janzin

Tell me your dumb photo mistakes on safari!

44 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I took my brand new, well new to me as it was a used model, Canon 600mm f4 Mk2 down to a local nature reserve to test it out. I balanced the camera /lens combination on a bean bag on the window sill of the hide.

I decided I needed to try a teleconverter and so released the body, about 1KG of 1DX, from the lens.

Physics never was a strong point but I do know about the laws of equilibrium.

I was remarkably calm despite seeing my new pride and joy disappear in front of my very eyes.

The drop to the floor outside was about 7 foot.

Fortunately the soft ground was also covered in ivy which broke the fall , the lens survived unscathed.

I was relieved no-one witnessed my stupidity!

 

PS Never taken a bad photo in my life though! :unsure:

Edited by Dave Williams
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~ Two and a half years ago @@Anthony Gitau and I were in Samburu one morning. A female leopard had been spotted in a flat area of large bushes, very near the Ewaso Nyiro River.



Other vehicles had been swerving around the bushes in a fruitless search for the elusive predator, finally moving off elsewhere.



Canny Anthony's “leopard eyes” picked out a particular large mound. I saw nothing to distinguish it from other comparable rounded bushes, but Anthony was right!



The leopard was snugly concealed deep within the bush, resting on a small perch in semi-darkness.



Anthony maneuvered the vehicle such that by bringing a Zeiss 135mm lens as low as possible, images of the leopard were possible. She was no more than two meters away from the lens, but only visible through one small break in the foliage.



I was photographing her when she started to move. “She's coming out!”, I told Anthony. He immediately backed away to provide her ample maneuvering room once she emerged.



We were blessed with an extraordinary vantage point as she ambled away up onto a rocky ridge.



What great photos at close range I must have obtained...except that I didn't have anything except useless frames.



Why? What went wrong?



When the leopard emerged from the bush, I completely forgot to change the settings — I shoot in M mode thus set all parameters — so that the camera was shooting in daylight while set up for near darkness.



I wouldn't want anyone else to hear the torrent of billingsgate which spewed from my mouth as I cursed myself for missing such a great photo opportunity.



After calming down, joking with Anthony and apologizing for my outburst directed at myself, we continued, spotting the leopard 15 minutes later, obtaining superb shots.



The lesson was not only learned, it was deeply engraved into my consciousness. Since then, when ever shooting in any ultra-low light situation during daytime, I adjust the settings as soon as the shooting situation changes.



Ah, cameras out on safari. Gotta love ’em, but sometimes the clumsy, addle-pated clown behind the lens leaves much to be desired.



Tom K.

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@Big_Dog What's rookie about that? I think I do it more as I get "more experienced", not less. Fortuntately the blackness in the viewfinder is a giveaway..

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@@Tom Kellie

 

That is why all our cameras are set to AutoISO!

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Just gone away for a few days in the uk. Thought I may catch some birds while I am here, so I grabbed the camera bag as I left. Half way here on the motorway and I realised I didn't pick up the zoom lens :(

 

No more for my big year now....

 

I have actually done that as well! But many years ago. We were halfway to the airport in a taxi on our way to a flight to Belize when I realized I did not pack the zoom lens! As this was a trip specifically for birding photography as I was nearly in tears...somehow we managed to turn around the taxi, dash home and still arrive at the airport in time for the flight (luckily I always leave a lot of padding time when flying.)

 

I don't think I could do that anymore because I would surely notice that my camera bag doesn't way nearly as much as it should. :D

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@@Tom Kellie

 

That is why all our cameras are set to AutoISO!

@@xelas yes but even so I managed to mess up a few shots in Kenya--couldn't figure out at first why several shots taken of lions very early in the morning in very low light came out almost black--this was right at the beginning of the trip and I had the maximum ISO set too low, I think at 1600! Since I shoot in manual with auto ISO, the camera wouldn't change the other variables to compensate. :angry: After that I moved it up to 3200 for the rest of the trip.

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Posted (edited)

@@janzin

 

I never max the ISO! At least not with D7200 as experiences showed me that even at such high value as 12800 I can get reasonably useful photos at certain conditions. If photo is just too noisy, it can always be deleted later. That goes for wildlife setting where subject is never still, and I prefer to have it noisy against blurred.

Edited by xelas
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Mistakes a plenty here too.

 

Learning the hard way that last night fever (good company and drinks by the fire at a friend's camp) doesn't mix with setting up for night shots. Forgetting to tighten the QR clamp meant that my little olympus went for a tumble. Complete shutter replacement required.

 

Stupid zip (or rather stupid owner) being open in my camera bag while on a walk. End result - the top plate of my (brand new to me but used and absolutely flawless/mint) 1dMKIV looks like someone has taken steel wool to it.

 

Learning that an EF-S 70-300 is most certainly not weather sealed.

 

Forgetting to take my Sigma 120-330 f2.8 to the Kasanka bat migration. Yes, that happens at sunset and sunrise and f2.8 would have been "quite" useful at those times.

 

Getting up ridiculously early to take pictures of the bathrooms of our new chalets. Being dead pleased with my results until it was pointed out that every shot had a rumpled and obviously used towel hanging over the wall.

 

But the one that hurts the most is a hard drive crash and subsequently losing 3 years of Busanga. It took that lesson to make me start a religious back up plan.

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While taking photo on a chilly tanzanian morning i didnt notice moisture on my camera lens but took a really nice photo of a lion drinking water in mikumi national park.The photo got blurred and i could only regret after that.

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These are all great, I am feeling considerably less stupid now :lol: Or maybe just in good company!

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Posted (edited)

almost loosing an exposed SD card , I changed it in a moving vehicle went to put it away with the others , rechecked it and it took a while to find , with light pencil writing 5they look almost the same as the spare blank ones I was carrying

 

in the older days of film if you got really silly the shutter soud goes of if the camera is loaded or not ---- a mistake I never made myself

 

if in a vehicle with a roof hatch take care not to include the roof hatch on the edge of the shoot

 

best to avoid using the roof hatch it looks like you are looking down on things

 

getting so excited that I zoom in the place my fingers on the side lens zoom controls , well nothing happens when you press the shutter

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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speaking more broadly what is it with people and selfies

 

do they give attention to what they are doing and if they are likely to trip

 

recently I saw someone at a crowded train station walking down stairs with their gopro , and looking into the camera all the time

 

fortunately he did not have an accident

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I'm not sure how this thread turned to rants against folk taking selfies?!

 

Anyway, back on topic, my biggest problem (like others here it would seem) is dialing in exposure compensation and then promptly forgetting about it!!! I use the dual card slots in my bodies to record jpg and raw versions of all photos - partly as some insurance against a corrupt card, but also to give me raw versions of photos which, as noted above, on occasion allow poorly exposed photos due to my incompetence to be salvaged.

 

A couple of people have mentioned near and actual reformatting of cards containing images not yet downloaded to a computer. If you do this don't panic - the images are still there (just flagged as deleted) and there are numerous software solutions which will recover them - just do a Google search!

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@@Whyone?

 

To me, taking a selfie (selfies) is The Dumbest photo mistake on safari :o ! In fact, on any trip :o:o !! Only Victoria's Secrets models are excused from this rule :D !

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A couple of people have mentioned near and actual reformatting of cards containing images not yet downloaded to a computer. If you do this don't panic - the images are still there (just flagged as deleted) and there are numerous software solutions which will recover them - just do a Google search!

Yes that's true---as long as you haven't written over them! So if you realize that you accidentally reformatted a card with images, whatever you do don't give up and record more images on it--put it away and you can recover the images when you get home.

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What about setting off a star trail without a full battery? The processing after takes ages and so my first KTP attempt was lost as the battery died in the processing stage :(

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LENS CAP

 

Observing others it is reasonably common to have a problem finding it after you are finished taking pictures

 

I have no problem as nine is tied to the camera with a length of fishing line

 

BATTERIES

 

I always go out with a battery with good charge in the camera and multiple spares

 

I put this in a larger zip bag to make it easier to find

 

they are kept dust free by using a small food storage container

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people take very good photographs here

 

a safari is more than a photo opportunity

 

being realistic no one is likely to get exactly the scenery or animal they like, perfectly timed , with good light , being in an optimal position in the vehicle ,waterhole or hide , without the animal moving too quickly , not positioned in a way that makes focusing a problem, positioned at just the right distance given the available camera and lens , not obscured by bush , with back turned ,head down , in an area with too much detail of a lodge or other vehicles

 

it is a real experience , not something set up , like a fashion model who does whatever you want

 

given all this, and perhaps other things I have not listed , the resulting pictures are very good

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Not a photography mistake, but my husband missed recording 3 lionesses hunt a waterbuck by pressing record OFF when he meant to start filming. He forgot to look for the flashing red dot and assumed he was recording :rolleyes:

 

My big mistake was perhaps more blatant. I packed my camera away after about a 6 hour stretch of seeing nothing, when we came across the most adorable giraffe that ran and hid behind a bush. She splayed her legs and peered timidly at us from underneath the bush. That is my biggest photo regret!! I hope I never lose the photograph in my mind.

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