By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle with Associated Press
A camera lost in a creek in the Adirondacks three years ago is being returned to its owner, an avid amateur photographer from Bay Ridge, thanks to clever detective work by a Vermont man who studied pictures on the camera's memory card.
John Noerr of Poultney, Vermont, found the camera in July. The Glens Falls Post-Star reported that the camera's memory card had 581 photos that Noerr was able to study.
Many of the photos looked as though they were taken in New York City. One showed a street sign reading Third Avenue, but it was clearly not Third Avenue in Manhattan.
Noerr used Google to find the Brooklyn neighborhood, tax records to find the building's owner and social media to contact the family.
The owner turned out to be Michael Comeau, a man in his thirties who grew up in Bay Ridge, left the area and moved back two years ago.
He works as a columnist and editor for minyanville.com, a financial website which, despite the name, doesn’t have any Jewish religious affiliation (a minyan is a quorum for Jewish prayer).
It’s clear that for Comeau, who went to P.S. 102 and St. Anselm’s School in Bay Ridge, photography is his real passion. His site, www.michaelcomeau.net, has a wide variety of street photos, in both color and black and white.
One series of photos, “Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — 10 Years After 9/11,” was shot at last September’s 9/11 memorial on the 69th Street Pier. More of his photos are on Flickr.
Using the clues he had gathered, Noerr contacted Comeau last Tuesday.
“There was a moment it could have belonged to any number of 7 billion people,” Noerr said. “Then, there was a moment when it belonged to just one.”
Comeau accidentally dropped the camera, a Canon Rebel XT, from a bridge while camping in the area with friends in the summer of 2009.
Among the 581 photos were family photos of now-deceased relatives.
“I have duplicates of only a few of these pictures, to my recollection, and none of the ones with my family in them,” he told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“When the camera comes back, I’m going to take extremely detailed photographs of it and pack it up as a memento,” he added.
He also told the Eagle that “that was the first and only time I was in the Adirondacks.”