Strangest Reason You Couldn't Make an Exposure

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We've all been stopped from making exposures by changing light, people interrupting, limited time, forgetting film or equipment, scenes changing and so on...

But what is the strangest reason that prevented you from making an exposure?

For me it was a dead kitty in the middle of the road. :sad:

Sunday, on our way home from a snowy hike, my girlfriend and I encountered a beautiful scene involving a farm, fresh tire tracks in the snow, a lovely fence line, some gorgeous snow covered weeds, and glowacious soft winter light. Sadly, just ahead of where I would have had to stop there was a dead kitty laying in the road. It was a somber sight but probably wouldn't have prevented me from working on my own, but I was not on my own. My girl is incredibly supportive and always happy to stop and work but I knew doing so here would have put her in a funk for the rest of the day. She's a sweetheart and loves little animals. I didn't hesitate... just kept on driving and got past the cat as quickly as possible.

(There was no question as to the state of the poor thing or else I would have checked on it...)
 

BradS

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I have failed for all of the usual reasons:
inconsiderate 'tourists' stepping right in front of my camera on tripod
a passerby wants to engage in a conversation about (fill in the blank) as the light passes
camera jams
no film in camera
failure to remove the lens cap
failure to close the preview lever after GG focusing
Failure to pull the darkslide / failure to replace the darkslide
dropped camera in parking lot / destroyed lens on arrival at event.
a drunk wedding guest mistakenly picked up my camera and walked off with it
chased off by private security.
wind/weather/clouds no cooperating.

but, I cannot really think of anything strange...
 

Dr Croubie

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I went to the cricket on Sunday, to see us aussies wipe the floor with the poms. I took my digital but left it in the bag until the very end for when I was out of film. First I had 3 rolls of TXP to use up on my EOS 3, with 70-300L and Kenko 1.4x t/c, effective f/8 and 1/500-1500.
Mostly I was pointing at the batter as the bowler came in, trying to get some action shots of batter hitting the ball.
But with 90 overs in the day and 6 balls an over for those yanks who don't understand cricket, I obviously didn't have enough frames to shoot *every* time. So mostly I was just snapping the occasional shot, trying to pick when the batter would let it past or block and ignore those, only take the 'action' shots (as much of 'action' as you can get at a test match).
So at some point the bowler was running in (kept my left eye open), my right eye on the batter through the lens. And it didn't look like he was going to do anything so I just froze, didn't take the shot. Clean bowled him. Same thing happened again a few overs later, missed a great short-fielder catch because my finger just froze. No idea why, it's not like I made a conscious decision to not take the shot, I just didn't. (maybe it was all the Pimms). Still, I got 3 rolls of perfect shots of them blocking and leaving and (probably) no action shots...
 

momus

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What Brian said. Because of that picayune oversight, in 1982 I missed a shot that would have put me on the cover of Life or something similar. Now I carry a camera everywhere, all the time, even out to the mailbox. Of course, now nothing ever happens. Curses.
 
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But what is the strangest reason that prevented you from making an exposure?

Forgetting that I had not loaded a new roll of film after the last exposure. I did that again on a recent tour to Central Australia for a sunrise shot of Uluru, alas...! It is strange for me and it was put down to tiredness: I don't perform well at 4.15am in the morning...
 

Truzi

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Not too strange, but interviewing people involved in the grand opening of a Cracker Barrel restaurant. I was working for a weekly paper as a journalist; photography was just an add-on when appropriate. I was interviewing one of the key people involved when they cut the ribbon behind us... without telling anyone they were about to cut it. Guess that's what I get for actually interviewing people and not inventing the news (unlike our competitors).

Also, the paper had us use its point-and-shoot film camera. The red-eye pre-flash could not be disabled, so it was common to miss any action because of the delay.
 

removed account4

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hi shawn

i have a few really weird reasons, one
was not enough light, i made it anyways,
and it didn't really matter.
another was that i wasn't allowed to, you know
trespassing and land owners and all those BS
hoops they make strangers jump through to legitimize
the whole experience, and the last was i got to the site
and what was supposed to be there, wasn't there.
 

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Driving for an hour. Carrying a heavy tripod through the wood. Setting up the tripod at the right spot only to find that I left the base for my Cambo back home.
Nothing much you can do without a base. Packed up and went back home.
Perhaps more of a stupid reason than a strange one.
 

Sirius Glass

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Driving for an hour. Carrying a heavy tripod through the wood. Setting up the tripod at the right spot only to find that I left the base for my Cambo back home.
Nothing much you can do without a base. Packed up and went back home.
Perhaps more of a stupid reason than a strange one.

Nice recumbent in your avatar, I have a Haluzak Horizon.

Almost but no cigar: I drove for an hour to get to Skyline drive and then remembered that I did not take the 4"x5" film and holders. I returned home, picked up the film and drove back to Skyline Drive.
 

bsdunek

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Many years ago I was asked to get a group shot at a special occasion. But one woman in the group was so self-centered and had such low confidence and self-esteem that she got in the front row and sat on the floor with her back to the camera. When asked to move, she would not, and there was no other place to move the group that was adequate for the picture. We all waited a very long time for another opportunity.

Similar - when I was doing a wedding. All of the Bride's side of the family left the Church for the VFW Hall before I could take the formal shots. Got to the VFW and they were all already in the bag. Plus, there was no good spot for a background, the ceiling was low, and the whole place was dingy. Group shots were horrible - it was easy to see who was drunk and nearly falling down. I got paid anyway. The Bride was mad at her family, not me.
 

wildbill

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Backpack full of lenses, film holders, etc but left the camera at home hundreds of miles away. That has only happened once. Shooting with an empty film holder, that has happened at least twice.
 
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Well, we all certainly share a common bond when it comes to making mistakes and forgetting things... :smile: Thanks for sharing. I was thinking that I've never been thwarted by a dead animal before and could only image what others have encountered. Looking forward to reading more stories.
 

Arcturus

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It's not strange, but forgetting to cock the shutter is a usual culprit. I take the utmost care in framing and metering and as the decisive moment approaches and passes I repeatedly press the shutter release in vain. All I can do then is imagine how awesome it would have been to have gotten that shot.
 

Hatchetman

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recently brought my Rolleicord and a roll of film. Opened it up and realized it didn't have a take-up spool in it! Oh well...
 

jernejk

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I was taking some nigh shots of sea and stars, doing long exposures. There was no moon that night, which made it an awesome opportunity. Took some shots with my film camera as well as my digital. Checking the digital, I realised I took a shot of a satellite crossing the sky. Only the path was a bit strange, not straight. Oh well, maybe it was a plane?

Anyway, packed my back and got back to my boat. See, I was on this remote small unpopulated island, about a mile away from the shore. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time on the boat with my dad around there, so I knew the area. The night did not bother me. Besides, there was a tourist resort just across the channel. I could see the lights from there and hear the music playing outside.

I'm going back and suddenly my engine dies. Crap. I'm still more than half a mile from the shore. I got paddles, but I try to fix the engine first. Good thing I have a headlamp.

What happens when you focus so much on fixing the problem is you don't notice the surroundings. I look around and suddenly everything is pitch dark. And silent. Just me, the sea, and the stars. This gets me a bit nervous. Did the current push me away from the shore? But the currents here are weak. And there's next to no wind. What's going on?

I noticed a reflection of something on the sea. Only it wasn't a reflection. The light was coming from below the sea. Divers?
There are no boats around me. Suddenly the sea gets very wavy and the boat is rocking like crazy. Only there's still no wind. Ok, I'm starting not to like this. The engine still wouldn't start. Let's paddle away before it's too late.

I turn around to get paddles and I scream like a girl. There is freaking somebody else on the boat. My heart is pounding like I'm running a marathon. When I screamed, my headlight dropped in the sea. F-word.

I don't see her very well as it's too dark. I barely manage to ask: who are you!? But there's no reply. She's just sitting there, watching the lights under the sea. She doesn't pay attention to me at all.

I pick up the camera bag as I keep my knife there. Better safe than sorry. I seem to be in no danger though. As my eyes are getting accustomed to the dark I see she's young.... very young. Not more than 15.

Screw it, if this is happening, at least I can document it, right? I slowly take my digital to take a picture. She's still ignoring me. She's starring into the lights below the sea as if it's the only thing that matters. Crap. My digital is out of power. Thanks good I have my manual film camera with me. As I take the camera out of my bag, I hear a splash behind me. I look around, but there's nothing there. Ok, I'm nervous now.

I turn back to the girls and she's starring face to face in me. She takes the camera and punches me in the head with it.

I regained consciousness in the ER the next day. A ship found my boat 10 miles off shoe with me inside. There was nothing in the boat - no paddles, camera bag, knife, nothing. They did however found a photo of a beautiful young girl in my hands. It was her.


Nah, just kidding. That was about the strangest story I could think of. I got nothing but the usual out of batteries, forgot film and the stuff.
 

Kyle M.

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RB67 users you'll understand. Last Sunday night doing some still lifes with a friend in her studio, took the last shot on the roll with my RB67 90mm and extension tubes #1, and #2, put it off to the side. Later I'm packing up to leave, I pull the lens off and turn the mirror up switch back to normal and the shutter closes!!! Oops dummy me forgot to stop the exposure, so I lost that shot, it would have been a good one, good thing I took two.:D
 

batwister

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There was this time when the moon got in the way of the sun. Really annoying
 

Dr Croubie

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recently brought my Rolleicord and a roll of film. Opened it up and realized it didn't have a take-up spool in it! Oh well...

A month or two ago I had a bright idea, I have take-up spools that I like and want to reuse, and some junky ones that I don't like the design of.
So I thought I'd reuse the nice ones on B+W, which I process at thome so I'll keep them, and use the junky ones for colour so the lab keeps them.
So I took all the spools out of all my backs and cameras and sorted them into which ones I likes and which I didn't, and thought (at the time) that I'd just grab whatever I needed before shooting depending on if it were colour or B+W.

Went to use my camera, last minute rushing around before I left: camera, check, backs, check, lenses, check, film, check, off we go. Drive an hour out to wherever and realise I had no take-up spools (or sometimes I at least had only one in a loaded back, the other 4 backs for different types of films are useless without spools).
Not once, but about 3-4 times that happened before I gave up on the idea of 'nice' and 'crap' spools, and just threw whatever in all of them so it wouldn't happen a 5th time...
 

Sirius Glass

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It's not strange, but forgetting to cock the shutter is a usual culprit. I take the utmost care in framing and metering and as the decisive moment approaches and passes I repeatedly press the shutter release in vain. All I can do then is imagine how awesome it would have been to have gotten that shot.

I stopped using Rf cameras because the lens cap was getting all the best shots!
 

Dr Croubie

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I stopped using Rf cameras because the lens cap was getting all the best shots!

I've got a Bessa with TTL meter, so if the shutter speed is blinking at 1/2s min-speed, it's obvious that the lens cap is on.
Well, you'd think so, but one day I was taking shots indoors and it was blinking at me, so I just thought, "hmm, it must be *really* dark in here" and just braced the camera a lot steadier for a 1/2-second shot of the lenscap...
 

Truzi

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I was taking some nigh shots of sea and stars...

I regained consciousness in the ER the next day. A ship found my boat 10 miles off shoe with me inside. There was nothing in the boat - no paddles, camera bag, knife, nothing. They did however found a photo of a beautiful young girl in my hands. It was her.

Nah, just kidding. That was about the strangest story I could think of. I got nothing but the usual out of batteries, forgot film and the stuff.

You should have added that a kidney had been harvested :smile:

True story here - when I was a child (less than 13 years old) I saw an UFO while playing in our back yard. It was the middle of the day - I saw a very shiny object, that appeared to be the edge of disc, moving across the sky. I wanted to get my parents and my camera, but I just kept watching it... for too long. As it turned, I saw it was merely the glare of the sun off an ordinary jet. Too bad I was enthralled with it or I'd have had a cool picture.
 

Steve Smith

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I drove for an hour to get to Skyline drive and then remembered that I did not take the 4"x5" film and holders. I returned home, picked up the film and drove back to Skyline Drive.

Nothing photographic that I can think of, but I did once turn up at a gig without my guitar.


Steve.
 
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