While photographing the Chihuly exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, I came across a memory card laying on the walkway.
Someone lost memories!
I checked the card immediately to see if there were recent images that I could use to identify the owner. He or she might still be in the garden. But the latest images were a year old.
The next day I scoured the images looking for clues, feeling a bit unconformable in the process. There were four years of images here. What a loss!
I found several pictures of a boat, and was able to find the ship’s registry, but no current owner. I found other clues here and there as to the possible home city of the owner. I found a selfie, so definitely a picture of the owner, but still no contact info for her.
A kid kept showing up in pictures, so definitely a close relative of the memory card owner. A grandson maybe.
There were images of the kid in a boy scout troop. A troop badge number helped confirm the city. This could lead to a contact.
Finally, a school field trip with a teacher wearing a T-shirt with school logo and a readable identification work badge!
A Google search got me an email address and I sent a few key images of the kid, the owner’s selfie, and the image of the teacher to the address. I got a quick response from the teacher that she would look into it. The images were over a year old so I didn’t expect she would immediately remember the kid in the pictures.
This morning, i received an email from the camera card owner’s daughter. 🙂
I’m glad I was able to find the clues, even though I felt a bit crummy looking at someone else’s private photos like this. Zooming in looking at car license plates, house photos, things on desks and tables all in the hopes of finding something to id the owner, relative, or even just a friend.
And I’m reminded of a very easy way to help someone return a lost memory card: take a photo of your contact information and keep it on the card.
Most cameras allow you to also protect the image so it’s not erased when you delete all images to reuse the card. As long as you don’t reformat or erase from your computer, your contact info will remain on the card. Possibly to reunite you with a lost memory card very easily.
I had read this tip some time ago, but it wasn’t until finding this card and me going through the process of trying to id the owner that it really sunk in.
In all my years of photography, I haven’t done this. It’s happening today.