How to find lost camera gear - Set contact file (part 2)

Friday, March 8, 2019

How to find lost camera gear - Set contact file (part 2)


Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the second in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Other videos in this series: How to Find My Lost Camera
Photography videos: Photography Tutorials

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For a written transcript, go to How to find lost camera gear - Set contact file (part 2)

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"


Have you ever lost camera gear?

Are you looking for ideas to recover your camera gear if it ever does get lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to talk about two such strategies.

Hi. If we're just meeting, welcome!

I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we do projects related to the workshop, things made out of wood, metal, electronics and other related types of materials.

Today, it's photography gear.

I belong to a local photography Facebook group where occasionally somebody will run across some camera gear that was accidentally left at a popular shooting location.

Generally what will happen is a post will go out describing where it was found and who to contact for more information.

Often times the owner is a member of the group and gets their gear back.

Inspired by these posts, this is the second in a series to help reunite you and your gear if it does get lost.

There's a link to the series right up here.

Our cameras use SD or CF cards to store images on. These are really nothing more than solid state disks that can store any kind of information, not just images.

With this in mind, today's tip is to add a file that contains your contact information in it.

I'm going to show you two ways of doing this.

The first way is to create a text file.

To do this, open a text editor.

On Windows, hit the WIndows key, type "notepad" and hit enter.

On a Mac, hit Command-space and type "textedit" and then hit enter.

Once you're in the editor, put in your contact information. Things like your name, address, phone number, e-mail and website.

Then, save this information on your computer. It can be anywhere you'll remember where it is. Your desktop or documents folders are great locations.

Call the file something that makes the contents obvious. Something like "contact info" or "read me." If you start the name with an underscore character, it'll be at the top of the file list when sorted by name in Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder.

Next, plug your memory card into your computer using a card reader.

The operating system should detect the new drive. Using either Windows Explorer or the Finder, open the card's drive and copy the new file into it.

And you're done!

Do you have any strategies for helping your camera gear find its way home?

Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear it.

And the second way is to create an image with your contact information in it.

To do this, grab a blank sheet of paper. A sheet from your nearest printer will work great.

And then get a marker pen. One with a thick tip is best.

Just write your contact information on the paper and make sure it's legible.

Then take a picture of that page and you're done.

You can keep the paper in your camera bag and then whenever you reformat your card, it's really handy to just grab it and take a picture so that card is now ready to find it's way back home if it ever gets lost.

With either of these tips, if someone finds your camera or your card, all they have to do is take a look at it and they'll be able to find your contact information.

Like the tips in the last video, this is a great first step but it only works for your camera or memory cards. And it requires a bit of thought on the person finding your gear. They have to go look for the information.

And if you ever format the card, you have to put the information back, either copying it off the computer or taking another picture.

In the next tips, I'll give ideas for identifying your equipment that's less technical and doesn't require as much thought on the part of the person finding it. And it'll work for pretty much any item in your camera bag, not just cameras and memory cards.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And while making things, remember, perfection's not required. Fun is!