I can't be the only photographer who has made some really stupid mistakes. I'm not talking about mistakes a beginner makes because they just don't know better--I'm talking about really, really dumb errors that are made in the heat of the moment. We've all set the ISO for poor light at sometime and forgotten to change it when the sun came out, etc.
Fortunately I always shoot RAW, so some mistakes can be fixed--but not all.
I bring this up because on my recent trip I seemed to make an unusual amount of REALLY DUMB MISTAKES! I am kicking myself, so please let me know I'm not alone in this.
I think my worst mistake--and I made this not once but TWICE--was failing to realize that my 200-500 lens was zoomed out to 200. This happened once when shooting a cheetah with cubs in the distance, and again with a serval that was hunting. I was just so excited, I think, that I didn't realize I wasn't zoomed all the way in! And I'm so mad at myself because I would have had GREAT shots if I'd been zoomed to 500, but now I have really poor shots at 200. Just KICK me!! In fact I didn't even realize this until I was home, going through the photos.
This is not something that can be saved
Another time, shooting a cheetah up on a termite mound, I was dialed in with +1.7 exposure. That was perfect; then cheetah came down off the mound and a cub came out and I got so excited I forgot to dial it back. So of course all shots of the cheetah cub are over-exposed! Luckily, with RAW I am able to fix this. Still, at the time I wasn't sure (they looked sooo bad) and I was practically in tears for messing up my once-in-a-lifetime cutest ever cheetah cub!
And more than once, although I was using back button focus, in the heat of the moment I just forgot to keep my finger on that button....so of course, out of focus shots. No fix for this, either.
There are more, but I'll stop there for fear of embarrassing myself even more.
Luckily, for all these mistakes there were plenty of other shots that were excellent--the advantage of over-shooting!
So what stupid things have you done?