Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Rotting Husks

The Rotting Husks

Apologies for not posting much in the last week -- I've been super busy with the end of the year at work, finishing up travel plans for Christmas (Austin, Alabama, and New Orleans), and the tortures of holiday shopping.

Today's image is actually one I took in my home town two Christmases ago. My father and I were out for a drive around the coast, and it was completely socked-in foggy. The town's primary industry is seafood, so there are always boats around in various harbors -- but there are also numerous shipyards, where some very large boats are kept out of the water for extensive repair work. These two hulks had seen better days, but were lit in a crazy specular-but-not-quite way by flood lamps, scattered around by the fog. They're also arranged so that the ships are complimentary to each other -- where one ship almost echoes the other. The result is one of my favorite images from my first year of using a dSLR, and I've considered getting it printed.

In keeping with the general theme of decay, I realized when I was looking up the RAW file for this image in my archives, it simply wasn't there. I'm generally religious about backups: Files go onto laptop -> desktop -> backup drive on desktop -> weekly to NAS, then monthly to usb hard drive. I try to keep three instances of every image I like (though sometimes the third is just a jpeg on Flickr). Problem here: I had a very dark period in my life in late 2008 when I managed to lost three laptop drives in as many months. Two of the drive failures were in the same month, and while I was traveling -- resulting in about a week of lost-forever RAWs. It was this set of failures that prompted me to move from spinning disks over to SSD drives, and I never looked back (SSD drives can fail, of course -- I just think I was losing more drives than expected because of general traveling abuse and the combined clumsy factor of the TSA + me).

A fair amount of anguish here, because knowing what I do now about processing images, I can already see things I would do differently that I probably could not do with a jpeg. Bits can be rotting too, I guess. :\


  1. Oh god, Brandon, I feel your pain...
    That is one heck of a shot! What circumstances to have the lights and fog all working together... That's a keeper 'fer sure...