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  • Writer's pictureDave Pidgeon

Nautical rope in Huron

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

A few years ago, I made a startling discovery that rocked my world.

An external hard drive just simply died. It sputtered, coughed, like a car engine that just had enough of being driven.

It took with it years upon years of my early work.

Gone were the first five years of images I'd made after I started traveling with a DSLR, when I morphed from hobbyist to serious hobbyist to aspiring professional.

The lesson there, of course, is obvious - back up your images - because more than just images were lost.

My story, my documented journey as a photographer, was gone too.

Through various other hard drives or other websites, I've recovered a few images here and there from that extraordinary, hopeful time. That time when I struggled, tried again, improved.

That time I never gave up on the idea of elevating as a photographer.

Up close image of nautical rope.
Fibers of nautical rope at Nickel Plate Beach in Ohio.

The details of this nautical rope are from that time. I traveled for work to northern Ohio, and one late Spring evening, I ventured to the shore of Lake Erie in Huron.

Nothing jumped out at me as being all that photogenic at Nickel Plate Beach.

But I remember spying this nautical rope wrapped around some boards. I put my 100mm lens on my Canon Rebel T3 camera, put the T3 on a tripod, and gave my best effort at doing a detail shot.

Back up your work, my friends. Back it up twice, once on an external hard drive and again online.

Preserve that work because it will tell you so much, like how far you've come.

How despite whatever self-criticism you may harbor, it might surprise you to find out that your photographic instincts might've been better than you remember.

Dave Pidgeon is a seasoned writer and photographer from Lancaster, Pa. You can reach him at

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