Back to the Bear basics

Since taking up photography I have had contact with a number of fellow snappers. Each have been helpful and willing to impart advice when asked. I hope that I have been able to do the same.

On to this afternoon. While looking through a number of older shots to see which I could mash together in a composition, I noticed a post on Facebook from Elspeth Van Der Hole. She was having trouble opening .NEF raw files from her D800. The files were not being recognised by Photoshop CS6/CC or Lightroom 5. Even a DNG  converter turned its nose up at it and walked off.

I fired off a message to Elspeth who I had recently contacted about her Youtube video discussing how photographers are increasingly told 'sorry there is no money for photographers right now blah blah blah do it for free etc etc'. I offered to take a look at the an example file for her, this would show if the error was the files or an installation fault. Elspeth uses a Mac while I use a PC, two different computers but the programs are the same so this would be a good test.

Elspeth sent me a drop box link of a .NEF file, one of her dog, Bear. After downloading it I threw it into Photoshop CC.

My first thought after seeing this was 'corrupted file'. No matter, I thought as I tied the file to a house brick and flung it screaming into the bowels of Lightroom 5.

The 'corrupted file' idea was now dancing around the back of my head whirling twin emergency flares. This problem reminded me of a time when I was asked to fix an import problem from a Nikon camera where I work. I suggested that instead of using the supplied transfer software, they instead could try copying the files from the card to the hard disk and see if they can be opened from there.

This was the same problem for Elspeth too!  Can you tell she was happy with the result?

If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. - Mr Spock

The quote sort of fits the post...

The moral of this story is, as the title of the post suggests, back to the Bear basics. I don't use any third party copying program. I would if it did something spectacular beyond copying files for me. I leave all that up to Lightroom 5 to drag them off the SDHC card.

Check out Elspeths work at

I was glad to help out a fellow photographer!


Bear - Copyright Bear and Elspeth Van Der Hole