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Peter Govaars finds a washed-up camera on a Californian Beach
June 21, 2011 3:38 AM   Subscribe

A camera can survive in the sea, apparently. A man finds camera on the beach, rescues the SD card and puts all of them on flickr in an effort to find the original owner.
posted by bobbyone (48 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
No, an SD card can survive in the sea. They're pretty well sealed, really.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:42 AM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow! Hope these shots are discovered on Flickr and seen by the people who took them. My mind wanders into negative scenarios, of course, that is, that all these folks are now dead in some sea accident or some other bleak possibility...

But I hope not!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:43 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the plus side, there's car license plate numbers so if someone wanted to plunk a little money down they could bring up a name and address pretty easily.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:45 AM on June 21, 2011


Kudos to this guy for making the effort.

Amazing proof of the toughness of memory cards.
posted by bwg at 3:46 AM on June 21, 2011


In case you were wondering what the original camera looked like:
Kodak / EasyShare C433 Zoom
posted by dunkadunc at 3:49 AM on June 21, 2011


It's sad that my first reaction was to seek out the cryptic and troubling background detail that was doubtless seeding the viral campaign for J J Abrams' latest project. The web has conditioned me to respond to interesting things with disbelief and the assumption of an underlying commercial angle.
posted by itstheclamsname at 3:52 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


At the risk of being obvious, this reminds me of Flotsam, by David Wiesner.
posted by DU at 4:07 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


A nice story, but the owners may really not like their photos shared with the world.
posted by greenhornet at 4:12 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


The web has conditioned me to respond to interesting things with disbelief and the assumption of an underlying commercial angle.

Good point, you can buy my book about that at amazon.
posted by orthogonality at 4:18 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The web has conditioned me to respond to interesting things with disbelief and the assumption of an underlying commercial angle.

This is exactly why we shouldn't be posting virals here.
posted by DU at 4:24 AM on June 21, 2011


Is anyone else pleased that this is right above a post about "immersive photos"?
posted by texorama at 4:40 AM on June 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


At the risk of being obvious, this reminds me of Flotsam, by David Wiesner.

I had the same thought and was about to go searching for the FPP where I must have seen it but when I saw your comment I realized my daughter has that book. Clearly I need to do better differentiating my real and online lives.

Fascinating post, though. I have wondered how hard it would be to recover photos from a memory card after some sort of catastrophe; it's good to know they are pretty durable. I hope the original owners are found.
posted by TedW at 4:50 AM on June 21, 2011


It would be fun to post a bunch of photos of a "crime" being committed.

"I found these photos and would like to return them to the rightful owner! Perhaps it is the man with the gun, or is it this woman here with the bloody knife? Get in touch, thanks!"
posted by orme at 4:53 AM on June 21, 2011


Wow I never realized that the actual memory part of the card was so small and the rest of the case was just empty.
posted by lilkeith07 at 4:59 AM on June 21, 2011


lilkeith07:Wow I never realized that the actual memory part of the card was so small and the rest of the case was just empty.
That astonished me as well. But if you search the web for "inside SD card" you see a pretty different picture. I don't know what that means.
posted by Western Infidels at 5:24 AM on June 21, 2011


The last photo taken clearly shows "something" moving in the water. Let's not start any crazy speculation on what it might be but instead spend the rest of the thread discussing the very real possibility that Black Death Squids do actually exist.
posted by panboi at 5:39 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a certain sadness to lost photos. Somehow I feel bad not for the people in the pictures, but the pictures themselves. Strange thing, empathy is.
posted by slogger at 5:40 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


lilkeith: That's probably the tiny (in terms of capacity) & therefore cheap SD card that came with the camera when it was purchased. SD card capacity pretty much scales with area, so for a given process technology larger capacity cards will have larger chips inside them.
posted by pharm at 5:52 AM on June 21, 2011


Do you think a combination of Facebook's automatic photo-tag-suggestions using facial recognition and the concept of six degrees of separation provide a (relatively) easy solution?

Just convince a hundred reasonably random strangers from the surrounding area to upload the photos to Facebook and chances are at least one person will be their friend or a friend of a friend, and Facebook will do the rest...

I for one welcome our new face-sucking overlords!
posted by asymptotic at 5:59 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


pharm, lilkeith, this photo makes it clear it is a 256 MB card. I'm also one to believe that the camera's clock may not have been set, as those internals look a little small for a SD card of that size from 2007. Also, do you really believe that the camera would look that good after four years at sea? I have tech that looks worse after four years in a drawer.
posted by Xoder at 6:13 AM on June 21, 2011


The people in the photos were eaten by whatever is swimming in this picture.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:33 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um Xoder, I seriously doubt that after 4 years in a drawer your camera is going to lose the lens, the battery and everything else. All the guy found was a the plastic frame with the corroded remains of the SD card socket still attached.

The circuit board would be sealed: only the contacts would be exposed & he's obviously cleaned those up. I'm not seeing anything implausible about this from the tech point of view.
posted by pharm at 6:41 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cute dog.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:46 AM on June 21, 2011


A nice story, but the owners may really not like their photos shared with the world.

I think under these conditions, they may feel like making an exception.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 AM on June 21, 2011


One of them is the Burger King, so that should narrow it down.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:15 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


In some of the pictures it looks like they were visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:25 AM on June 21, 2011


I'd be thrilled if someone found my lost photos from 4 years ago and the first comment about me, for the entire world to read, was "What a ugly eyebrow!"
Heartwarming.
posted by chococat at 7:37 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Somewhere up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Thoreau Falls to be exact, deep inside a pool under a rushing torrent, there is a (film) camera containing some crazy pictures of me and a fellow hiking companion. It's been there for about 18 years now. I would kill to have those pictures discovered, if anyone would care to go find them, develop them, and post them.

Added incentive: The camera is in a bag with about a half ounce of really excellent weed.

That was a trip that got really boring really fast. Always attach your accessory bags tightly, kids, especially when crossing streams.
posted by bondcliff at 7:45 AM on June 21, 2011


Found: Lost Pictures of New York Blizzard.

Also, while looking for that, I found a site that attempts to return lost cameras, The Disposable Memory Project.
posted by hellbient at 7:57 AM on June 21, 2011


I live in Monterey and found a camera on the beach there two years ago. It wasn't nearly as dessicated as the one in the story above.

My partner and I brought it home. He dried it out. The camera didn't work. He plugged the SD card into his laptop.

"Well, I think we're going to find out who this belongs to pretty quickly," he said.

I looked over his shoulder. The photos were of a good friend of ours getting ready for her wedding. She'd gotten married a little further down the beach about a month prior. Turns out the camera belonged to a friend of hers who'd fallen into the ocean during the wedding and lost the camera.

P.S. Monterey Bay Aquarium is not in those photos - the photos were taken at the other end of the bay. Santa Cruz is cool, although Monterey is way cooler. ;-)
posted by rednikki at 8:04 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


We have the sea has cameras.
posted by panboi at 8:07 AM on June 21, 2011


This is exactly why we shouldn't be posting virals here.

That's assuming people can reliably identify a viral from reality in the first place. Part of the definition of a viral is something that's likely to be mistaken as real and spread by well-meaning third parties.
posted by odinsdream at 8:13 AM on June 21, 2011


That astonished me as well. But if you search the web for "inside SD card" you see a pretty different picture. I don't know what that means.

It means they're not all the same inside? Cards will smaller memory capacity would probably have smaller circuit boards.
posted by delmoi at 8:30 AM on June 21, 2011


How likely is it that the owner will contact the finder? I mean, the camera's totaled, all the data's online, and there's just 17 pictures -- none of which look particularly precious.

Besides a polite thank you and a "Hey, neat!" I don't think there'd be much point.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:11 AM on June 21, 2011


Don't want to repost the address here, but they ID'd the license plate as belonging to someone in Brownsville, Texas (in South Texas).
posted by seventyfour at 9:15 AM on June 21, 2011


Someone has already posted an address for the registered owner of one of the plates.
posted by dhartung at 9:15 AM on June 21, 2011


The people in the photos were eaten by whatever is swimming in this picture.

A sea lion?
posted by dibblda at 9:25 AM on June 21, 2011


A loose seal?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:25 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


We found a camera in our front yard and it was full of pictures taken by drunk teenagers in sexual acts. My parents were amused
posted by wheelieman at 9:33 AM on June 21, 2011




A loose seal?

You picked a fine time to leave me.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Santa Cruz is cool, although Monterey is way cooler. ;-)

Well, you're welcome to have an opinion I guess.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:25 AM on June 21, 2011


The people in the photos were eaten by whatever is swimming in this picture.

A sea lion?


On the off chance that this is viral marketing of the Arrested Development movie, has anyone checked the images of the Latin family with the shots of Lupe's family in Santa Ana, from when Buster lives with them briefly in "¬°Amigos!"?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:51 AM on June 21, 2011


Whitepages gave a name and phone number for for a resident of the address from dhartung's post but they blog now says that the # is disconnected so don't bother contacting the Flickr poster with that.
posted by longsleeves at 11:23 AM on June 21, 2011


The people in the photos were eaten by whatever is swimming in this picture.
A sea lion?
A loose seal?


After looking real closely at the right end of it, it appears to be a bottlenose or pacific humpback dolphin...

...with rabies....

...maybe...
posted by samsara at 12:38 PM on June 21, 2011


Well, they apparently found the owners and will be reuniting them with their photos.
posted by sysinfo at 1:36 PM on June 21, 2011


sysinfo, it looks like the comment you linked to has been removed. Here's a news article instead:
Owner of camera lost in 2007 off Santa Cruz wharf found in Texas
posted by WhackyparseThis at 11:51 PM on June 21, 2011


message in a bottle for the 21st century.
posted by adamorgana at 1:57 AM on June 22, 2011


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