One day while doing research on the history of the parks system in Seattle, I was browsing the city's website and I was shocked how many parks had absolutely no photographs of them represented. I decided then that I would photograph every park in the system--not a small undertaking, as there are over 400 parks in Seattle, with new "parklets" being built even now.
I put in three years photographing parks all over Seattle and completed photography on 270 of them. Then something happened in January. The main partition on my computer drive crashed. I thought this was no big deal, as I had them all on a backup drive dedicated to the project. I purchased a new, larger hard drive for the computer the next day. The data had transferred to the new Western Digital drive. During the night, the backup drive then crashed, leaving me with only one copy of all my work.
Then the new drive proved faulty. It crashed the next day before I could replace the last one. Three drives failed in the space of four days, including a brand new one, consigning about 200 GB of photographs and three years of work to oblivion.
The estimates to recover the information on my crashed drives run about $1500-1800. I have meanwhile kept photographing parks (now up to almost 300) and have bought more drives and a burner to back up things onto DVD (since my in-computer CD burner has also failed). Once I am done I plan to release the project in three forms.
1) A hardcover coffee table book;
2) A much more thorough and intricate digital version, both on DVD and online, linking the photographs to each other so that they may be explored chronologically, alphabetically, geographically, by feature, by size or randomly; and
3) A mobile phone & tablet app that will locate parks by GPS location and show gallery images from those parks and others within a chosen radius.
I've always loved Seattle's parks. I grew up playing at Seward and Colman Park and bicycling along Lake Washington Boulevard. This is a project that needs to be done not for me but for Seattle. Therefore I am releasing all the photos with a Creative Commons license so that the city can finally have photos of all their parks, but more importantly so that Seattleites themselves can freely share them.
I am in the homestretch now on the project, but I need help in making up for lost work and time. I'd love your support.
The money from the Kickstarter will go to fund the recovery of my pictures from the hard drive. What is left will cover premiums and, with some luck, help me work faster on completing the project. The more money contributed, the more premiums I will make.
Risks and challenges
Risks: The parks themselves offer little risk. Few are likely to close for maintenance or otherwise become inaccessible to the camera. They are public and do not require shooting permits. At the current pace the project should be complete by Christmas, barring force majeure (highly unlikely). Time and health are the only limitations.
The primary challenge, after funding, is to recover as much data as possible from the drive(s). Even a partial recovery of 60-70% would keep me on pace to finish near the end of December. Knowing which parks I would have to reshoot, if any, will also make that process much faster. A full recovery is about 80% likely, according to my last estimate.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)