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What is Your Most Embarrassing Photographic Moment?
Old 01-26-2012   #1
dave lackey
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What is Your Most Embarrassing Photographic Moment?

Ha! Just to lighten things up a bit.
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Old 01-26-2012   #2
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I suppose that was having the camera bag with all exposed rolls stolen right after a Björk interview - due to hanging out in a bar getting pickled with the band rather than going about my duty...
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Old 01-26-2012   #3
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Every now and then, when I'm not paying attention to what I'm doing, I'll open a camera back in order to load film, only to discover a half finished roll already in the camera. Dummy move.
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Old 01-26-2012   #4
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when, after unbundling my rather massive mamiya universal press cam to take pictures of the grand canyon with two different films on two different backs, thus holding up my tour bus, my wife noticed i had taken the entire series of photos with my lens cap on!
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Old 01-26-2012   #5
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Keeping lens cap on and opening cameras with film in them.
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Old 01-26-2012   #6
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Spending a Morning & into the Late Night with Tom & Tuulikki here in NY
Thinking I am Shooting a Roll and realize the Next Day
there was No Film in the Camera... arghhhhh !!!!!
Memories only in Memory not in Film ;(
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Old 01-26-2012   #7
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Shot a roll on the M6 during a 2 hour walk-around.

No tension on a very short (too short) rewind.

The leader had pulled from the tulip on the very first stroke and I never noticed the rewind not spinning.

Oh well, got some exercise.
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Old 01-26-2012   #8
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Embarassing (my fault) - After learning about the benefits of bounce flash (and seeing good results at home), I took my camera to a cousin's wedding, where the ceilings in the reception hall were 20 feet high. Yeah, nothing came out.

Embrassing (not my fault)- in Berlin, my old auto-everything Pentax SLR wouldn't tell you if the film improperly loaded. I got to frame 37, then 38, then 39, the 40, etc. I quickly ended my use of that camera.
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Old 01-26-2012   #9
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Unloading a roll of Kodak 220 full of Christmas pictures from my GA645, trying to figure out how to seal it ( because I'd only used fuji up to that point), only to wind up with one end in my hand and the roll on the floor, rolling away from me.
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Old 01-26-2012   #10
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Was hired for my first commercial job, to shoot a political candidate with his family, to be all warm and fuzzy. Proudly turned in the contacts and prints and was met with looks of horror: I had shot the whole job very wide-angle, and managed to make the candidate look as venal, corrupt and thug-like as he probably really was, and his chubby wife and daughters very similar to barnyard animals. Just about my LAST commercial job!
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Old 01-26-2012   #11
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Lens cap on the camera... I do this a lot with optical VF cameras during the first use of the day.

Roll of film not properly wound = no photos.

More stupidity than embarrassment.
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Old 01-26-2012   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdotkling View Post
Was hired for my first commercial job, to shoot a political candidate with his family, to be all warm and fuzzy. Proudly turned in the contacts and prints and was met with looks of horror: I had shot the whole job very wide-angle, and managed to make the candidate look as venal, corrupt and thug-like as he probably really was, and his chubby wife and daughters very similar to barnyard animals. Just about my LAST commercial job!
This is so COOL! You ought to re-post this in the thread about the 135mm portrait lenses and why you don't use wide-angles to do portraits of people that are paying for them to be made! Talk about "life imitates art" LOL! Thanks for sharing!

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Old 01-26-2012   #13
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On vacation in San Francisco three years ago, my first trip with a film camera and a rangefinder (previously used a 5D and before that a Digital Rebel). Shot nothing but slide film. I was very embarrassed by my poor exposure. I've gotten much better, but I figure why make it harder? I cheat now and use an incident meter. On this trip, I finished off a roll in Alcatraz. We went to a museum next and I went to load film only to realize that I never rewound the previous roll. Last two frames were fogged, everything else was OK. I thought the entire roll would be dead. Ever since, before I open the bottom, I see how much resistance I have on the rewind knob, whether I'm picking it up for the first time in weeks or whether I used it half an hour ago and think I took the film out. Every. Single. Time. ... Never. Again.
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Old 01-26-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbelyell View Post
when, after unbundling my rather massive mamiya universal press cam to take pictures of the grand canyon with two different films on two different backs, thus holding up my tour bus, my wife noticed i had taken the entire series of photos with my lens cap on!
Or in my case, I forget to pull the dark slide! Wish I could develope it.
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Old 01-26-2012   #15
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Recently, while photographing the Chinese New Year parade, I turned my attention to some of the crowd. I thought, so many people being cooperative while photographing them. I kept wondering why they were laughing, only to turn around and see the fathers standing there with their cameras! To my chagrin, I kept stepping in the way of husbands and fathers photographing their families without noticing them.
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Old 01-26-2012   #16
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I was walking through the red light district in Amsterdam during a friend's stag night. I thought I was shooting quite discreetly with my camera at my hip. Unfortunately my camera at the time was a Sony digital that projected a red light straight into the face of an angry working woman behind a window. Heard a horrible shriek and some rough sounding Dutch words before my mates told me to get a move on as she picked up a bucket full of muck from next to her bed and began to chase me down the street. The angry mostly naked woman finally got close enough to empty out the bucket over my head on a crowded street. Needless to say my friends got some great photos of me covered in God knows what...
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Old 01-26-2012   #17
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On my one and only trip to Alaska I double exposed a 36 exposure roll of slides. For years I have always rewound the film tongue completely into the can to prevent this from happening. How it happened this time I'll never know. Needless to say, when people asked to see the pictures of my trip I came up a little short (about 72 exposures to be exact).
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Old 01-26-2012   #18
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I was on assignment covering a double homicide. I get there the CSU van is in front of this house So I start photographing the house. I get right across the street from it and grab a photo. I figure out 10 minutes later I photographed the wrong house and I was standing right in front of the actual crime scene house. I couldn't get anywhere near it again because the cops were keeping the line guarded after that. I guess I assumed since the cops were parked in front of that house that was the one and didn't even think of double checking the address. I also saw cops coming out of it but I guess they were just doing sweeping interviews. So frustrating. I felt like an idiot.

Another time I was photographing the Mayor's inauguration. They were saying they were going to let photographers up to the stage 3 at a time for 2 minutes to get photos during the ceremony. It turned into a huge screwup. When i got up there the front was littered with photographers. I couldn't get the angle I wanted and ended up doing a sort of crabbing belly crawl from one side of the stage to the other so I could get a shot without the podium in my way. After I was done I called my girlfriend and she goes "I saw you on TV dragging yourself on the ground."
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Old 01-26-2012   #19
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Realizing after the 38th frame the film leader didn't catch on to the take up spool. I also shot some scenes at a wreck site only to realize later there was no film in the camera.
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Old 01-26-2012   #20
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Funny stuff!

This crummy photo got me caught red handed by the bartender for sneaking the shot of these strangers while the camera sat on the bar top in timer mode.
I was trying to cover the stupid red light with my hand, but it made my hand glow red, hence I was caught "red handed."
I was embarrassed.
Fortunately, the situation was lubricated with good spirits.

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Old 01-26-2012   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
Spending a Morning & into the Late Night with Tom & Tuulikki here in NY
Thinking I am Shooting a Roll and realize the Next Day
there was No Film in the Camera... arghhhhh !!!!!
Memories only in Memory not in Film ;(
Now that had to really suck. Maybe next time carry the new X100.
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Old 01-26-2012   #22
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Shooting with the lens cap on? Forgetting to bring film? Too many to think about...
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Old 01-26-2012   #23
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That's easy and embarrassing. I was asked to shoot the 10th Anniversary Party for the TV Station Biography in 1992 using the dreaded Minolta 9000. The AF screwed up. Almost all my shots were blurred.
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Old 01-26-2012   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokton48 View Post
Keeping lens cap on and opening cameras with film in them.
+1

. . . . . being asked by a stranger on the street, after taking a few photographs, "do you realize that your cap is on?"


Also have opened the back of the camera prior to rewinding on a couple of occasions. Lesson learned is always rewind film immediately when the last frame is exposed.
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Old 01-26-2012   #25
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Shooting a certain English folk singer (who shall remain nameless) many years ago, in a small club. Using a Leica M3. I was sitting next to the stage. All of a sudden my viewfinder filled up with the wrathful figure of said folk singer headed straight my way and shrieking "No photographs! I can hear the shutter!"

And given the quietness of a Leica shutter, she must have had the ears of a bat to do so...
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Old 01-26-2012   #26
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I was photographing the opening of a bar/restaurant with a Pentax LX. I was betrayed by the "magic fingers" film-take up system. I got the sinking feeling in the party's second hour that the silky-smooth lack of tension on the film-advance lever was trying to tell me something . . .Arrrg! I break out into a sweat today even thinking about it.
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Old 01-26-2012   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kehng View Post
I was walking through the red light district in Amsterdam during a friend's stag night. I thought I was shooting quite discreetly with my camera at my hip. Unfortunately my camera at the time was a Sony digital that projected a red light straight into the face of an angry working woman behind a window. Heard a horrible shriek and some rough sounding Dutch words before my mates told me to get a move on as she picked up a bucket full of muck from next to her bed and began to chase me down the street. The angry mostly naked woman finally got close enough to empty out the bucket over my head on a crowded street. Needless to say my friends got some great photos of me covered in God knows what...
I salute you sir! You are a brave man. I would never tell such a story.

I can only hope... I'm not even sure what to hope for you.
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Old 01-26-2012   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kehng View Post
I was walking through the red light district in Amsterdam during a friend's stag night. I thought I was shooting quite discreetly with my camera at my hip. Unfortunately my camera at the time was a Sony digital that projected a red light straight into the face of an angry working woman behind a window. Heard a horrible shriek and some rough sounding Dutch words before my mates told me to get a move on as she picked up a bucket full of muck from next to her bed and began to chase me down the street. The angry mostly naked woman finally got close enough to empty out the bucket over my head on a crowded street. Needless to say my friends got some great photos of me covered in God knows what...
You win!

I don't think that was muck.

I think we all estimate how discreet (or sauve or strong) we could be after we've been drinking.
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Old 01-26-2012   #29
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I was once standing on a beautiful beach with my last exposure ready from my last roll of film. The light was on its way to being perfect so I waited for the "golden hour" sunset with my girlfriend for 45 minutes in the freezing cold. During all this, I decided to let my girlfriend take the remaining frame in order to inspire her to stay out there with me. She put the strap of my Leica M6 around her neck, shutter cocked. I was in the process of describing to her how easy it is to accidentally fire the shutter with a soft-release trigger button installed (very important due to only having one frame remaining). When I pointed to the shutter with my frozen digit in an attempt to show her what I was talking about, I fired the shutter accidentally.
WINNING.
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Old 01-26-2012   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swoop View Post
I was on assignment covering a double homicide. I get there the CSU van is in front of this house So I start photographing the house. I get right across the street from it and grab a photo. I figure out 10 minutes later I photographed the wrong house and I was standing right in front of the actual crime scene house. I couldn't get anywhere near it again because the cops were keeping the line guarded after that. I guess I assumed since the cops were parked in front of that house that was the one and didn't even think of double checking the address. I also saw cops coming out of it but I guess they were just doing sweeping interviews. So frustrating. I felt like an idiot.

Another time I was photographing the Mayor's inauguration. They were saying they were going to let photographers up to the stage 3 at a time for 2 minutes to get photos during the ceremony. It turned into a huge screwup. When i got up there the front was littered with photographers. I couldn't get the angle I wanted and ended up doing a sort of crabbing belly crawl from one side of the stage to the other so I could get a shot without the podium in my way. After I was done I called my girlfriend and she goes "I saw you on TV dragging yourself on the ground."
I wouldn't be embarassed by this. I admire your dedication!!
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Old 01-26-2012   #31
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Old 01-26-2012   #32
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fortunately or unfortunately..... i've only got lens-cap stories. luckily nothing critical or irreplaceable, but still, embarrassing. not sure if it's worse when pointed out or possibly witnessed by known people or strangers.

gotta say it - loving the F5 without leader-out mod for soooo many reasons reading this! SLR makes the lens cap things pretty much impossible and out of focus real obvious, film load/advance is pretty much idiot-proofed (including a flashing red light!), and switching to a standard back from the MF-28 this week so I'll even have that little window to see the roll.

but yeah, the IIIf/Summitar makes prettier black and white pictures than the F5 and any 50 I've (so far) mounted.
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The day I retired my B35
Old 01-26-2012   #33
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Thumbs down The day I retired my B35

More than 10 years ago we were on a beautiful island in the North Sea (Amrum). We spent there two weeks. The second week I made my most photographs, with a Rollei B35. Well, I believed I did... Look, unbelievable - I meant to my wife - it takes up to 38 images
A few weeks later when I got back the developed roll I received only two prints: A normal image plus a second frame with all the remaining exposures on it. All the nice images of the tidelands, the seagulls, my child, the ships and boats, the sea... All of this were exposed exactly on one frame, because the sprocket wheel didn't transport the film any longer.
This was the day I put my old B35 into a cabinet.
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Old 01-26-2012   #34
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The day I got back from a 3 week holiday in Melanesia - sailing and diving around the Solomon Islands and New Guinea with my brand spanking new Nikonos 5 underwater (and above water) camera. I had submitted a dozen or more 36 shot prepaid rolls of film for processing only to find I had not loaded the camera correctly. Not one roll turned out. Nada, zip zero.

The good thing is that this experience motivated me to go bakc and to do it all over again the next year. This time being very careful to read the manual first and be sure I knew how to load the camera properly.
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Old 01-26-2012   #35
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My very most embarrassing experience happen as I was photographing a dog waiting in front of a shop in one German city (I was just finishing a roll in my Mamiya 6). It looked kinda cute so I kneeled (to get lower view) at about 3 meters from it. As I was just tipping the shutter (the dog moved just fraction of a second before that) I heard YELLING and I mean YELLING from a lady irreversibly approaching middle age covered in too much make-up with strong far-east european accent (I can say that - I am form east Europe too She was simply of "that kind"). It was all about "you have no right to photograph my dog ... it is my property ... you will not make money with photos of my dog ... I will call cops ... keep that camera out of my face ... I will call cops" with hysteric voice and she kept repeating all that stuff and she kept yelling at me - pretty much directly to my face. I really got stunned - it was something I really did not expect. People around were just starring as they did not know what was going one. I tried to reason with her at first but to no avail - so I was just standing there and starring at her for a few seconds. At some point I told her "go ahead and call the cops" but she was like a broken alarm. Finally I turned and walked away. It took me quite some time sitting in my car jut to put myself together. Until today I keep telling myself that I should have called the cops. I know I failed under this stress test, but at least nobody got physically harmed

The dog ignored the whole situation (probably used to this behavior of it's mistress.

Sorry for a long post, but it had to go out. I still feel bad when I thing about this again.

I am going to make myself a tea ...
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Old 01-26-2012   #36
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I once shot a client in a studio for 15 minutes without realising there was no cf card in the camera. I don't think they noticed, so it wasn't that bad.
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Old 01-26-2012   #37
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In the first ten years, never missed focus and never had the lens cap on as the reversed hood prevented aperture adjustment and the cap only went on the reversed hood. Very occasional lens cap on with non-Leica lenses, but still never an unfocused shot in 30 years. Until I got the M5. I was concentrating on the new match needle metering so much I would get back these unfocused shots as I had completely forgotten to focus. Even with this and the M6 I am leaving the lens cap on for a shot more than ever because of my 21 and 25 with accessory VFs and not using the camera VF. All of this is revealed in the negatives for the amusement of the guys who develop my film.
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Old 01-26-2012   #38
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About a week ago, I started a thread asking for advice re: event photography.

At the event, I missed a speech by the CEO of Pratt & Whitney because my film wasn't loaded properly. Also, underexposed many shots due to the auto-mode flash bouncing off the projector screen. Also, cut off half the CEO in most of the "unveiling" photos. Also, wore loud boots and drew everyone's attention as I moved around the lecture hall during the speech for different angles. Also, turned the rewind knob the wrong way during part of a different speech so that it came unscrewed and fell apart (fortunately I had a backup body).

I feel like I'm at confession.
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Old 01-27-2012   #39
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Until I got the M5. I was concentrating on the new match needle metering so much I would get back these unfocused shots as I had completely forgotten to focus.
I did this with my M6 after using some AF P&S for a couple week stretch... felt ridiculous.
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