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Thursday, February 14, 2013

What to Do When You Lose Your Camera

Anyone who has ever traveled with me knows that I travel with a variety of cameras in a large camera bag.  Never one to want to miss a great shot, I have a variety of cameras including my big Nikon SLR camera, a small FlipCam (my second as I accidentally dropped my first one in the Amazon last year!), my iPhone when I'm in a pinch, and a small digital camera.  Last year I purchased a Nikon Coolpix S3100 after my prior digital died, so I was happy to have a light, compact digital camera that truly could fit in your pocket.

When I traveled to Iceland about a week ago, I had my camera bag in tow and thoughts of great pictures in my future.  On my last day there, I made my way to the Blue Lagoon and decided to only take the small Nikon inside with me.  I wandered off to a section outside I had never seen before and I was so pleased with the great pics that I took.  In fact, all I could think of was that I couldn't wait to share them on my blog.

The coach I was on was a dedicated coach and so I had been able to leave my suitcase and other bags on board.  We were transferred to the airport where I easily checked in and then did a little shopping before going to the business lounge for about 15 minutes before boarding my flight.  I made my way home and relaxed in the company of my husband and son.

On Monday morning, I started grabbing my SD cards and cameras to start working on my posts for my blog about Iceland.  It was only then that I discovered that my camera was missing.  Without any delay I started contacting Reykjavik Excursions, the coach line that transported me from my hotel, the Radisson Saga to the Blue Lagoon and then to the airport.  I also contacted the hotel, the bus terminal (BSI), the Blue Lagoon, the airline (IcelandAir), Keflavik airport police, but so far no good news.

Trying not to lose hope, I went on FaceBook and posted on a few Iceland pages hoping someone might find it and contact me.  Next stop was CameraFound.com, which allows you to not only post that you have lost your camera, but you can see if someone has uploaded pics from your camera.  If so, you can then reunite with your camera.

Another site that I found was StolenCameraFinder.com, which allows you to upload a picture you might have on your computer from your camera that is missing and then locate the serial number.  This is how they explain how it works:
Every photo you take with your digital camera contains hidden information about both the image and the camera such as the make, model and date. This information, called exif data, can also include a unique serial number which identifies your camera. 
stolencamerafinder crawls the internet searching for photos, collecting the serial numbers of the cameras that took them.
I was filled with excitement only then to become completely disappointed when I learned that my Nikon was one of the camera types that does not write serial information in the exif.  If I knew the serial number, I could still run a manual search or look at the map and submit a report.  Now Rich hates that I save everything and believe me, I do, but I still have the box that the camera came inside.  Next to the UPC code was the serial number!  I was able to file a report on stolencamerafinder and if anyone posts a pic using my camera, then I will get an alert.  They advise you to contact the police to recover your camera, just like they did for this man whose camera was stolen and he found it two years later using their service.

I'm holding out hope that my camera will be returned to me.  I realize now I should have put some kind of label with my name and address on it as well as written down the internal serial number.  My son reminded me that not everyone will be like me since I know I would go out of my way to return a camera or anything else that I should find to its rightful owner.  I can only hope that the person who now has my camera will have a change of heart or at least might want the reward that I've offered for the safe return of my Nikon Coolpix S3100 camera in a black Boolchands case.  

Has this ever happened to you?  What did you do?  If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.

Marian Krueger
Email: mkrueger@travelshopgirl.com

2 comments:

  1. Oh goodness! I have had a camera stolen from my house with lots of my kids baby pictures that I hadn't uploaded yet. I have lost an SD card at Disney World with over a 1000 pics on it. (long amazing story about how I got that back) I have dropped a video camera on a trip to Europe and lost all the footage from 3 days of the trip. The woes of traveling. ;( I hope you find your camera.

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  2. Thanks Sonja! That makes me feel better, but now I feel bad for you!

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