•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Misty Morning, October 8, 2008


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: The backup genie and I have been talking lately. It all started when communication with the Dark Continent went dead. The Dark Continent is a 1 terabyte firewire drive that has been managing my 25 gigabyte/week photo habit. The drive was just five months old. When I bought it in October the backup genie said, "Sure. A better backup medium is just around the corner. Let's wait to act" The backup genie promptly hibernated.

The problem with the Dark Continent began when it spun up but failed to boot. A few moments later came the death rattle and my stomach rolled. Months worth of images flashed before my eyes. The backup genie was lying beneath the desk snoring thunderously. I shook him to attention, "Where are my files?"

He squinted from his left eye, "What files?" He and I have been talking a great deal since last week when the Dark Continent died.

It's clear that the backup genie was exhausted by the October's push to get multiple dozens of files crammed onto tiny DVDs, so we've been talking about how to make my gigabyte habit manageable. As to The Dark Continent, it's still under warranty, and the hard drive dealer routinely tries to retrieve data and load it onto the replacement drive, but I am convinced Dark Continent was beyond moribund before I received the RMA.

I suppose all this has come with a feeling akin to mourning, but the loss is just photographs, and most of them weren't very good. All "finished" work resides safely elsewhere. However, lost were images still in RAW form that I was eager to work on; five months of work gone and only the thumbnails in my catalog to remind me what I had. Gone are two more ice textures, planned to follow those just posted and two glittery, ice sunsets that I was especially proud of. Surviving are a handful of images that had at some time been emailed somewhere. These exist only in reduced resolution jpg form.

The photo above is one such image. It was the prize of many taken at this old farm last October. I was aiming to see what it was like in all four seasons. Unfortunately, there is probably not enough resolution left for a large printed version. A few more postings and I hope to be out of mourning. The loss, however, is only of photos, and most of them weren't very good.