Lost SanDisk 16GB CF Card

I know that the chances of recovering a lost or stolen memory card are close to zero, but I still want to try it. As I have pointed out in my post earlier this week, I lost a 16GB Compact Flash card in Yosemite National Park. The bad news for me, is that I had the best pictures from the trip on that card. Since I did not backup the contents of the card on a daily basis (rookie mistake #1), I do not have a copy of the photographs. The card contained the full first week of the trip, along with some images from the second week. Why do I have the best images on that card? Because I periodically deleted some blurry/out of focus wildlife images from the first card on my D3s to empty some space (rookie mistake #2) and most next day sunrise images went on that card instead of the second one. In addition, the 16GB CF card I was using was brand new and I forgot to put my name and my contact information on the back of it (rookie mistake #3). When both CF cards on my camera got full, I inserted a new 16GB card into my camera and because I was busy shooting a waterfall in Yosemite, I temporarily put the CF card into my pocket instead of putting it away into my camera bag (rookie mistake #4). The card somehow fell out of my pocket the same day somewhere in Yosemite.

SanDisk Extreme Pro 16 GB

My only hope is that whoever finds the card reports it to the “Lost and Found” office, or if a photographer finds it, he/she will look through the EXIF information on Nikon RAW files, which contains my copyright information, along with my website address.

So why didn’t I back up my cards on a daily basis like I typically do? Because due to space constraints I did not take my laptop with me and took my 3G iPad instead. Now I am thinking about getting something like this for future travel needs.

Either way, losing the card was my fault and I do not know why I made so many rookie errors. I have once lost images due to a hard drive failure – now I backup my backups and my data resides on mirrored drives, plus I have offline storage. But I never lost a memory card before. Going forward, I will be backing up my images from memory cards as well, the same day I take pictures.


If you found my card and return it back to me with my images, I will send you a $500 check or gift certificate from any store you want, along with a large 20×30 framed print of one of the images from the card (there are many great images of Yellowstone and Glacier on it).


  1. 1) James Marin
    July 27, 2011 at 10:53 am

    sure hope somebody finds it soon and its not damaged thank goodness although your name and address is not written on the card a photographer would most likely view images and the exif metadata anybody else hopefully would look into it when they would view your professional images not just anybody took them!! :) Take care my friend.

  2. July 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    It seems unlikely that you will recover but I posted to twitter, FB and Google+ to help. This situation reminds me a little of the opening of a Clay Shirky book and the success a guy has using social media to recover a possession.

    Good luck


  3. 3) tripps
    July 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    i hope you find it soon! have you ever checked out sites like ifoundyourcamera.net? maybe worth contacting the owner to see if they can make a post for you.

  4. 4) Ker
    July 28, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I hope that another photographer finds your card and doesn’t accept any reward or compensation. Just the thought of losing my own card is enough for me to just hand it over to you with relief.

  5. 5) David
    July 28, 2011 at 7:26 am

    OMG… So sorry to hear that you lost the card… Fingers crossed that someone finds it and returns it…


  6. 6) MichaelG
    July 28, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Sorry to hear of the loss. I hope you do get it back. Instead of a $500 storage device, I use this for my iPad 3G. Works great. It allows me to use the iPad for storage just like the laptop.


  7. 7) Vasan
    July 29, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Sorry about the loss… Best for luck for getting it back…

  8. 8) Sunny
    August 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear that….now it makes me nervous about not backing up my work regularly…

    Hope you find your card soon..Good luck.

  9. 9) Nikhil
    September 12, 2011 at 10:54 am

    When I read this, I also felt sad but was not able to get the depth of ur emotion…… but now I can understand it very well…. because I lost my best best photographs taken during my friends’ reunion which happened after a year and half. I still cant believe that those unique moments ARE LOST FOR EVER……

  10. 10) Isaac
    January 18, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Nasim, I am heart broken to hear about your loosing your cf card! I am sure the Photos you created were stunning! I was wondering if you have a description of your trip? Where exactly did you go? Perhaps draw a little “treasure map” So other photographers can scan the area when we take our spring/summer vacations? Give us the places you stopped. I am sure the card is a lost cause. Yosemite Is a huge place!

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