The 10 dumbest mistakes I’ve made while shooting

18-highly-illogical-vulcan-for-dumbassI have been doing photography for less than a year, it’s been a big learning curve, that’s cool I give my self credit for the good and the bad, there have been a few failures, but then there are the dumb mistakes, newbie or experienced photographer should KNOW not to do!! I mean seriously it is common sense stuff, but when you are in the zone, or get just a little over excited about a shot…………..dumb ass things happen lol.

  1. Left the lens cap on………..I know, I know in this day and age, it is actually harder to do than one thinks, but if you are shooting completely manual, it can be done. I did it for the first time, just recently and I was SOOOOOOOOOO embarrassed! Everyone else just laughed and said it was only something I would do; but surely I am not alone here?
  2. Loosing the lens cap… (remember) take the lens cap off to shoot, then what do you do with it? Put it in your pocket, in your bag? I lost one early on, I used to put them in my back pocket and then of course I would be bending down to take a shot and it fell out, and I didn’t notice. I now have this lens cap leash, a little sticky thing I attach to the lens cap with is attached to a stretchy wristband/ hair tie type thing, you can put on your camera strap, camera lens, your wrist etc, take the cap off and it just free dangles. Beware in high winds it can get in shot! Available online or Ted’s Camera etc
  3. Grab the tripod but forget the head mount…..not just embarrassing, but potentially expensive, I inadvertently left my tripod head at home when we went to New Zealand, no option but to buy another tripod, could not get a head anywhere in time frame we had. On the plus side; my tripod was not really suitable for my camera anyway, so I got a better tripod. But it can be an issue, especially if you have gone somewhere to shoot, that you need a tripod. You are then running around trying to find something suitable to lean your camera on. Tips here
  4. Not using the tripod………sometimes you get lazy and just don’t take the tripod, and wish you had. You decide that it is too much effort to drag it around, let’s face it tripod’s are large, heavy and cumbersome, unless you have one of those dainty little travel tripod’s (which I don’t), which often fall over in a light gust of wind, especially down at the beach. I have missed out on some great shots because I was too lazy. Reading around the net, I am not alone here. Sure I use the tripod in the studio all the time, but I don’t have to carry it anywhere!
  5. Not watching where you’re walking……..I’m a clutz, there I’ve said it! I have an affinity for water, emotionally and apparently physically. Anywhere Moth and I shoot, at the beach, near a lake, near a creek I frequently end up wet. I either am too preoccupied with getting a shot, that I don’t notice and step in, fall in, or trip over etc. Our other favorite at the beach is not noticing the tide turning. We have been caught a few times out on rocks etc and have not noticed the tide has turned and we had to wade back through water. One day this will happen when it is freezing cold and we have no change of clothes! ALWAYS take a change of clothes. Luckily our camera gear has not had a swim as yet.
  6. Incorrect footwear…I must admit this took a while to learn. I love barefeet, or thongs (flip flops) I’m an Aussie; it’s in our nature isn’t it? Barefeet and thongs are not good for nature or beach walking, definitely no good for climbing rocks; slippery, wet or dry. Even trying to walk a few miles with backpack, tripod and camera gear in thongs in the sand is bad for the feet. I pulled a tendon in my foot early on and it took months to recover. So now I ALWAYS  take my hiking boots with me. There have been so many times I was grateful, you can find damp, cold, wet, slimy, treacherous footing in the least expected places. And cold wet feet makes for a miserable time.
  7. Not changing lenses….now this one is sort of excusable, not everyone has different lenses. I do. I now have 4. There should be no mistake here. If I want a macro shot, I should use a macro lens, if I want a wide angle shot, use the wide angle lens, if it’s too far away – well I can use the telephoto or get off my butt and move closer, but that is not always an option. Sometimes I don’t change lenses, as I did not bring any other lens, sometimes I just can’t be bothered getting it out of my kit…………..sheer damn laziness. If you want to best shot, use the best available to you. I mean I bought them for a reason didn’t I?
  8. Forgetting to reset after a long exposure….I don’t know how many times I have done this. I am out shooting a long exposure with the ND1000 filter…aperture way up, ISO way down, shutter speed ridiculously long. I finish, I remove the filter but forget to reset the settings. Suddenly, something catches my eye, I turn, I shoot………..I don’t score; as the 20 second exposure I just took is blurry and completely blown out and I get NOTHING!! So please remove you filter and at least set camera to auto, not professional, but at least in a snap you can get a quick shot off without the embarrassment!
  9. Not emptying and re formatting memory cards…not something I am all that guilty of, but I have done it. I’ve gone out somewhere and realised I forgot to remove the last images from the card, or can’t remember if I did actually remove them or not, or the other is not formatting a card, new or used. It’s a really good habit to get into is to remove the images from your camera as soon as possible and store them on your PC, back up drive or what ever. Then once completed ALWAYS format before the next shoot. I have been lucky, I have not lost any images, but I know of others who have.
  10. Not charging batteries, or forgetting the spare battery…….something else I am usually pretty good at is making sure all batteries are charged before a shoot and making sure the spare is packed. Been in spots where batteries go flat fast (really cold, ND shoots, using live view also kills batteries quick), nothing worse seeing a great shot you could not get, as your camera battery was dead and you forgot the spare. Or you left the spare in the backpack…….and left the backpack in the car!

So read, take note, learn from my mistakes, don’t be lazy, use common sense and be safe while out photographing the natural and man made wonders of our world.

– Julz