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Murphys law for photographers

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    It has come to my attention here at the Institute for the Codification of Photographic Behavior that some of the denizens here are puzzled by what happens to them photographically. I believe this is because they don’t understand Murphy’s Law.

    It states: If anything can go wrong, it will.

    There are two important corollaries to Murphy’s Law:

    1. Even if anything can’t go wrong, it still will.

    2. It will go wrong at the worst possible time in the worst possible place.

    So what does this mean for photographers?

    1. If you neglect to bring your camera because you are “just going out to the store for a minute,” the most astonishing thing imaginable will happen right before your eyes.

    2. If you did bring your camera, and something astonishing occurs in front of you, you won’t have the right lens fitted. The right lens will likely be back in your car, your house, or your hotel room.

    3. If you have a fixed lens camera, you won’t be able to “zoom with your feet” and/or the telephoto won’t be long enough or the wide angle won’t be wide enough.

    4. If you have the right camera and lens for the situation, you will forget that you have left the camera in some peculiar mode, and you will find yourself photographing a spectacular sunrise or the Green Flash in the Caribbean in Sepia.

    5. If you have the camera set in the right mode, the autofocus will begin zooming in and out like a trombone because you have unknowingly switched the camera into macro mode.

    6. If you have the right camera, lens, mode and settings, someone will step in front of you at the Decisive Moment. If not, the battery indicator will suddenly begin blinking red.

    7. If the battery is in good health, the camera will display a message asking you to decide parameters for an obscure function you have never seen and don’t understand. Whatever you do, the message won’t go away until you make a choice, and the choice you make will be wrong.

    That will get you started with a basic understanding of Murphy’s Law for photographers. Feel free to chime in with your own observations.

    Cheers, Jock
     
    • Like Like x 15
  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Thanks, Jock. :dash2: I think.:wink:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    As soon as you pat yourself on the back for remembering to grab the battery out of the charger before you left, you'll realize that you forgot to pull the memory card out of the computer. Of course, you're already at the zoo. And they don't sell memory cards.

    based on a true story
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    So right!

    Cheers, Jock
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    We all MISS approximately 1-100 trillion excellent photographs every day. If we're doing well, we may GET one or two or even a few good ones on those days we go out to shoot.

    If we spend any time at all thinking about the ones we miss, it could consume our lives. Street shooting brings this out soooooo clearly. I can't tell you how many shots I know I JUST missed, and I know it right away. But the few times, early on, that I went back to try to get it again on the rebound, I don't just miss it - I miss it badly (because it's not there anymore) and I also miss the next one I could have been getting if I'd kept moving forward. I got over THAT habit really fast. You miss so many shots they're not worth the time of day - it's the one's we get that matter...

    There's a larger life lesson in there somewhere, but I suck at those. I can apply it to photography though...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 6
  6. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    haha! I like that list. Made me laugh. The one I usually run into is forgetting to swap out batteries when the one in the camera is dead before I leave and forget to take an extra.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    If you're on a bus and see a wonderful photographic opportunity outside of the window, and you have your healthy camera and proper lens with you, the window will either be hideously dirty or covered by one of those vinyl advertisements that lets some light in but will obscure any image you may get. And, no, you can't get off the bus. I commute to and from New York on a bus every day. I can't tell you how many times I have seen breathtaking sunrise and sunset light reflecting off the towers of Manhattan, only to be foiled by the windows of the moving bus on which I was trapped.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  8. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Mine is almost the same. Its when you dont have two batteries and you know you're going to go somewhere distant the next day which may provide opportunity to shoot, so you prepare, by charging the battery... and forget to put it in the camera.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I live in fear of #7.:hide:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Live life in the moment, you can't relive the past.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. El Guapo

    El Guapo SC Regular

    176
    Feb 3, 2014
    So this is why there are no photos of Aliens landing... :doh: :hiding:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Exactly. No government suppression conspiracy necessary; just Murphy's Law.:biggrin:

    Cheers, Jock
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Or maybe, no use crying over spilt milk... :cool:

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Well, Murphy's Law states that you wouldn't have gotten the photo anyway.. so it's all good if you never raise the camera :D They make great neck jewelry and wrist bangles.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Think of all the money you've freed up for new stuff.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. RT Panther

    RT Panther SC All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
    I did pocket a few hundred....The rest is in the RX10 & AW 1 :eek:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    That's why I carry a 8 gig card in my wallet, in it's little plastic whatsit. Before that leaving the sd card in the card reader was way to common.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    That's one thing the Leica T does right, put the memory in the camera so you can never forget it!
     
    • Like Like x 2