A Photographer’s Rookie Mistakes

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Occasionally I’ll get some flattering comments about my photography but it always makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable. In my mind, I’m just a photographer that has made more rookie mistakes (and still does!) than the average person but keeps plugging away at it. Here are some photography mistakes and mishaps that I’ve made over the years:

– Forgetting to change the ISO setting
– Go to a photo shoot without charging the camera batteries
– Shoot in jpeg mode instead of RAW
– Accidentally leave the tripod behind at the beach
– Drown the camera in the ocean
– Drown the camera in pouring rain
– Drop the tripod in the restroom with camera attached
– Shatter the lens glass in my backpack
– Shatter a Lee Big Stopper filter on the sidewalk
– Camera shake due to not using a timer or shutter cable
– Camera shake due to wind
– Camera shake due to cheap tripod head
– Camera shake due to cheap tripod legs
– Forget the tripod at home
– Not following instructions while cleaning the camera sensor
– Scratching the camera sensor
– Packing up too soon, only to see a stunning sunset in the rear view mirror
– Not leveling the camera before shooting a straight horizon
– forgetting to copy and delete photos from the memory cards before going on a photo shoot 
– not buying enough memory cards to make it through the day
– sun flares
– missing a dust spot before making a canvas print for my home

Perhaps the most common photography mistake I’ve made is not removing the lens cap before putting the camera viewfinder to my eye. I still make this annoying mistake all the time after two decades of photography! I’m sure there are other mistakes that I’m forgetting but many of the above are things I’ve listed above have happened to me more than once.

The moral of the story here is that sh*t happens. Drop a few silent f-bombs if you have to and learn from the mistakes then move on. Photography is supposed to be fun. Those who never make mistakes are not taking enough chances.

Road Leading Through Dogwood and Beech Maple Tree Forest in Fall

Road Leading Through Dogwood and Beech Maple Tree Forest in Fall


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4 thoughts

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of mistakes, Richard. 😉 I’ve only made 10 of the 22 you list, but I’m just getting started with only eight years in digital. Watch out, I’ll catch you yet. I tend to make small mistakes all the time. It is annoying when you make a number of images of a subject, get home, download and then notice that none of them are the ideal composition. One is a little too far to the left, another too far right, another too low, too far back, but none of them are that good when you thought for sure in the field you had made a portfolio image. This used to happen much more often in the film era, but the fact that it still does is quite amazing.

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