It is always interesting to meet other photographers when I’m out with one of my cameras creating a few images. The discussion often leads to the ‘missed shot’ or other photographic regrets.
Most of us have had experiences where we’ve missed images for one reason or another. Sometimes we decide that its time to go, and after we’ve put our gear away something happens that would have made a terrific photograph. Or, we’ve just arrived at a location and haven’t finished setting up when an event like that happens.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
I was recently at Hendrie Valley early one morning when a kingfisher flew straight at me while I was on one of the bridges. When it got within about 25 feet of me it banked hard to the right providing me with a wonderful opportunity to capture it close up in flight. All I could do was smile at this incredible flying display – my camera was still in my bag!
While on photography tours in New Zealand and some desert states in the US I had a number of occasions when I saw potential images flash through my mind while driving. A few times I stopped, circled back, and captured the photograph. More often than not, due to time pressures, I just kept driving. All the while I had this nagging feeling in my stomach that I had just missed a wonderful image. Even now I can recall specific feelings from those trips.
Sometimes photographic regrets can occur when talking with other photographers as we lose our concentration and can miss opportunities to capture photographs. For me this typically happens when I’m out doing some bird-in-flight photography.
Buying new photographic equipment is often an exciting event. There can be a great amount of anticipation when we open up a camera or lens box for the first time. It can also lead to photographic regrets if the gear fails to meet our expectations.
Looking back, I haven’t had many disappointments with camera gear, and those that I did have were mainly the result of me not doing a sufficient amount of homework about my specific needs before making a purchase. Hindsight is always 20/20!
I suppose many of us have had moments where we’ve thought, “if I had it to do all over again I would…”. A few of my photographic regrets would fall into this category. These include making the shift into full frame camera gear, and my rather short-lived experiment with some M4/3 gear.
It took a few years for me to realize that full frame gear wasn’t the best fit for my specific business. By the time that realization set in I had invested well over five figures in full frame gear and wasted a lot of time as well. Luckily I was able to sell all of it at reasonable prices and recouped a good portion of my initial investment. My experiment with M4/3 was a faster learning experience. I came to my senses within 10 days and the financial impact was limited to several hundred dollars.
Being a neophyte with video gear also resulted in me accepting ‘must have’ suggestions before fully understanding my needs. On the positive side I have been pretty diligent getting rid of gear once I discover that I don’t really need to have cash tied up in it.
Have you experienced some photographic regrets? If you feel comfortable, please share them!
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