Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nikon D4--The Case of the Almost Deleted Images

Actually, this post applies to more than just the Nikon D4.  Many of the pro DSLR bodies now contain slots for two memory cards.  The D4 is my first camera body to have two slots. I have a 16GB XQD card  along with a 16GB CF card, with the CF card set as my overflow.   Two weeks ago I was shooting Van Halen at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.  I always shoot in RAW so my image file sizes are definitely not small (although not nearly as large as images from the D800).  Anyway, when I got home to offload my files in to Lightroom, I assumed that all my images were contained on just the XQD card.  It never really occurred to me to check my CF card, too.  Let's call it a newbie mistake attributed to not being fully familiar with the new camera body.   Anyway, after transferring the images to my computer, I put the card back in the camera and formated it right away.

Last weekend I showed up at The Joint to shoot The B-52s.  Before the show started, I was double checking all my camera settings and realized that I wasn't at full image capacity.  I KNOW I formatted my XQD card, so I hit the play button to see what was on the camera.  MORE VAN HALEN PICTURES!  And some real gems too!  Possibly one that would have been published instead of another image that was chosen for publication.  I quickly scanned through some 200+ photos I had missed and realized what had happened.  The Van Halen concert was so well lit and filled with so much energy, with out even thinking about it, I had fired off enough images to fill up my primary card and spill over to my overflow.  I had yet to shoot anything that required me to fill up my XQD card, so I really didn't know how many images it could hold before filling up.  766 seems to be the magic number.  Anything beyond that (if shooting only RAW) and there are probably images on the overflow card.

So, aside from not knowing my camera as well as I thought I did, I made one really big bad mistake during the Van Halen shoot.   I got trigger happy.  Between my two cards, I took over 1000 photos.  And that was just during the first 3 songs!!!!  Granted, David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen are two iconic characters, but there's really no reason for 1000 images of them in one shoot.  Not to mention the time spent having to sort through that amount of photos. At any other concert, I generally shoot about 300 images.  Of those 300(ish) pictures, I will narrow it down between 15 to 30 pictures that I want to display on my website.  Even if all 300 pictures are perfect I will still look for those 15-30 outstanding pictures.  So imaging trying to find a handful of Lightroom star worthy photos out of a batch of over 1000.  Needless to say, it's not fun.

So the moral of the story is two-fold.  Don't forget to check you secondary card in your camera if you have one.  Even if you only take a handful of pictures, always make it a point and you'll never make the same mistake I did.  And don't get trigger happy.  The saying that "Digital is cheap" is simply not entirely true.  Sure you don't have to pay for film or the chemicals to develop the photos, but you still have to spend the time to sort through the photos you've taken.  Time is money and if you want to get trigger happy, it'll cost you in terms of time you could have spent doing something else!

I love hearing from my readers.   You can follow me on Twitter or use the "Contact" button to get in touch, so feel free to send me your comments and let me know if you have any suggestions.  Please visit my the concert section of my website to see these and additional photos from all the shows.

No comments:

Post a Comment