Archive for September, 2010

Disaster averted!

26 September, 2010

Even someone as meticulously careful as me does it sometimes – I accidentally formatted a memory card that had photos that I had just taken! Thank goodness for file recovery software – I’ve tried several other programs before with mixed success (the ones I’d tried so far have difficulty recovering RAW files) but I just tried EASUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional and it worked faultlessly. Just one file was corrupt after recovery – amazing. I was lucky and got a copy of this software on a covermount disk but I see that it’s quite expensive. On the other hand, if you’ve just done what I did then I recommend this program, albeit on the basis of my first real test. Having said that, my usual software (SanDisk RescuePRO) could not extract the RAW files from the CF card – so it would have been worth it in this case. No photos this time because I’m still working on them!

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Please choose your favourite image

12 September, 2010

*Update*
Image chosen! The frog got the most votes across all the places I canvassed opinion. It was a very last minute decision though because right until the end I was convinced the red ruin was the right one – but in the end it only got 9% of the votes so, although it has plenty of impact, I went for the most popular image across a range of audiences – just hope I’ve done the right thing converting it to B&W! Many thanks for all your comments.

I need your opinion! I’m trying to decide which photo to submit for an exhibition and the only guidance is that it will be in a grid with 99 other artworks, all will be 12″ x 12″ so it needs to be a strong image. Please leave a comment, either here or over at Austin Taylor Photography’s Facebook page. Many thanks!

This one got the most votes. It was a very last minute decision though because until about 2 hours ago I was convinced the red ruin was the right one – but it only got 9% of the votes so, although it has plenty of impact, I went for the most popular image across a range of audiences in the end – just hope I’ve done the right thing converting it to B&W! Many thanks for all your comments.

Entangled Humpback Whale, Lunning, Shetland

10 September, 2010

*Update* 10 September 14:30
Apparently there’s no sign of the humpback whale today despite a search all morning. It’s thought the whale has either drowned or broken free and swum off – please let it be the latter. News from BBC News: “Shetland humpback whale rescue search called off” – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-11256881

Thursday 9 September dawned miserable, with driving rain and strong wind – and it just got worse. Quite a change from the mini heaatwave Shetland had been enjoying for about a week until the day before yesterday. Anyway, news came through that a humpback whale was entangled in lobster lines (creel lines) off Lunning on the east coast of Shetland. I was busy with my Lightroom catalog, updating some of the many photos I’d taken over the summer – an ideal job on such a dismal day. I half-decided not to act upon the news, in view of (1) the weather and (2) I wasn’t sure I really wanted to see the sad sight of an entangled whale. I carried on cataloguing.

Another update came, and then another. I could resist no longer and got my wet weather gear and camera equipment together, stuffed down some food as fast as humanly possible and off I went to find Lunning. When I got there the weather was even worse than in town but at least the wind was behind me as I walked up the hill. I met a gaggle of would-be observers who informed me the whale had left 5 minutes ago. Unconvinced and, knowing humpbacks can stay underwater for a very long time, I viewed the area it had last been seen. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, a blow and then another. But then it appeared to swim off towards the east but probably just dived again.

It was a fair way off from my then viewing point so I headed out on the headland and kept moving closer to where I thought it had headed. After a good 15 minutes I thought I might not see it again but then, back over where I had first seen it, it surfaced again and seemed to be circling. Closer views revealed it wasn’t especially large and others more knowledgeable than I said it was probably a juvenile. At this distance it was obvious just how close inshore the animal was – perhaps 150-200m from the shore – and that it was completely shackled and able to swim only a very short distance, mostly round in a circle about the pink bouy in one of the attached photos.

This whale has already attracted international attention and experts from the US have been contacted by various bodies from Shetland – entanglement like this is, apparently unusual in UK waters but much more frequent off the US coast. News sources suggest various individuals and groups may be hoping to try to release the whale, perhaps as early as today, 10 September. I and many others sincerely hope so.