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Errors of Judgement

Sometimes you just have to admit it. You got it wrong. You made a mistake, an error of judgement. Just like Lewis Hamilton did at Monza last weekend after crashing into Felipe Massa. Too complacent and all fired up. Lewis will rue not giving Felipe more room. Hopefully we all learn from our mistakes and they can become timely reminders. One of my missions this year has been to update some of my local imagery. So a week or so ago, with the first of the September mists descending upon us, I was out there, only a few miles from my home waiting for the sun to rise and transcend the night into day.

The mist was low and a little wispy, but I could have done with a touch more. The exact composition I was looking for had been marked on the map some months ago, so I knew what I wanted. Unfortunately on this occasion it didn’t come to fruition. The following morning, stood in the same spot at the same silly o’clock time, there was a touch more mist. On the horizon however was a bank of cloud which, as the sun rose, prevented the acute angled light I had visualised from shafting across the moor. So, another sojourn without success – but it’s beautiful here anyway and not a totally wasted morning.

Third time lucky? Stood there on the moor, I thought so. A clear horizon, and the dew point creating thick, swirling mist meandering through the shrubs, trees, heather and, thankfully a few ponies grazing. The game was most definitely on! As the sun came up, for just a minute or two, the effect I wanted materialised. The telephoto lens, adorned with ND grad, set around 135mm provided a little compression to the scene. I would have liked to orchestrate the ponies into a slightly better position, but other that, it was just what I wanted. Job done.

Or so I thought! A day or two previously I had downloaded the latest upgrade to Lightroom, now version 3.2. Okay a few changes but ostensibly the same thing so nothing to learn. Back in the office I connected my memory card into the reader, fired up Lightroom and the images illuminated onto the screen. Fantastic. Good histograms. The right early morning atmospheric feel. It was a worthwhile shoot. Don’t you love it when it comes together? Removing the card from the reader and back into the camera, I reformatted the card ready for another day. Back to the processing. I selected an image. “Image not found” LR kindly informed me. What? How can that be? I tried another image with the same response. The images were nowhere to be found – and I’d reformatted the memory card! No matter how many times I tried to retrieve the non existent pixels in vain hope, they remained illusive. The whole shoot wasted. This couldn’t be happening to me. This shouldn’t be happening to me!

I went back to my importing process and there, glaring in front of me was the error of my ways. The upgraded version of the import is laid out differently from the previous version and I had not noticed that the Import ‘from’ and ‘to’ destinations were the same! The images, although showing in LR, had not transferred to the hard drive. ARGGHH! Normally on a trip away, the cards are backed up onto laptop; then back in the office onto the main computer hard drive; then after first edit onto an external drive BEFORE I delete the cards. The finished edit is then backed up and burnt to disk held offsite at my outlaws. My complacency attached to a familiar program and it being a local shoot, had caused me unnecessary angst, a wasted trip and a wasted opportunity.

I checked the weather forecast. Another clear night was forecast. Hopefully there was still enough moisture on the moor to emanate the conditions required for another go. So for the forth morning in a row, stood in the same spot set up ready and…it was on! Thank goodness. There were ponies, but not in the position I wanted. Some cattle however, mooched across during moments of exposure, adding the extra dimension to the image I sought.

Back in the office it was back to basics following standard procedure while I successfully imported the files. Lesson learnt big time!

Keep practicing

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