Locating deleted photos

Reader Robert Maltais is concerned that he may have done The Bad Thing. He writes:

Is there a command or something I can do to recuperate a photo that was put to the trash and discarded by mistake?

If you deleted the photo within iPhoto it’s possible that it’s still on your Mac. Follow this path: youruserfolder/Pictures/iPhoto Library and then rummage through the folder structure to find the picture. The structure is set up in this way: year/month/date. So, for example, if the picture was taken on October 1st of this year (and yes, iPhoto dates picture by their date stamp rather than when you added them to the iPhoto library) you’d follow this path youruserfolder/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2005/10/01 and look in that folder’s Originals folder. If you renamed the photo from something like DSC_1090.JPG to Blue Sky.jpg, you can find it even more easily by using Tiger’s Spotlight or the Finder’s Find command if you’re using an earlier version of the Mac OS.

If it doesn’t appear to be on your Mac, check your camera’s media card. If you’re like me you let old photos pile up on your media card until you absolutely have to erase it.

And, of course, if you’ve backed up your Mac like a good computing citizen should, the picture may be in that back up.

  
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