New Zealand photographer Luke Riding was hiking around the base of Angels Landing in Zion National Park when he stumbled upon a smashed-up Fujifilm camera that had clearly fallen from atop the 1,488-foot-tall rock formation. The memory card was intact and Riding found a number of photos on it.
After trying and failing to find the owner through posts on Instagram and Twitter, his friend (and fellow photographer) Ben Horne got involved with the search. On February 20th, Horne shared this 3-minute video in an effort to track down the owner to return the photos.
Here’s the camera that Riding found:
And here are some of the photos that were discovered on the memory card:
Amazingly, the owner was identified less than 24 hours after Horne published his YouTube video.
“I posted the video at 6am Pacific time, and it was in turn posted on Reddit by a third party,” Horne tells PetaPixel. “On the Reddit page, a guy named Patrick recognized one of the girls in the photo as a high school acquaintance from nearly 10 years ago.
“He remembered her name, saw he was still Facebook friends with her, then reached out to her. The girl confirmed that it was indeed her sister’s camera, and by 7:30pm that same day, I got a message from Sarah on Instagram. The whole thing took place in just over 12 hours.”
It turns out the camera’s owner is a gal named Sarah Salik who had been hiking Angels Landing with her sister in mid-2016. Upon reaching the top, the pair stopped to have lunch, at which time Salik accidentally knocked her camera over the edge.
Luke is now working to send the camera and memory card back to Sarah (seen on the left in the photo of the two sisters) so that she can be reunited with the gear and photos she lost nearly three years ago.
“It’s a pretty simple story really, but it shows how interconnected we all are and the power of social media,” Horne says.