Silly photography blunder

Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
1,136
Location
Pennsylvania
I found myself inside a room I hadn't intended to photograph and had to rely on the pop up flash. I thought I had all the right settings but the images were coming out almost totally dark. Out of frustration I just pointed the camera down to the floor and pressed the shutter button to confirm the flash was not working, but to my surprise the flash fired. Okay I thought, a minor, temporary issue so I framed my photo but it again came out dark.

The flash would not work when looking through the viewfinder, but I couldn't imagine why they would be correlated. Was there a sensor that was detecting my face at the viewfinder and some esoteric camera setting causing the flash not to fire? I did a quick flash troubleshooting search on my phone but didn't find anything helpful.

Then it came to me in a flash (no pun intended) - I was wearing a hat and when looking through the viewfinder the brim of the hat was blocking the flash!! Suitably humbled, I then was able to get the shot I wanted.

I'm sure most of us have made basic blunders like forgetting to turn off VR when using a tripod or having the wrong white balance setting, but if you've done something as embarassing as what I did, maybe you'd like to confess it here so I don't feel as bad.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
788
Location
North Springfield VA
Real Name
Bill Walderman
Forgot the card in the card reader.
Forgot to turn off MF.
Forgot to focus an MF lens.
Left the lens cap on a rangefinder.
Many, many more lapses.

It's always the perfect shot that you ruin with a stupid blunder and don't realize it until it's too late.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
990
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
How about a collective of me, my friends, and my students :eek:
  • forgot the SD card, or film.
  • forgot the battery for the camera
  • wrong battery (T5 battery won't work in the T7i)
  • no spare battery (deadly mistake with a mirrorless that sucks battery power)
  • not enough spare batteries (deadly mistake with a mirrorless that sucks battery power. I need 3 or 4 batteries for a full day.)
  • forgot to charge the battery/batteries
  • wrong lens for the shoot; too long, too short, too slow
  • memory card full, can't take any more pics without deleting pics one-at-a-time.
    • but what pics can you delete???
  • did not reset WB to auto
  • did not reset exposure compensation, so everything was UNDER exposed
  • camera and flash, but forgot the sync cord, so can't use the flash.
  • forgot the battery for the flash
  • not properly setting the ASA/ISO for the film
  • setting the ISO too low, as a result the shutter speed selected by the camera was too slow for moving subjects
  • opened the back of the camera . . . with film in the camera :eek:
  • loading 120 film backward, so the paper faces the lens.
  • reversing the chemicals; fixing the b&w film before developing it
  • turning on the white light in the darkroom, with the box of paper still OPEN
  • not testing a flash setup BEFORE the shoot, to discover and iron out problems. IOW don't a$$-u-me it works.
This list of dumb mistakes goes on, and on, and on.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
24,705
Location
SW Virginia
My most common blunder is leaving the memory card in the computer when going out for a day's shooting. My D7200 and D750 protected me by having two card slots. Not so with my current Z cameras. :(
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,998
Location
UK
My first Nikon the D90. After familiarising myself with the kit lens I decided to try a prime. Bought a new 35mm f/1.8G online and when it arrived put it on the camera and found that it would just not focus when pressing shutter button half way although manual focus OK

Packed the lens ready to return the next day with a covering letter saying how dissatisfied I was.

Later that night I had a Eureka moment. I had totally forgotten that I had set back button focus only !
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
990
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
My most common blunder is leaving the memory card in the computer when going out for a day's shooting. My D7200 and D750 protected me by having two card slots. Not so with my current Z cameras. :(

I need to put an extra card into my camera bag, just in case I do that also. It is only a matter of time, before I do that also.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
18,775
Location
Hong Kong
Real Name
Phil
We all have the 'no memory card in camera' experience. It happened to me again last week when I went out with 2 lenses planning to take some photos in a park. The difference this time was that when I came home to unpack, I found the memory card in a card reader inside the camera bag.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
788
Location
North Springfield VA
Real Name
Bill Walderman
My most common blunder is leaving the memory card in the computer when going out for a day's shooting. My D7200 and D750 protected me by having two card slots. Not so with my current Z cameras. :(
I carry my Z6 in a soft holster-type case when it's not in use. I keep an extra 32 gb XQD card in the pocket of the case, after several rage-provoking, teeth-gnashing incidents of forgetting the card in the card reader. I also leave the card slot open when the card is not in its home. I can use the extra card for firmware updates without deleting files still stored on the 64 gb card that's supposed to be in the camera.

I carry two spare batteries in my pocket. Not that I've ever needed two -- I once thought I had lost my spare and ordered another in panic, only to discover the lost battery amid some clutter a few months later.

Redundancy usually helps me navigate the perils of absent-mindedness.
 
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F64

Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
82
Location
Southwestern Ontario
Real Name
Greg
I'm sure most of us have made basic blunders like forgetting to turn off VR when using a tripod or having the wrong white balance setting, but if you've done something as embarassing as what I did, maybe you'd like to confess it here so I don't feel as bad.
I've done the same thing with my ball cap. Now I always turn it around when shooting with a hat on!
I had an interesting flash story as well. I was photographing a wedding with a high power Metz flash unit (one of those hand held units with a battery power pack on the shoulder). I was resting it against my leg on my pants when I accidently hit the flash test button. The flash lit the cotton fluff on my pants on fire - just a puff of smoke thank God.
Could feel the heat too. Got a few funny looks from people nearby.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
2,047
Location
Johns Creek, Ga
Very early on with digital and D100 was taking some engagement photos of my niece. Filled up a card took it out of the camera and put in a 2nd, and per habit reformatted the card. When I got home realized that somehow I was distracted and put the 1st card back in so all the images were lost in the reformat. Lucked out that the images on the 2nd/1st were probably better due to better light and a slightly better location within the park. I now reformat all cards before going out or just after they are downloaded and backed up on the computer. I don't reformat any cards when in the field.

With Large format I still make a number of errors.
Forget to close the lens before inserting the film holder and removing the dark slide.
After exposing forget to make sure that I'm inserting the dark slide the right way to signify exposed. Have made quite a few double exposures.
Loading film making sure that dark slide is inserted correctly to reflect not exposed. Developed number of sheets unexposed film.
 
After going out to walk around the lake for a little shooting one afternoon and of course being all the way across the lake when the battery died on me, I quickly realized that even when just going around my neighborhood it is a good idea to carry both a spare battery and a spare SD card with me! I found a small pouch that works nicely for this purpose, fits in my pocket, so now all I have to do is to remember to grab it along with my house keys before stepping out the front door....

When I am back home at the computer I put the memory card(s) into the card reader, do a quick check to be sure that everything looks ok, no corrupted files, etc., and then after that immediately take the memory card(s) back to the camera and format then-and-there so that the camera is ready for a fresh shooting session and the card(s) safely installed in it. I don't put the camera and lens(es) away after a shooting session until after I've done the memory card thing and reinstalled the card(s). I store my cameras and lenses in a cabinet for easy access rather than in camera bags, so it is only when I'm doing a day's shooting excursion that I pack what I need for the day into an appropriate camera bag.

When shooting out in the field on an excursion (which I haven't done much of this past year, of course), I start out with two fresh cards installed in the camera, and only switch memory cards in the field if needed, and put the just-filled one(s) in a separate case in the camera bag so that I know that those cards are full of newly-shot files. Most of the time I haven't done extensive shooting so that the two memory card slots in my A7R IV are sufficient for a day's excursion and I just keep both of them in the camera until I've returned home, with one filled and the other partially filled.
 
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Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
19,053
Location
Nashua, NH
I made another one this morning. I got to the eagle nest. One shot I wanted to get was the 2 eaglets out of the nest, sitting in a tree next to each other. I setup my camera and noticed right away the two were where I wanted them to be. I maade exposure adjustments and pressed the shutter. I tried again, then a third time. It finally hit me I had used the camera last with the self timer - set for 10 seconds. I looked at the viewfinder, opened the n=menu, made adjusted, focussed on the tree. By now did you guess the eaglets were gone?
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
29,334
Location
Moscow, Idaho
I made another one this morning. I got to the eagle nest. One shot I wanted to get was the 2 eaglets out of the nest, sitting in a tree next to each other. I setup my camera and noticed right away the two were where I wanted them to be. I maade exposure adjustments and pressed the shutter. I tried again, then a third time. It finally hit me I had used the camera last with the self timer - set for 10 seconds. I looked at the viewfinder, opened the n=menu, made adjusted, focussed on the tree. By now did you guess the eaglets were gone?

Been there, done that—and always when I'm shooting people! :(
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
990
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I made another one this morning. I got to the eagle nest. One shot I wanted to get was the 2 eaglets out of the nest, sitting in a tree next to each other. I setup my camera and noticed right away the two were where I wanted them to be. I maade exposure adjustments and pressed the shutter. I tried again, then a third time. It finally hit me I had used the camera last with the self timer - set for 10 seconds. I looked at the viewfinder, opened the n=menu, made adjusted, focussed on the tree. By now did you guess the eaglets were gone?

That is why I "try" to reset the camera when I get home.
But there are times like today where I am so tired, I can barely type. So the reset has to wait till tomorrow.
 
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