On June 6, 1944 — also known as D-Day — war photographer Robert Capa braved the defenses of the heavily fortified Omaha beach, swimming ashore with the second wave of soldiers. Using two Contax II cameras, a 50mm lens, and several rolls of film, he managed to capture 106 photographs documenting the first couple hours of the now-famous invasion (Omaha beach is the one seen in the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan). After he raced back to London to have the film processed, a Life magazine darkroom technician make a tragic mistake: the dryer was set too high and the emulsion on three and a half of the rolls melted, completely erasing 95 of the 106 photos. The 11 remaining images were all published and became Capa’s most famous work.
If you ever accidentally nuke some photos, whether film or digital, just remember Capa’s three and a half rolls of melted history and you might not feel so bad about your lost images.