In the days of film, Orlando Sentinel photographers would store their film in coolers in the trunks of their cars to protect it from the blistering Florida summer heat. And air travel was complicated as we asked for hand checks on the film so it couldn’t be damaged by the x-ray machines.
Today, delicate film is nearly gone and our images are recorded digitally on disks that are apparently nearly indestructible based on the story of a long-lost, waterlogged camera.
Photographer and diver Markus Thompson was diving off of a wharf in Deep Bay, British Colombia near Vancouver when he found a corroded and battered camera. The Canon EOS 1000D obviously was never going to make photos again.
But Thompson did pull out the camera’s SD memory card, cleaned it up and put it into a card reader. And it worked. There were about 50 photos from a family vacation from a year earlier.
It is not unusual for a memory card to survive a run through the laundry or a drop into a puddle, but this was certainly an extreme example of saving photos. Thompson used his Google+ account to spread the word about the photos and the family was quickly found. Their photos are back with them and Canon Canada has offered to replace their “severely weathered” camera free of charge. And even though there was no failure of the SD card, SanDisk is offering up some free cards to their newest favorite customers.
See more details on the search for the camera's owenrs and more photos of the damaged Canon on Thompson's Google+ blog.