard is some­what more reli­able, but any­thing can hap­pen.

In addi­tion, cam­eras of some sys­tems (for exam­ple, Fuji­film) lay out every thou­sand shots in a sep­a­rate fold­er. There­fore, there is always a chance that in dis­trac­tion you can copy pho­tos from only one fold­er and lose part of the shoot­ing.