Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Found a Camera!



Here's the story...

This past summer, while hiking at The Basin in New Hampshire's Franconia Notch State Park, I spotted a shiny object at the bottom of the rapidly-flowing river, near the footbridge going to the Basin.  With some help, I was able to reach out far enough to retrieve it.  It was a Sony digital camera,
completely rusted out and totally destroyed, from months of sitting in the cold river.

Being the geek that I am, I decided to take it home.  I thought that, since memory cards are solid state (no moving parts), there might be a very slight chance that the photos could be somehow recovered, even though the camera had been submerged for months.  Plus, I thought, if I lost my camera and another geek found it, I would want them to at least try, right?

When I got home later that week, I took it out to my workshop and, using a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers, I carefully took the camera apart, trying to pull out the memory chip.  Since the camera was so corroded, I needed to literally remove the chip from the inside guts of the camera, being careful not to damage it.

The contacts on the chip itself were very corroded too, so I cleaned them up with some fine steel wool and contact cleaner.

Next, since I did not have any way to read a Sony MemoryStick, I took the chip down to my local photo center, to see if their card reader could find anything at all on the chip.
I was amazed to find 244 photos and 25 movie clips on the card! 

The next day, I borrowed a card reader, plugged it into my Mac, and successfully copied all 269 files off of the memory chip.

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG IS TO LOCATE THE CAMERA'S ORIGINAL OWNER IN HOPES OF RETURNING THEIR DIGITAL PICTURES TO THEM.

Below are a few of the 244 photos recovered from the memory chip.  In looking through all the photos, I believe these photos will be the most helpful in locating the camera's owner.

In order to prove the you are the owner of the camera, please email me (basinfoundcamera@gmail.com) the answers to the following questions.  These questions are directly related to the other photos on the camera (not seen here) and should be very easy to answer, if you are the rightful owner:

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1. Name of the newborn baby and their date of birth?  (There were a few baby pictures on the memory chip and they were named with the baby's name.  I can guess when he/she was born based upon the date the photo was taken.)

2. Describe for me the school classroom.  (This should be very easy if you took the photos.)

3. Who's birthday cake was it?  (The name on the birthday cake in the photo and in the movie of the birthday cake.  Hint: February)

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IMPORTANT:  I will not be answering any questions sent to this email address, or using it for any other reason but to reunite these photos with their rightful owner.

Again, the sole purpose of this blog is to locate the camera's owner and return their photos to them.  I do not want anything whatsoever in return other than the satisfaction of reuniting someone with their family photos.

Thanks.
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UPDATE (2/1/2009): To keep this article at the top of this page, I will be adding comments to it, instead of creating new blog entries. Please check this article's comment section for the latest updates. Thanks!

47 comments:

  1. could also try posting to
    http://www.ifoundyourcamera.blogspot.com/

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  2. Thanks, great idea! I was not aware of that site, but I will see if I can link to here from there Thanks for the suggestion!

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  3. Good on you for doing this!

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  4. where are the pictures?

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  5. I hope someone sees this page... I just saw it on Channel 9 News, so you should be getting some hits on this now!

    I noticed in the picture with the girl holding the baby that the mother's hospital wrist ID bracelet is visible. I could make out the number "04709" which could be the hospital ID or patient ID. The girls sweatshirt is a "Maine" sweatshirt. If you have any other pictures that show that bracelet, it should have the name of the mother on it, or you may be able to see the name of the hospital and go from there.

    Also, if there are any pics with people posing in front of thier car, you may be able to grab the plate number and ask for police assistance to locate the owner of the car (which should lead you to the owner or a friend).

    Good luck! It's a nice gesture...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Did you check to see if the camera had an etched serial number on it that's legible? You could contact Sony to see if it was registered under warranty and possibly get the owners name. Unless they acquired it used.

    Everyone should post a link to this and get it viral!

    ReplyDelete
  7. *****UPDATE - FEBRUARY 1, 2009*****

    Hi everyone!

    First, I want to say THANKS for the outpouring of ideas and encouragement posted here and also received via email. Thank you, also, for helping to spread the word via other blogs, Twitter, etc. As one person posted on Twitter, it's "one nerd's attempt at establishing humanity on the Internet". So, thanks everyone, for helping to reunite the camera's owner with their family photos.

    Although the camera's owner has not been found yet, I am optimistic that we are getting closer. I have received a lot of great suggestions via email and am pursuing each of them.

    Here are a few updates, in no real order...

    - I have sent an email to the "ifoundyourcamera" site, with hopes that they will also post some of the images there for me.

    - The camera's serial number was not legible, from sitting in the flowing water for so many months.

    - The photos also did not have any EXIF identification data, unfortunately.

    - Once the camera's owner has been found (hopefully soon!) and the family photos and movies have been returned to them, I will definitely be posting an announcement here on this site. I will probably keep the blog up for a month or two, after which time the site and the email account will be permanently closed.

    One more thing... As I have mentioned here and on WMUR-TV, my only goal in doing this is to reunite the family with their special photos. I do not want (or need) anything else in return, including personal recognition. I am very happy to be able to use my geek talents to help another person. :-)

    Thanks again, everyone!

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  8. I know the girl in the photo... i sent here a message with a link to this post so she can get in touch with you.

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  9. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU FOUND MY CAMERA ! YES I AM THE OWNER OF THE PICTURES TAKEN. I WILL EMAIL YOU WITH ALL PERTINENT INFO YOU REQUIRE AND THEN SOME , THIS IS JUST UNBELIEVEABLE I WAS ON A TRIP WITH MY DAUGHTER AT THE END OF MAY OF 2008. WHILE PHOTOGRAPHING THE BEAUTIFUL BASIN I SLIPPED AND THE CAMERA WENT INTO THE DEEP POOL! I AM NOW GOIND TO MY E-MAIL TO GIVE YOU THE ANSWERS THANK YOU SO MUCH

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  10. Fantastic! Great to see the photos reunited w/ their owner. Happy day, indeed!

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