Recover deleted images ......

It was an extremely rainy day in Chicago May 31, 2010...... then there was light !!!! Lighting, to be exact, there was so much lighting here in downtown during the day that I just had to capture it on my Canon DSLR. I had my tripod in place, I aimed the camera toward the tallest building in USA, which happens to be the old Sears Tower in Chicago in hopes of that perfect shot. And for 45 minutes straight, I shot 1437 exposures of 2 seconds for each shot of the same building, with the continuous cable lock. Then finally, a MAGNIFICENT Lighting bolt charged though the sky and struck .... the building next to the Sears tower. The image is quite clear, the bolt is stunning, the composition is perfect. So, i searched for the image though the 1437 images and located the perfect image, #1257. "The Lighting bolt that missed the Sears tower". I proceeded to Protect the image in the menu screen, so I thought, and proceeded to erase the remaining 1436 images on my 32G CF disk. Low and behold, all images on the disk were erased, successfully ! Even the protected " Lighting bolt " image! All I could say was, #$%@#!!!!

Steps I took to recover the deleted image from my CF card:

1. I took a deep breath. I tried not to break my fingers for deleting all images. I stopped taking more pictures with that particular CF card, with the chance of overwriting my beloved images I was trying to save.

2. You Tubed "recover deleted files" .... and reviewed and downloaded , "Recuva" program from trusted site. This program is free.

3. The Recuva program is very user friendly, keep in mind, you need to remove the CF card from the camera, and use a card reader. The reason is that the camera has already deleted the image and remembers that it has deleted the image. The card reader acts as an external drive when it is housing your CF card.

4. Time differs greatly when recovering files from a CF card. I was using a 32G CF card and it took over one hour to recover all 1437 RAW images.

5. Happy Days, the image is now recovered !!!!!!

© Gregsi

Hope this helps other DT members if they come across this horrific situation.

Photo credits: G. K., Ragsac19.

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Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments ....


by the way, your work is clean, precise, and really very good.


Wonderful lightening shot, and the buildings make it extra-cool. Recently, I stood out in the rain for a couple of hours on a stormy night to capture that elusive electric blue bolt...I got very wet and walked away with only one shot...and not a good one. I lack patience, and I think my attention span is pretty short, too...I was trying to follow the lightening, instead of letting the lightening come to me. Thanks for your detailed account; now when I try lightening again, I'll remember your fantastic image and force myself to stand still and wait!


The Lightning Bolt image is now linked to the " Chicago Landmarks" Collection that is under my icon on the right side of this page. Yay !!!!


I sought the picture! It looks great! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!


hello all, just to update the folks interested in seeing the " Lightning Bolt " image, the image was approved minutes ago. I will be writing a follow up blog later with the image attached later this afternoon. :p


Thank for sharing this useful information!


Give us the photo! :) I really miss Sears tower :( But my favorite was Hancock building :)
Good job!


Great you were able to recover the file.... And thanks for your suggestion on what to do if this happens to us. I always transfer everything first to my computer and then delete the images at the card.


I can't wait to see the photo. Make sure you write a blog and share it. I use Carbonite which is not too expensive. It backs up all my files automatically.


These recovery programs have helped me many times too. It's great to have it around.


Great!!!! I will download Recuva program from, though I agreed to cristalloid, I also don't delete anything from CF until unless I download it on my external HD.


Be happy! My preferences are: Checking the photos at the camera's LCD and make a single delete for each photo which is not good. After copying the remaining photos to my computer I do format the CF card.

Cristalloid: Of course, a second backup is better. I will follow your advice in the future.


My strategy is another: I don't delete anything until it is stored physically in another, a second place, place. Because of that I have two copies, and therefore I am able to recover anything from the second copy if I have deleted something wrongly.

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