Photo aphorisms

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by leslie_reid, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. A few fundamental truths I've tripped over along the path up the learning curve:
    1. If the exposure reading is giving you a shutter speed that seems too good to be true for such a dim day, it’s because you forgot that you dialed in -2 EV to get that shot of the full moon last night.
    2. If the bald eagle has held its pose during the period of time necessary to stop the car, roll down the window, set up the camera, un-set-up the camera, take the lens cap off, and re-set-up the camera, it means that the bird is habituated to motion. This, in turn, means that the momentary pause in activity as you try to frame the shot is enough to panic the bird and send it flying.
    3. Downloading the memory card so that you don’t run out of storage during a shoot is counter-productive if you leave the card in the card reader.
    4. At the moment that you finally figure out how to use every function on your camera, your camera will be old enough that it will need to be replaced rather than repaired.
    Others to add?
  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I thought that 2 meant the bird has been taxidermed already.
  3. Corollary to #2: No matter how fast you get the camera up to get the shot, the animal will be faster.
  4. To quote Gary Larson:
    Just as Dale entered the clearing and spotted Bigfoot, the Loch Nes Monster, and Jackie Onassis, his camera jammed.
    and also
    Great shots abound when you leave the camera at home.
  5. When you sell a piece of equipment that you haven't used for two years, you get a job a month later where it would have been useful.
    Out of a series of dozens of exposures, all are in focus except the one you like the most.
    wogears likes this.
  6. Great roadside photography locations are clearly marked with, "No Stopping at any Time".
  7. The instant you snap your first macro lens onto your camera you will find yourself crazy in love with bugs. All bugs. Madly in love; down on your knees, whispering sweet nothings under your breath ...
  8. And a corollary to Glenn's: The highway patrol does not recognize the classification of "great light" as an "emergency" in the context of signage indicating "Emergency Parking Only."
  9. When shooting birds-in-flight, the clearest shots will be those of the legs leaving the frame.
  10. The effectiveness of an animal's camouflage is inversely proportional to its distance from a photographer. Consequently, nearby individuals become visible only when they are flushed by the photographer as the photographer is attempting to move to within shooting range of distant individuals.
  11. (1) Once you purchase a new DSLR, it already is obsolete.
    (2) That wonderful corollary of Murphy's Law: "It did."
  12. Murphy's laws on nebulosity:
    (1) Hurry up, a cloud is coming
    (2) Don't wait, this cloud is not leaving
  13. (3) The cloud formation you aren't able to shoot today will never return again.
  14. The bird you turn around for is already gone.
  15. Peak action is what happens while you're trying to set up your tripod.

    Only two legs of a tripod will lock properly.

    realism is not the same thing as reality.
  16. Special Law of Photographic Relativity: Rapid motion of a photographer toward a site of scenic beauty warps the space-time continuum in such a way as to degrade the quality of ambient light at a rate proportional to the approach velocity of the photographer.
    djschaefer likes this.
  17. Socio-cultural note regarding the Special Law of Photographic Relativity: This phenomenon appears to be responsible for the salutation commonly used by non-photographers to welcome photographers to sites of scenic beauty: "You should have seen it 10 minutes ago."
  18. Rolls of film lost or spoiled will be forever remembered as timeless masterpieces.
  19. I really miss the old camera I sold, to afford the new.
  20. Lamy's Corollary to McCreery's second law: a monopod will never lock properly
  21. I just lived this one: When you have a lens or teleconverter you don't use for years, when you move to a location where you could use it daily, you won't be able to find it for 6 months. Just found it.
  22. From days of film: Time spent in a shoe box (or, the modern equivalent - on a disk drive) does not make a lousy photo better. (Lesson: Don't save the crappy stuff.)
  23. If you have been waiting for a half hour, the most efficient way to ensure that the momentary phenomenon that you want to photograph will occur within the next 30 seconds is to put the camera away. Patience is rewarded, however. If you've been waiting for more than an hour, simply beginning to change the lens will do the trick.
  24. This guy at the wrong place will go away only after I am gone. Then if I come back, he is back too.
  25. The Principle of Minimum Photographic Mutilation rests on the premise that photographers often are too late to catch the light conditions for which they may have traveled thousands of miles. The Principle reads as follows: Sh*t happens; get over it.
  26. An acknowledgment of your own superiority or good fortune in photographing a difficult and highly inaccessible subject with your prized TLR occurs at the exactly the same moment you realize that you forgot to remove the lens cap.
  27. And of course if you do you own processing and know everything you will be damned if you are going to read the label on the bottle before pouring and forget what volumes you are mixing but a factor of two is insignificant.
  28. Rule n°1 on home film processing: close the tank before shaking
  29. It is not a Hanukah camera, either there is no film or the film is not anchored on the spool.
  30. A. When using a wide-angle lens, objects seen in the viewfinder are closer than they appear. This is particularly true of approaching waves. This is especially particularly true of large approaching waves.
    B. It is difficult to maintain one's balance while running backwards in water-logged boots.
  31. david_henderson


    Anything described as a "scenic turnout" or similar is never scenic , and is often completely surrounded by planted trees so as to completely obscure the view.
  32. Remember that the light is on or that there is naked film around when you turn on the light to look for somethin

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