Dirty Dancer revisited - in black and white
By Richard Seah
16 Jul 2011
My DIRTY DANCER series of images, which I shot at the Singapore Night Festival 2010, is my dearest - meaning most precious as well as most costly!
The high cost was the result of a hard disk failure earlier this year. Despite having a back-up disk, for some reason this particular folder of images was not backed up. I was in a dilemma. Should I, or should I not, try to recover them?
It would cost at least several hundreds of dollars, if at all the images can be recovered. And I wasn't exactly feeling rich.
First, I took it to a friend who is a computer technician. S$350 (approx US$300) he quoted me, adding that he would first have to see if the data can be recovered and that others would charge close to S$1000. Hmmmm... I would have to think about it.
After asking more friends and walking around Sim Lim Square, Singapore's IT hub with six floors of computer shops, I finally found one that offered a free evaluation plus data recovery for as little as $150. Next day, I received a quotation: $800, with an explanation that the high cost was because I needed a "clean room", meaning the disk would have to be opened up in a clean room environment. Whoa!
Finally, a friend recommended another technician who made a similar offer - free evaluation and no payment if my data could not be recovered. This technician took many days before he got back to me, saying the disk was still being scanned. I started to feel bad and was willing to offer token payment even if the job could not be done. Finally, he told me he could recover about 90 percent of the data, for $280.
I asked to confirm that a particular folder called "Paraboles" was among those recoverable. "Yes," he said. "Phew!" I sighed. Together with a new hard disk to store the recovered files, the total would come to $430. It took me a month before I finally had the money to pick it up.
The "good news" was that ALL my data could be recovered, even though I did not need the rest. "Your disk was very close to having to go for clean room.' the technician said. The bad news was that files were all mixed up and had different file names consisting of 9-digit numbers. Never mind. Luckily I only had to sort out this set of approximately 220 images. I was just so happy to get my "dear" images back.
This is NOT the reason for me re-posting another photo essay with another set of images from images from the same series, however.
The reason is that a few days ago, I received a "prop" from Christopher Griese on one of the earlier Dirty Dancer images. Christopher wrote: "Great series.... would love to see this in BW."
Now why didn't I think of that before? I had, in the past, converted quite a few of my images to black and white. The result was not always an improvement, of course. But where it was, the improvement was usually big.
I experimented with one random image. I liked it. I experimented more. Here and there, some did not turn out as good in black and white. But many did. The bonus was that several images that I previously considered only "good to keep" now became "worthy to share".
Another bonus is that, in several images, Cecelia the dancer looks even dirtier than before! I believe she will like these images too.
Here, then, is another set of eight images from my Dirty Dancer series. Thanks :) Christopher. This is for you.