The Fukushima Coast near Shioyazaki before the tsunami
© 2013 Alfie Goodrich. All rights reserved.

The Fukushima Coast, 2008: a little flock of love flies by

After two years of thinking I had a whole hard-drive's worth of shots from 2008-9 corrupted, today I found a mirrored copy of the files on another drive I hadn't used in ages.

Can't tell you how happy I am, not least because all the shots I took on a trip to Fukushima in 2008 were on there.

I'd moved a bunch of files from one external drive to another, which I don't ever recommend you do... because USB read-write and buffer speeds can fluctuate and I ended up with thousands of JPEGs that were greyed-out halfway up.

I tried everything to get them back, including even trying to re-write individual headers in the images: no joy.

Finding all the original RAW files today was like a dozen Christmases and Birthdays rolled into one.

The trip I'd made to Fukushima in April 2008 was to spend time with my wife's family, who all live there still. As well as shooting some of the cherry blossom in our town, I'd spent a couple of days on the coast north and south of Shioyazaki Lighthouse; an area that was devastated in the 3/11 tsunami.

I was there last weekend in fact, shooting and filming a documentary with NHK World.

Not that there were many 'wow' pictures, but it was memories... memories of a place I'd been a number of times but that had changed forever.

The most interesting shot I've found so far is this one, shot just north of Shioyazaki on a section of coast that is very, very different to this now.

For all the hardship Tohoku and Fukushima has been through, was pretty blown-away that I'd captured this almost heart-shaped flock of birds on the coast one day, three years before the way I look at the sea [especially in Fukushima] changed forever.

Nikon D300
50mm f/1.8 AiS @ f/11


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  1. what an awesome find. I have had failed hard drives and lost countless images that I miss dearly. Glad good things can occasionally happen. Including images once thought lost of a landscape that has now forever been changed.

  2. Thanks +Mike Wood. Made me very emotional finding this today. Reminded me of times when I needed a map to explain where my wife came from. Now everyone knows the name Fukushima for all the wrong reasons. Kind of like calling Chernobyl the 'Ukraine nuclear disaster'. The whole of Fukushima got blighted by name…. won't ever be the same again.

  3. but now you have images whose re-discovery is even more poignant since since the earthquake. Embrace that and and share what the area was like before – as sad as that is.

  4. So glad you found your images! I've had an entire drive corrupt and lost every single image – before I knew to back up. Fortunately I had an off site backup service.

  5. This loss [or perceived loss], +Pamela Reynoso, taught me a few things. Have been quadruply paranoid ever since…..

  6. 3/11 got me to rethink my backup strategy : now on Crashplan.

  7. Great shot, love the birds in the sky!

  8. あ、これ好き〜〜〜♡   ^^

  9. 誰じゃ?旗立てたのは?

  10. R u a bird lover ?   Yes, no, yes ?  : )

  11. Wait, What R u a bird?

  12. こんにちは!(^.^)鷹ですか?トンビですか?(^^;凄いですね!群れが

  13. こんばんは。これは、2つのカモメだった、残りはカモである、私は思う。ごめんね。ぼくのにほんごわちよっとわるい!:-) +直美見上

  14. 今晩は(^-^)私初めて観ました!戯れてるみたい

  15. Fly like a bird in a plane !!!   : )

  16. あ〜ら、直美ちゃん。登場するのがちょーっと遅いんでないかい?w

  17. Give the birds a home…Imagine what they can do !  : )

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