Be Careful Out There … How to Avoid Losing All of Your Images! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Be Careful Out There ... How to Avoid Losing All of Your Images!


I found a beautiful feather on my morning walk and spent about an hour photographing it. What fun. Have you ever lost ten days or a month’s worth of images? I have. If you would like to avoid doing that or something similar, keep reading. If you would like to join me at Fort DeSoto next week, click here to learn about the late registration discounts.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Pierre Williot

I would encourage anyone who wants to sell some of their photographic equipment to contact Art. High-end photographic equipment can be difficult to sell. Art, with is widely read daily posts, will allow you to sell your equipment fairly easily for a reasonable price and commission. Please, seriously consider the price that he suggests as it can be hard to face the reality of the actual value of well loved equipment! Art is well aware of the current market for second-hand photographic equipment.

Used Gear Page News

After a month or so in the summer doldrums, sales on the Used Gear page have been red hot for the past month or so:

Anthony Ardito sold a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV body in like-new condition (with extras) for $2,499.00 in early September, 2018.
Anthony Ardito also sold a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in like-new condition (with extras including a 2X III TC) for $8,500.00 in early September, 2018.
Amy Novotny’s Nikon TC-E-20 (teleconverter) sold the first day it was listed in early September for $249.00.
Richard Gollar sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS (the original IS model, the “old five”) in near-mint condition for $3399.00 in early September.
I sold my Canon 100-400 L IS II in very good plus (almost excellent) condition and in perfect working order for $1399.00 in late August.
Anthony Ardito sold a Canon EOS-1DX Mark II body (with extras) in like-new condition (less than 41,000 actuations)for $3,999.00 in late August.
Roger Williams sold a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM lens in like-new condition (but for a single faint scratch on the front element)for the “it’s-your-lucky-day” price of only $899.00 a week after it was listed.
Dane Johnson sold a Canon EOS 40D kit with the body converted to Deep Infrared by Life Pixel in near-mint condition for $549.00 in August, 2918 on the first day it was listed.
Jamie Baker sold his Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III in near-mint condition for $299.00 in late August.
John Lowin sold a (men’s extra large) Xtrahand Magnum vest by Vested Interest for $229.00 within a day or two of listing it in late August, 2018.
Anthony Ardito sold his Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens in like-new condition for BAA record-low by far price of $449.00, his Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for $1,499.00, his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for $1,099.00, his Canon Speedlite (flash) 600EX-RT flash in like-new condition for $399.00, his Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lens (for Canon mount) in near-mint condition for $250.00, and his Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF mount in like new condition for $399.00, all with a day or two of their being listed.
Pierre Williot sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II in mint condition with less than 75,000 actuations (rated to 400,000) for $4,199.00 in late August.
Todd Koudelka sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (“the “old five”) in very good plus condition for the BAA record-low price of $3199.00.
Pierre Williot sold his canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM lens (the original 600 IS) in very good to excellent condition for $3999.00 in mid-August.
Todd Koudelka sold a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in near-mint condition (but for a few tiny, barely visible scratches) for the BAA record-low-by-far of $2249.00 (was $2449.00) in early August.
Ron Gates requested that the listing for his Canon 70-200mm lens be removed and kindly sent me a check for 4% of the original asking price.
Julie Brown sold her Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens (the original version) in excellent condition for $2099 in early August.

You can see all the listings here.

New Listings

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

Robert Sabin is offering a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in new condition (never used) for $9,999.00. The sale includes a Kirk low foot, the original Canon foot, a LensCoat, the rear cap, the heavy duty front lens cover, the lens trunk, and insured ground shipping via major courier.

Please contact Robert via e-mail.

The 600 II has been the state of the art super-telephoto for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many years. When I was using Canon and could get it to my location, it was always my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new one going for $11,499, you can save a cool $1500.00 by grabbing Robert’s never used lens now. artie

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

Ramona Boone is offering a Canon 600mm IS II in like-new condition for $8,699.00 The sale includes the lens trunk, the front lens cover (R 185B), the rear cap, a RRS LCF 53 foot (installed), the original foot, a Real Tree LensCoat, the lens strap, an AquaTech ASCC-6 Soft Cap, and insured ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Ramona via e-mail or by phone at 1-719 231 5874 (Mountain time).

The 600 II has been the state of the art super-telephoto for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many years. When I was using Canon and could get it to my location, it was always my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new one going for $11,499, you can save a cool $2,800.00 by grabbing Ramona’s pristine lens now. artie

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM

If you are a blog regular who is planning on getting your hands on the new Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM please use this link to pre-order from B&H. The faster you order, the faster you will have your new lens in your hands.

The new version tips the scales at only 6.71 pounds, nearly two pounds lighter than the 600 II and even lighter (by slightly more than 1/4 pound) than the 500 II. Best of all for the extremely weight conscious, the tripod collar is removable! In addition, it focus down to 13.78 feet, one foot closer than the 600 II. If I were still using Canon I would be the first one on the pre-order list …

News on the Galapagos Front/Limit 12/Openings: 3

Right now I have nine folks committed to the 2019 Galapagos Photo Cruise. A friend who had committed to the trip learned that he and his wife might not be able to attend. Thus, I have room for a couple or for two same-sex roommates, and for a male single. If the archipelago is on your bucket list, please get in touch via e-mail asap with questions. If you might be registering with a friend or a spouse do ask about the two at a time discount. See the complete details here.


BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


For the past few months, I have been hearing folks use the word Airbnb, most notably, Amy Novotny. Out of curiosity I asked a few questions. What I learned amazed me. Join Airbnb and become part of a community that connects global travelers with local hosts across the world. Find a place to stay and discover things to do. Airbnb lists more than 4.5 million homes across 200 countries; you’ll find spacious, affordable options for every occasion. With Airbnb you will travel with confidence as reviews from past guests help you find the right fit. Once you do, our secure messaging makes it easy to coordinate with your host. And Airbnb support teams are available 24/7. Last night I made a reservation for an Airbnb apartment for my upcoming January San Diego visit: 13 nights with a full kitchen and two bedrooms.

Yikes. I almost forgot the best part: Airbnb rates average less than half of even the least expensive chain hotels and motels. If you would like to save $40 on your first booking sign up by using this link: Airbnb. Airbnb does charge clean-up and service fees that make short stays less attractive bargains than long stays.

Those who prefer to stay in a motel or hotel are invited to use the link below to save $25.00.


Several folks on the UK IPT used the Booking.Com link below for their Edinburgh hotels, got great rates, and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

Via e-mail from Anthony Ardito

FYI, I got a D850 & a 200-500 from Bedfords using your BIRDSASART code at checkout. Plus, Steve Elkins gave me a discount and some nice XQD freebies. I have to thank you for that!

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Be Careful Out There

Remember. Be careful out there. That was the trademark phrase of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (played by Michael Conrad — 1925–1983) that was in the opening of each episode of Hill Street Blues.

Rule #1: You need to back up your images every day. Your images should be saved in at least two different locations before you clean your card.

Rule #2: Your backup or backups should be kept in a different location or locations when traveling. Since I keep all of my new images on my laptop that means that my I should not keep my back-up disk in my laptop bag with my computer.

Oops #1: A participant on the 2018 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT was trying to find an image for a friend and put it on a thumb drive. He wound up formatting the single hard drive that had all of his images from the trip. They had not been saved to another location. He did not follow Rule #1. He spent seven or eight hundred dollars to try to recover the images but only a very small percentage of his photos were rescued.

Oops #2: One of the crack moderators in the Avian Forum at BirdPhotographersNet recently travelled to Spain. When he got back, I got this e-mail from him:

Had a blast with the family and birding. Got about 30 lifers and took some kick-ass photos. Bad news is that the last day there my car was broken into and all my camera gear got stolen. Along with all of my images. The most heartbreaking of which were practically full frame Lammergeier shots: banking and fighting with perfect light and eye contact. A real bummer man. Dream shots and all gone.

I learned later that he was not traveling with a back-up drive; all of the images were on CF cards … He followed neither Rule #1 nor Rule #2.

An Excerpt from All IPT Confirmation Letters

I strongly recommend traveling with a reliable laptop computer and downloading and editing each day. I travel with a reliable Macbook Pro with Retina screen and several Western Digital Passport external hard drives for back-up. If you have a routine that works well for you and protects your images, by all means, use it.

The letter had of course been sent to Mr. Oops #1 …

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

16 comments to Be Careful Out There … How to Avoid Losing All of Your Images!

  • avatar Bharat Varma

    Do try a professional data recovery service. I’ve seen data recovered from a solid state drive on which all kinds of recovery software had been tried to no avail. Many services will charge next to nothing to give you a prognosis as to the likelihood of recovery, so you only end up spending real money for actual results.

  • Been there and done that with images too! It happened in Cayman Brac. A couple of days after you flew home I realized I was missing a whole sequence of images that we captured. I searched all my cards but nothing. Best guess is that I totally forgot to take a card out of the camera to download the images and then reformatted before we went out the next day 🙂

  • avatar David

    Another thought when you don’t have means to back up after an important photo session before you get back home.

    Generally when I am out doing photo work I keep my memory card wallet separate from where my camera is stored in my car (and if I have to put my camera bag somewhere other than on me when on location). I usually keep it in a waist pouch with my camera batteries and cleaning clothes and always take that with me when I exit my car and leave my camera bag behind with camera and lens(es) etc. At the end of an important shoot I will even put a blank memory card into the camera for any that have images on them. Luckily since 2001 never had a memory card stolen before I got home and was able to move the images to my workflow. Also luckily never had anyone try to steel my waist pouch or memory card wallet from me………

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David and thanks. I am confused about this: At the end of an important shoot I will even put a blank memory card into the camera for any that have images on them. IAC, I am glad that your system works for you.

      with love, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie, and thanks for this. I never format my cards when they get full. I mark approximately what’s on them and the date and keep them as image backups. Cards are cheap. And I back up my images onto a hard drive, and you have reminded me that I’m not up to date, for which thank you. My first back-up hard drive failed so I got two more higher-quality ones and backed things up again. But I know what I’m doing isn’t fool-proof. Thanks again for the heads-up. Have you ever lost valuable images? I’m still unhappy about a roll of Kodachrome that never came back from the lab about 35 years ago.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I am glad that your system works for you. Even though I do not shoot a lot compared to most folks, your method would find me in the poor house. Cards are a lot more expensive per/mb than hard drives 🙂

      I lost a months worth of excellent Florida images and all of the images from a great ten-day trip to TX. On the latter I have full frame vertical Black-throated Green Warbler, a killer first spring male Painted Bunting, several other warbler species including my only Mourning Warbler, lots of very good Franklin’s Gull images, baby gators sitting on mom’s nose, and lots more.

      I lost all of the original when I deleted the files from the external back-up drives and from my laptop thinking that they had been copied to the office Drobos … Nothing can protect us from operator error 🙂

      with love, artie

  • avatar Steve Wampler

    Wouldn’t help with the stolen before getting home issue, but I use Back Blaze to backup to the cloud. They give unlimited storage for a reasonable price, I think it’s like $5/mo. I’m up to 3.4 TB backed up there.

  • avatar Edward Dow

    As someone who worked in disk drives most of my career, I’ll offer this advice: the only advantage of disk drives is cost (per byte). The solid state drive will be more reliable, rugged, smaller, lighter and use less battery power. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need to back them up–they have their own failure modes.

    I recently bought a 1TB SSD and the premium over a ruggedized disk drive was 2x. That was a no brainer for me. You may differ.

    As for the format issue, there are different levels of format. If a low level format is done the data is wiped.

  • avatar Ralph Fletcher


    Thanks for the warning. What do you think about solid state external drives? They are more expensive, but some photographers swear by them. Thoughts?

    Ralph Fletcher

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Though I do not use them I should 🙂 I have had an external drive or two go bad. That’s why redundancy is important.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Jake Levin

    If I’m putting my equipment in the cargo hold for a flight, I like to take the memory cards out of the camera and keep them in my wallet. If the worst happens and someone makes off with my stuff, at least I still have the pictures. Such a pain in the tuchus when some scummy person decides to hep themself to your camera gear!

  • avatar Richie

    Good advice Artie
    Personally I back up to a second internal drive on my MacPro and then also to an external drive kept off site. THe same strategy applies on a trip or holiday.

    Regarding Mr Oops, there is no reason why images from a formatted drive should not be readily recovered. There’s a load of software (ImageRescue, Data Rescue and others) out there which will do the job.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Richie,

      That is usually the case but my co-leader Peter Kes who is a computer wiz ran recovery software predicted that it would be impossible to recover the images. It had something to do with the way the drive was formatted … So there was a very good reason why they could not be recovered.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Patty Corapi

    I have used SanDisk Rescue Pro software to rescue cards that have been formatted before downloaded and been able to retrieve all the images. Something to give a try. They used to give the software for free when you bought the higher end cards. Now they give you a one year subscription. I have a stack of subscription cards in case of emergency. 🙂