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Bless Me Father Bob…..

Jan 4

In Stories at 7:53am

You know, it’s a new year, and it’s time to download the card, freshen up the pixels, clean the lens elements and confess all those photographic sins, which for me, really, are too numerous to count or catalog. As 2009 faded in the rear view mirror, I figured it was time to see Father Bob.

Here’s what I propose. Write in about your most egregious photographic sin of the last year, decade, whatever. We’ll cruise the comments and pick out the 5 best whoppers and put them up on the blog with, uh, some commentary within a couple of weeks. The 5 most colorful or unusual screw ups, missed exposures, bad calls, blown jobs, or lollapalooza mistakes….be they as simple as leaving the lens cap on, or as serious as shooting Canon:-)…we’ll send an autographed copy of Hot Shoe Diaries. Determining the 5 “winners” is solely at the discretion of the management.

Now, these are sins committed with a camera in your hands, or at least nearby. If you had one of those production jobs in Vegas, and the model didn’t show up, and the permits weren’t valid, and the rental car battery went dead, and the client was a screamer, and you were so distracted you shot the whole day for this big movie poster on jpeg basic….and that night you decided to ease your suffering by shooting and starring in your own personal version of Hangover, well, the details of those evening endeavors, as they say, should remain in Vegas.

(Shot entirely on Nikon’s D3s by Drew Gurian and Will Foster).

More tk…

246 Responses to “Bless Me Father Bob…..”

Kræn Bech-Petersen says:

on January 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

Well my biggest sin has to be the day when I was supposed to do some photos for the school my mother works at. They had a big protest meeting and I promised to do some photos they could use on their website and for press announcements.

So the day came and I grabbed my camera and off we went. My father brought his Nikon point-and-shoot and I was bragging about the lack of features of it and that it couldn’t shoot RAW-files and all these stuff. Then I turned on my own camera to do a little show-off an then my face went gray – I had forgotten to put my memory card back in the camera and I didn’t bring extra.

That was really embarrassing and my father laughed at me.

Dave says:

on January 4, 2010 at 9:58 am

Well my confession would be that I read too much stuff and don’t put it to work in the field!

I tend to read everything I can on photography and then when I shoot I over think things and end up not getting what I want out of the shots. Later while looking at them on the computer I realize what I did and that I missed that moment.

Only thing to do is try to get my head out of the way when I shoot!

As long as I’m not canonized for it!! LOL

Scott says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

I used to think it was a sin to take a bad picture, to make sure it was absolutely perfect. But I have found out, that the mistakes, wrong exposure, not sharp, wrong iso, etc. etc. That these images have alot of merit and turn out sometimes to be the best I’ve taken. I have learned not to delete so fast and to work the image and this has taken me into becoming a better photographer.

Thanks for your work Joe!

John Milleker says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

I haven’t leisurely shot digital in two months. I’ve been enjoying shooting, developing and enlarging film again. 35mm, 120 and 4×5 – B&W & C-41.

Michael S. says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

What a trip….hilarious!!!

Sam says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

My sin, oh my…

My D200 was stolen and my D700 was in the shop for a couple days getting a new shutter, so i was, with the exception of an F100 and an FE, camera-less. I had no jobs for a week, so no worries, mini vacation, going through images, sorting things, updating portfolio stuff and i get a call from my editor asking me to cover something in 5 hours, Lee Ritenour playing at Catalina’s in LA.

In a hurry, i go to rent some gear for the night, someone has just returned a Canon 5D MkII and a couple primes, and I can’t resist to the temptation of using the 24mm f1.4, I rent the camera, the 24mm, the 85mm f1.2, a sigma 50mm f1.4 (to compare it to my Nikkor 50 since mine just got hit by a baseball at 100 mph, hence why the D700 was in the shop.) I go home, pull out the tripod so I can try some video at the show…”hey, it might be fun” i say to myself. I go through all the menus, all the settings and shoot for 2.5 hours around the house to get to know the camera. I have an hour before I need to leave for the show, I put the camera battery to charge, put all the gear away in a bag, read a couple articles regarding video this and that online, take a shower and get ready to leave. Close my bag, my keys, extra shirt, press passes, cell phone… “don’t forget your wallet”…

I get to the show, while the tech is doing sound checks and light checks, I set up on a table by the side of the stage, I open my bag, pull out a memory card, open the camera to put it in, and it dawns on me, I’ve forgotten the battery charging at home. I only have one, I am dead, done, OVER. I look at the time, the show starts in a couple minutes, I can leave and come back but I won’t make it back on time for even the last song if the show goes on for an extra 15 minutes. I look around the room for another photographer shooting Canon, “maybe i can borrow a spare battery?” I find someone, he doesn’t have a battery, but he “can lend me his Rebel Xti, if I want.” I thank him graceously, buy him a drink and take the camera back to my table, pop on a lens and start shooting, the rebel is different then the 5D, and I don’t know how to change apertures, I’m stuck at f5.6 on a lens that can go to f1.2, don’t have a choice, I push the ISO as high as it goes, 1600, lower my shutter speeds as slow as I think I can hold (1/25th considering how nervous and shaky I was)and I shoot, I have to shoot jpg files since the rebel doesn’t like my big cards and I have to shoot on a couple 2 gig cards…

Things are not looking great. End of the show, I give the camera back to it’s owner, thank him again and leave very disapointed. I went home and processed photos in silence for a couple hours, I ended up converting all of them to B&W because of the noise and underexposure that needed massaging… needless to say, my editor wasn’t thrilled.

Came back with this, they loved it: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3116/4041505959_c784dd62b0_o.jpg

From now on, as soon as I get in the car, before i leave, I check for everything again, camera, batteries, cards, lenses, filters, flashes, AA batts, gels, cords, wireless triggers… If I have it in the car, my chances of showing up at the shoot with it increase pretty dramatically I think.

Arthur Hawkins says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:11 am

I had a corporate shoot, the media director/art director/marketing director was on her way to florida, and in a hurry for me to get the shots for the companies website. I set up in a hurry, got the lights going, even used live view on my D3 because she wanted to see the framing of each shot before I took the picture…..
I was trying to keep her calm, do the job, and get it finished so that she could be off on vacation …..I shot the whole thing in jpeg small, instead of RAW….

Linda Brinckerhoff says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:13 am

The Sin of Not Knowing Your “Real” Client. The bride’s mother hired me to shoot her daughter’s wedding about a year before the big event. SHe warned me that her daughter was a little shy. I stored that info on the defective flash card in my brain. I should have been tipped off when six months later the bride turned down the offer of a free engagement shoot. On the wedding day the bride was totally miserable every time I approached with a camera and had a 6th sense about my shooting candids. When it came time to do some formal shots of the bride and groom alone, the groom didn’t think he needed a jacket and bride didn’t think she needed a bouquet. After 2 test exposures, the bride walked away and was done. I felt totally conflicted the entire day not wanting to ruin the lovely bride’s wedding day but wanting to satisy her mom who was paying me. I got one “album worthy” shot of the bride and groom together. Lesson: Your client may not be the person who writes the check.

Andrea says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:13 am

This is going to make me laugh all day. My biggest sin is relying on the LCD screen I know it doesn’t tell the truth and I have to break my bad habit of relying on it.

The other sin I pulled was not checking my settings. Shot an outdoor wedding this summer at the wrong ISO. Thankfully the pictures were saved by my Dad’s excellent ability in Photoshop.

The funny story I have is that my Dad and I headed out at dusk to take some photos on a bay in Algonquin Park. I remembered to bring two solar lights to mark the shoreline but forgot to bring a flashlight to get back to the campsite. It was a bit of a nerve wracking walk back through a very dark forest path, and this was after we had been warned of bear sightings! New moto pack flashlight in camera bag.

Love you blogs Joe!

Austin L says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

I made one of the biggest NYC sins ever! Almost like something you have in your book Joe “the moment it clicks” but with out the fire! I was shooting Fetish images on a 5 story walk roof top up on 93 street in New York City, had only 2 lights one mono-block with a sofbox and a hotshoe bouncing into an umbrella nothing to crazy right? It was about 9PM at night and I start firing off shots and lighting the whole rooftop up as well as half the block. I get about 20 minutes into my shoot and I start to hear police sirens not a big deal it’s NYC after all you hear it all the time, but this time there are 3 cars all stopped in front of the building I am shooting on so I look over the side and see them all rush inside my building. 2 minutes later there are 6 cops not at all happy about running up 5 flights of stairs because they had a report of “bad things” going down on the roof top! Now It is true the model was in bondage at the time BUT it was part of the shoot! My sin was leaving my permit in the studio in Queens many many blocks away!! Lets say I was lucky to go home that night not in hand cuffs!! Lesson learned!

Wayne says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:30 am

Spent the first 30 mins shooting the wrong wedding before the penny dropped. Thankfully the correct wedding was close by.

As they say in Ireland “I was a bleedin’ eejit” (idiot)


Miguel Coelho says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:34 am

I think my biggest photographic sin of the year was simply not taking pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, I took thousands of pictures. But I also started to develop the rather nasty habbit of “leaving it for later”. I’m at home, I see an interesting subject, I figure out the best way to take the picture and, althogh the camera is always ready to shoot, I just leave it for later.

With this “fantastic” aproach, I have created in my mind a rather large portfolio of pictures I never took. If only I could share them…

I have learned the hard way that if you don’t take the picture when you “see” it, you will never take it. Your subject may not be there anymore, the light may change, whatever… but the most important thing is that your mood won’t be the same. You will never “see” the picture in the exact same way.

So I finaly decided to stop being lazy, started to take pictures when they should be taken, started posting some older ones on Flickr and even started to leave replies on blogs! (I think this is my first)

Miguel Coelho

BTW, a friend showed me his new Canon and as I was trying to explain to him why it sucked, I accidentaly pressed the shutter button. was that a sin or an accident?

Ghislain Leduc says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:34 am

AWESOME! Joe, you are just sooo interesting! Continu the great job! Happy New Year for you and your family!

Health, happiness and lots of free time to live your dreams in 2010!

teve Perks says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:41 am

I am still reeling from my biggest and costliest sin to date.
Luckily, I am a semi-pro or my family would be eating beans every night for the next couple of years.

Back in April, I photographed an internationally acclaimed mezzo soprano who shall remain nameless, at a live concert.

She was so thrilled with the results, she commissioned me for a portrait session which also went extremely well.

There was the promising prospect of further commissions via word of mouth and I nurtured this client meticulously,adding her as a friend on Twitter and Facebook. (She used my shots as avatars for both)

I am known amongst my friends for having a devilish sense of humor on Facebook and one day I added a picture of an overweight and, to be blunt, scary looking girl wearing a t-shirt displaying the caption: ‘I’m fat – f**k off’

Now, the mezzo soprano was of large build and was desperately trying to shed weight.

I knew we had a problem on the same night, when she changed her Facebook avatar to a point & shoot image taken by her fiance, whom I had also photographed.

Last night, I reached the chapter in David duChemins’ Visionmongers on social networking, where he warns us to be ourselves online, but a carefully edited version of ourselves.

My name is Steve and I’m a bozo.

Forgive me father.

Sara Lando says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:41 am

I was tweaking stuff in my wordpress blog, where I write down tips and tricks for starting photographers (real basic stuff, like: “remeber to back up”) and I completely nuked the whole database.
To add to that I had downloaded and installed the backup widget but never activated it.

Ken St John says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

What a HOOT!!

I’m afraid I haven’t been out enough this year to have any great screw-ups … but my resolution is to reverse that trend this year!!

Thanks to you, Bob and the crew!!


Dave Pawson says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

Sin of omission. A plumber visited, spoke of his boxer pup (still very young). I’m a fan (lost mine after 11 years). Guy said he’d bring it round, which he did. I dashed indoors, grabbed my camera and as an exited schoolboy, clicked away as this dog did, as all boxers do, dashing around like a mad thing.

Only when I reviewed the memory did I realise I’d used it as a point and shoot… unlike last time when I’d had it on a shutter priority. They were all nicely blurred as if the dog had been doing a hundred miles an hour.

Luckily, the plumber has never asked to see the pictures and I daren’t ask him to repeat the exercise.

I’d say never again but….

Kim says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:55 am

Oh wow, that was Awesome. Growing up Catholic only made me laugh harder at “darks on the left, lights on the right”. What a great way to start the day.

I suppose my photographic sins would be along the lines of going to shoot my boys football game and not having a memory card. But I was able to run across and pay twice what I should’ve paid for one at a local store. Now I have at least four SD cards in my bag. I’m only a hobbyist so most of my mistakes help me learn (like forgetting to reset the ISO or the White Balance)…

Noah says:

on January 4, 2010 at 10:57 am

I used a borrowed point and shoot and it was a Canon. Because I didn’t have a Nikon, because I sold it. I sold it to jump ship for Sony. However I had to use the Canon to take pictures of the Sony gear so I could return to Nikon.

Levi Sim says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

My assistant and I were getting ready for a shoot we had been jocking for for a while–really handsome family with the most adorable kids ever–emptying cards, charging batteries, cleaning lenses, etc. We get to their home, pick the room and lighting to use, and I fire off a test shot. Only, the camera won’t fire. Good ol’ Nikon, won’t let me shoot without a card!

So I go grab my card wallet from my bag–it’s not there! All my cards are sitting on my desk, neatly formatted and ready to use at the studio.

Undaunted, I put on my poker face and pull out my bag of 128 meg sample cards I picked up somewhere–I’ve got 24 of them, and they hold about 4 pictures each. No problem.

“Why do I keep changing cards? Oh, they can become corrupted, so I’m trying a new workflow so I don’t lose all my pictures at once–eggs in baskets, you know.”


Luka says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:11 am

So, I decide to start with photography in january. I read all the reviews of cameras, lenses, speedlights, etc. I decided on the Nikon D90. I even buy a couple of books on it. So I go to the store, all hyped and all, and I see this amazing special offer, it was almost half the price than usual — me not giving it a second thought, sales and all — so I pick it up and an extra lens, since the price was so much lower. I even got the extra 2 year warranty.

… I get home. I unpack. I see a D60. Priceless.

Brandt Steinhauser says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:12 am

I really enjoy shooting sunsets at a nearby park. The problem is that during the Winter, it is already dark by the time I get home from my 9-5. So the opportunities to capture Winter sunsets in the park are rare. The opportunities to capture Winter sunsets in the park that are snow covered are more rare. However, the weekend prior to Christmas, that opportunity had presented itself.

On the Friday night, I had returned home from a family gathering where I had shot a lot of photos and HDR as well. I placed my camera in my office, uploaded the photos, set my battery to charge, and cleaned my lens. This is usual practice for returning home from a shoot.

Saturday the snow came. Finally, I had the opportunity to shoot a snow-covered park sunset. Around 3:00, I gathered my gear, hopped in my car, and headed out to the park (about 20mins away). I arrived at the park and it looked spectacular. I parked my car and grabbed my gear. I set the camera up on the tri-pod only to find out that my battery was running low. What the heck?? Turns out that I had charged my spare battery and never charged the battery that was in the camera. No worries, I go to grab my spare battery and…..OHHHHHh. It is still on the charger back at the house. So I had very little charge left on the battery that was in the camera. I had to make every shot count. Running home was not an option, I would have lost the light. So I setup the tri-pod. The sun is setting beautifully over the frozen lake. I take about 10 photos before the battery completely fails.

Feeling utterly disgusted, I hang my head and make the journey back home. I placed my camera in my office, uploaded the photos, set my battery to charge, and cleaned my lens. While go through the photos I realize another problem. I still had bracketing turned on from shooting HDRs the night before. UGHH!! I was so flustered at the park that I completely for got to check it.

So there I sat looking at only 3 average photos from the frozen lake. What a blown opportunity!

Billy says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:12 am

Oh my Christ………I just saw your biggest sin! LOL Happy New Year……I’ll keep my (many) sins to myself thank you!!!

Danie Nel says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:14 am

I photographed one of our local PopIdol’s winners doing a swanky concert. I uploaded it to my site and tagged him as his opponent on PopIdols. Note my surprise when I get an email from the guy humbly mentioning that is in fact Brandon October, not Ezra. Hehe. Blush blush. What makes it worse: I sent him an email to go and see my porty, not knowing I had ‘his’ pic on there!

Ziv says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:14 am

Happy New Year from the Very Reverend Eastburn.

Bingo and Bris every Wednesday!

Cloister Fluke All Faith Church
Bend, Oregon

Andy Colwell says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:24 am

After jumping through twelve hoops to secure fast gear, credentials and transportation, I was able to photograph my high school’s first ever appearance at Pennsylvania’s PIAA Quad-A state championship football game, in the middle of that end-of-December nor’easter.
This is a photo-fail in two acts:

The first kicked off before we even departed, when I left the borrowed D3 and 24-70mm in my car in the parking lot, and had to convince the bus driver to slow down on the way out of the school, and let me run back and get it. Nice. Major “womp.”

Then, fast-forward to the game: Being not-as-familiar with the camera – I had been granted usage of it and a 300/2.8 by my photojourn prof the day before – I proceeded to shoot nearly all of the game on that camera with a 3-shot bracket, having changed it to such while fumbling under the weather cover (it’s not my gear, it belongs to Penn State, so I wasn’t taking chances…). I didn’t realize it until shooting a basketball game that night.
The D3′s top dial settings are laid out the same as my D300, with which I was also shooting, so while trying to change WB, I had held down BKT. Yeah that happened.
The only bright side? Even at ISO 4000, I was still able to get a good selection of pictures at 9fps…except only in bursts of three, and the “moments” that I was tasked to shoot weren’t framerate-reliant. At least it looked sorta neat while scrolling through Lightroom with good exposure–>underexposed–>overexposed, rinse-wash-repeat for some 900 frames. Not bad for my second football game ever…at least the prof didn’t laugh too much.

High five for good technology and the rookie failure to use it well : )

Lewis W says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:30 am

“Ya know the preacher likes it cold.” I could see your breath. I was waiting to see if Bob still held a grudge. Happy New Year, Joe.

Eric Politzer says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

OK, finally a topic on which I am an expert!!

Mortal sin: I am at my first Santa Fe Workshop with a not-to-be-named very colorful Irish Catholic New Yorker instructor. First day of location shoots at…the Scottish Rite Temple. The Pater Veritatis Photographicus had been preaching the virtues of team work. Our team goes out to set up in the courtyard. One of the team members says: “hey guys, I have this covered, you go do what you want.” Woohoo I think. So I grab the gorgeous model and escort her into the kitchen where there is a ridiculously cheesy cut out figure of a french chef. Of course I had to have her pose next to it, smooching it, etc. etc. etc. About to start shooting away when out of nowhere, with Spielbergian bluster, the above-mentioned instruction appears, face crimson red, smoke coming out of his ears, eyes popping through his glasses, fists clenched and growling something to the effect of: “What the F man? What part of team work do you not understand? I know team work, and this ain’t team work. There is no Chef Charles in team work. Now get your boeuf bourguignon butt back to your team!!!!” I shrink from 5’11 and 230 down to about the size of lens. I ask the model to run out and get me a family sized container of super-glue so I can start picking up the remains of my face off the floor and putting them back together. But all’s well that end’s well: 500 Hail McNallys later….

Sin of O-mission. I get my first fish eye lens but forget to read the user’s manual. We go on a trip to Greece and Turkey. I am taking all these pix of great cathedrals and mosques. But lo and behold I keep getting this severe circular vignetting in all the pictures. I check all the settings on the lens — and the camera!!! I go online to find some kind of conversion software. Nothing that works. Can’t figure out how to get rid of that dang vignetting. Then one day I pull the camera off the shelf by the lens and….. the Adapter Ring comes off!! Uh duh. I think to meself: I thought that was built on!!! Needless to say, flawless pix from that point on.

Vain-ial sin: in the midst of my first dream assignment with an internationally recognized musical institution. two hour dress rehearsal. flying solo, taking hundreds and hundreds of shots. the client approaches me and says: “I have an idea for a new marketing campaign. I want to do a ‘keeping you at the edge of your seats’ theme. If I get 3 of my staff to come down from the office could you take some shots with them”? Client is always right, huh? So they come down after the rehearsal and what do I do? Spend 30 minutes taking pix of their derrières in the seats in pretty much every position that has the slightest bit of “decency.” The whole time I am thinking: this is what my life has come to. Making a total ass of myself!!!

bobwyo says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

Bought an expensive flash more than a year ago. Never used it. OK, that’s bad enough, but then in a need to do penance bought The Hot Shoe Diaries. Read it cover to cover. Haven’t used my flash yet. Bless me Joe, for I have wasted money. Please tell me there’s hope!

Francisco Monteiro says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

That was wild. Such a start promises a 2010 even better than last year.
Happy new year to you Joe!

Darren Smith says:

on January 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

This is a killer story. It has winner written all over it!
I recently organised a trip with a mate of mine, whom I met for the first time on a photographic safari in the Masai Mara, Kenya (Oct 2008).
He was out on business visiting Cape Town, South Africa … and was keen to try his hand at some landscapes, Cape Town offering some stunning vistas.
I flew down to meet Richard, and we planned a sunset shoot at Blouberg, taking in *that* iconic view of Table Mountain (http://www.sa-venues.com/gallery/tablemountain-05.jpg or http://moscone.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/table-mountain-sunset1-423.jpg).
We had a great day shooting at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and then drove out to Blouberg in good time for a sunset shoot.
The day had got progressively better, starting overcast and grey, and by the time the sunset had come around, the sky was blue, wispy clouds added texture … but there was a mean wind howling in from the sea. Gusting at 30-40 miles/hour.
Still, we were determined to get our pic … with my newly acquired Manfrotto tripod and 3-way head, in hand!
We even came across another photographer on the beach, hidden behind a dune for protection, and with his own tripod spread-eagled beautifully on the beach, as low as possible, and with the legs spread for stability.
But still … Father Bob, forgive me … we set up my brand-spanking new Manfrotto at full stretch (all 6 foot plus) … in a howling wind … in the middle of the beach … camera strap flapping around like the reigns on a mad bronco!
And then we shot, directly into the on-shore wind (spray and moisture rendering the lens useless in about 30 secs).
We had planned to do some HDR images, with multiple exposures … and get THE shot of Table Mountain. You know, blow every-one away with our skills!
Only people who were blown away, were Richard and I!
Eish. Too many lessons in that story to list!

BTW Joe, I am hoping that your Hot Shoe Diaries will save me any flash embarrassments, the likes of my Tripod Travails!

Andy Payton says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm

My biggest sin?

A very recent sin – Boxing day last year (that’s 26th December 2009), my only job on that day was a yawn, yawn, local derby soccer match between Sittingbourne FC and their local rivals in the league, Chatham. Not great football and it was a 3.00pm kick-off, so I was stuck at home in case anything else came up until the afternoon.
I know that ground is very dark when the sun has gone, so instead of the company D300s I charged and packed both my D3s, lenses, monopod, cards, etc etc etc.
Set up at the ground, 300 + 1.4x on one body, left the other with a 70-200 attached, but didn’t use it. Cards in, formatted, set the camera on manual exposure, 1/640 at F4.5 with auto-ISO on, and shot away through the first half. Got the first half goal, celebration and left at half time fairly pleased…

…To find I had shot EVERYTHING on single shot AF….

Luckily, I shot so much, as usual, and my timing was decent enough, that I had plenty in sharp focus to keep everybody happy… But there is clearly a Photo-God, who sometimes smiles down on idiot snappers who don’t check EVERYTHING, even when they’ve had all bloody day to do so!

michalfanta says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Wow! Your videos are always wonderful, but this one is perfect!
Thank you for sharing the wisdom.

Brad says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I submit to you, my biggest photographic sin(s) of the decade, to which I don’t think Joe will disagree… http://bit.ly/UguTD


Carol Watkins says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm

My biggest sin was when I was photographing the Haitian that were housed at Gitmo Cuba with fellow Navy photographer Mark Kettenhofen. I had was using a Leica for only about the second time and there was this little kid that stuck his face in Marks lens. Of course I had just ran out of film and so I hurried and
changed the film and took several shots I just knew were prize
winners. I was in such a hurry that the film did not get loaded
right and never wound onto the take up spoon. I will never forget the one that got away.

Bob DeChiara says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

So it has to be a sin about photography right? LOL.

Was this all done in one take? This is a Classic!!!


Vic Peek says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Found my old Yashica Lynx 14E (Bought in Japan 1969)went out with my Grandaughter and shot two rolls of BW film. She could not understand why the images were not on the back of the camera. Took film to lab – processed – returned with neg’s. Scanned and then photoshopped several good images. My Grandaughter asked if that was how it was done in the “OLD” days.

Alton Marsh says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Forgive me, for I have sinned. After I bought my new Nikon D300 I tried to study the manual. I really did. I even have personal notes written in it that I no longer understand. And then I turned my back on the manual and shot any way I wanted. I even shot out my rental car window into back lighting with no tripod. I am out of control.

John Knechtel says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I’ve traded in my D2Xs for a Nikkormat and have gone back to film. I’ve even reopened the darkroom…. took 2 days to get rid of all the dust!

Jens says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm

New bar opening down the street.

- Yeah, I’d really like to have some pictures to make a couple of business cards…
- I’d be glad to help! Anything to keep learning, not a problem!

The gentleman ended up publishing an ad on a regional newspaper, given that he liked the pictures so much.

I ended up with a free coffee, and a a new learning opportunity, indeed: SIGN A CONTRACT.

Happy New Year, Joe, and the rest of you folks!

Matt Staples says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm

My biggest sin, amoung many, was when I landed a small job making a calander for my local pub.

I was happily engrossed in the shoot with two bowen’s, one tethered to my little canon 400D(there’s a sin or two right there)… I put my camera down to move the lighting, promptly pulling the camera off the table via it’s tether to crash onto the floor.

I gave it a quick once over, the pop up flash was dead, not an issue as I never ever use it, but an instant devaluation. I slapped my forehead, called myself an idiot and then got on with the job… only to walk too far away from the light I was tethered too, bringing it down with a crash and I could kiss goodbye to an umbrella.

I swore, I yelled, put the camera down, picked the light up and stood it back up… promptly yanking the camera back off the table and onto the floor AGAIN. The glass on the floor told me that this time I’d smashed my Sigma EX DG 2.8 28-70.

It was not a good day.

Kelly Heck says:

on January 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I was working for a small portrait studio a while back that focused mainly in sports photography. I packed all the gear and had some help from an assistant to load the car and we drove separately. It was a 35 or so minute drive around rush hour time, luckily we were not in any ridiculous traffic. We get there, set out some stuff like our displays and I’m about to line up my first group of kids (they couldn’t have been above 8 years old) and the camera won’t turn on… NO BATTERIES.

I checked the bags… NO BATTERIES.

I checked the spare camera… NO BATTERIES.

Shaking, I told my assistant to “get back to the shop as fast as you can and bring back a battery”. In the meantime, I approached the parents and calmly explained the problem, doing my best to make light of the situation.

Hungry people are short tempered.

In a huff and a puff, all of the teams’ parents grabbed their kids and went home unphotographed just in time for my assistant to show back up.

Camera batteries and AA’s are now plentiful.

alan wooden says:

on January 4, 2010 at 1:03 pm

my sin would be while shooting aerials of a contruction site at a local college by myself, which is a sin in it,s self, flying the plane with one hand and ripping film with the other can be quite challenging and exciting, my beloved d300 jumped in my hand scaring the you know what out of me. i had visions of my 18/200 mm vr flying out the open window. it turned out it was the lens hood had been sucked off the lens, only a $15 fix but i still have thoughts of it hitting some poor college student from 1’200 ft. above. fortunately i was over a river which runs beside the college and it caused no damage. always take your hood off before flight!


Chris Boyd says:

on January 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

So I was shooting a wedding at an incredibly beautiful and prestigious golf course in my province of Canada. It turns out to be the biggest circus of a wedding I have ever seen. I think circus is a bit of an understatement actually. It was an outdoor wedding set up on a lawn with a drop off and a beautiful scenic backdrop. As the bride is walking down the isle people are leaving their lovely position white chairs and stepping out into the isle and some up around the front. One lady steps out right in front of me with her back into my lens. I drop my head and laugh a bit. move around her and try and get the shot i was setting up. So the bride reaches the front and people are still moving around, another lady in particular keeps going up and repositioning the groomsmen and the groom himself. whispering to them and brushing their tux jackets. So while all this is going on I am doing my best to do my job (at times keeping from laughing at it all). Unfortunately non of my assistants could make this wedding, which is fine I often do weddings by myself. So I was moving as little as possible, I mean I didn’t want to be distracting even if other people there didn’t mind being. So there is a nice place in the middle of the ceremony that is safe to go to the back and get some nice wides of the whole crowd, and some tele zoomed in of the couple. So during this time I move to the back and take these shots. I had laid my second body down on the ground with the telephoto on while I took my main body and my ultra wide (I mean ULTRA wide) for the whole shot. I move up a bit, away from my other camera and kneel to get a shot when what do my ears hear… the set up for the kiss… OH SH**. I desperately try and get my wide angle off and put my 24-105 L (from my pocket) on as I move up the isle to get the kiss. I was too slow, by the time I had my proper lens on, the kiss was all over. and I just got that smile afterwards. I can’t believe I missed THE KISS!
My sin… not keeping both bodies with me, and getting caught off guard.

The resolution… at another part of the ceremony where multiple people were up front moving around (as I said… circus… understatement) I also went p closer and whispered to the minister “can you get them to kiss again?” he chuckled a little and nodded. So this time I set up perfect and waited. He worked in another kiss and I got the shots I needed/wanted. Then afterwards I just moved the pictures to where the kiss was, and hoped no one was the wiser. (I guess thats arguably the second sin of the day)

All the same great couple and a bit of fun i guess….

Dušan Smolnikar says:

on January 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Haha, great video!

And here’s my confession …
Shooting an indoor concert, I was using a prime lens to help my shutter speed. When trying to capture the whole stage I was moving backwards, leaned on the wall, but accidentally leaned on the main light switch. Lit the whole room, didn’t even know right away it was me, so wondered what was going on. Thank god for one of the organisers nearby who knew what had happened and who turned the lights off quickly. Embarrassed, I moved back into my dark corner to continue shooting.

Ashley Pinner says:

on January 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Biggest sin? Hmm. My spare 8GB cards were not quite where I put them when I had to rush to the main stage to shoot the next event. I grabbed my usual 8GB card and the two 1GB cards as spares.

Suffice to say I shot through 8GB without problem. However, the 1GB cards were standard plain cards. Cue needing to wait ~10s between bursts for the buffer to flush, and thus missing enough shots to make me actually LEAVE the stage to search for the proper spares. I ended up missing far less shots than if I’d stuck with the 1GB cards.

The 1GB cards have been fired from the job!

Tim says:

on January 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I’ve had many a sin this year. The first is using a Canon 1D the entire year. I’ve felt very dirty because of it but is it truly a sin if that is the camera work gives you to use? Is it a sin if they make you do it?

Despite knowing the camera is old and has it’s limitations, I not once but twice decided I had to use the H setting (essentially 3200 ISO) to photograph bowling matches because they do not allow flash photography. Photographing action at 3200 ISO at 2.8 at 1/30th of a second. Though that sin is bad I sometimes pray to another deity named the Digital Ninja which often knows how to whip those images into usability for newspapers printing on Charmin.

I have tried to be good this year and doing so has helped me at times. I arrived to all my assignments earlier than scheduled but must admit twice unpacking my gear from the trunk of the car to realize I left the batteries charging at home. The photo-gods weren’t cruel and allowed me to rush home and back each time to catch the last bit of the assignment and save my bacon. I’ve prayed many Our Batteries Who Are in my Photobag for both those occasions.

Inexcusable I know, but I must confess that I’m just barely touching the surface. I was shooting a regional final football game and switched to a fresh memory card to catch the game ending reaction. I went gleefully through photographing crying and cheering kids and got back to the office to find the card unreadable. Before pulling out the trusty Photo Rescue to salvage the situation as I normally would I decided to let Windows check the card for errors. (Please don’t blaspheme me for not using Apple.) The card didn’t show any photos after “fixing it” using Windows and when I ran Photo Rescue it only found photos from weeks prior and nothing from that game. I still use the card without problems since that day tempting fate.

I feel dirty for admitting this, but I had to beg/borrow a battery from a fellow shooter from a competing paper at another football game because it went into overtime and my last battery churned it’s final frame in the freezing weather on the final play of the game in regulation time. That borrowed battery was a sinner too as it lied saying it was full power but made the camera grunt and grown through the final minutes of overtime play. I had to turn off the camera and turn it back on to convince the camera it had enough juice to take more photos for each play.

There is more. Oh so more. I have film cameras sitting on a shelf collecting dust all year long. Yes… film… the horror of admitting that and the weight it lets off of my soul is extraordinary. I confess I have film sitting in a container in the fridge waiting to be taken. It’s a joke… I’m cruelly teasing both the cameras and the film. I will never use them. I also have a light meter sitting in one of those bags begging to give a digital readout. They all just sit there unused.

Forgive me. I will do better this year. I will change my ways, if not my camera this year. My one saving grace is that I do pray to St. Strobist of Maryland by using a Nikon SB26 in my bag of Canon gear.

Manmeet says:

on January 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm

My first sin…I’m a Canon fan ;-)
My second sin … I shot almost 150 pictures of my daughter’s 2nd birthday and being a lazybean that I’m , I forgot to download the images. The next day I was actually teaching my daughter how to handle a dslr camera, how to remove the battery and how to remove the cf card and so on….somewhere in between there was an emergency call for potty training and off to the bathroom…little did I know my daughter had carried the cf card as daddy’s momento and once the potty deed was done, needless to say, everything was flushed down the drain, including the card.
To this day I still shudder to think my card lying somewhere with all that poop….Lesson learnt…Always be around when your children are learning potty training

Jacob Murphy says:

on January 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm

my sin was superimposing a smiling face onto a different body! i was shooting a family portrait and the kid was being extremely difficult. he finally smiled for ONE picture. after all of the frustration trying to get him to smile (hitting myself in the head, making silly noises and tickling him) i’d say that i earned that sin.

keep up the great work, joe.

Jason says:

on January 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm

My biggest sin -I shoot Canon! That aside, my biggest mistake of the year was meting out the advice to always use a checklist, remember your batteries, clear your flash cards, etc. etc., etc.

The next day on the Scott Kelby photo walk, I realized my camera had no battery so wen the photo walk leader asked if there were any questions, I had to meekly raise my hand and ask “Any 20D/30D/40D/50D owners have a spare battery?”

Someone did, and I got some snaps off, but the day was a very humbling experience…I should follow my ow advice more often! :)

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