Gion Matsuri Festival: Ruining Every Photo Before It’s Taken
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Young Photographer Gion Matsuri festival, Kyoto Japan -- Gion Matsuri (祇園祭) -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 + 1.4X TC @ 420mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Young Photographer
Gion Matsuri festival, Kyoto Japan

So I went out to the second (of three) Gion Festival festival-in-the-streets evenings as I did yesterday, but this time I neglected to adjust the camera settings, and I left them at what Anthony uses for his stop-motion Lego play. That means that instead of shooting raw as I normally do, which allows for the highest quality results, I ended up shooting in the smallest, lowest-quality JPEGs the camera could do. What a huge mistake.

It's all the more depressing because I must have given my contact info to at least a dozen people, to contact me for copies of the photos I took of them or their group. History has shown that most won't bother (even though they saw the result on the back of the camera and to a person were stunned at the result), but now I worry that I'll have anything worth sending.

I had a great time chatting with a lot of fun people (the lens is a great ice breaker), but this really ruins the evening for me. I'm too depressed to even look at the pictures beyond the first few, of which one is shown above. I probably should have asked that young man for advice. 🙁

Continued here...

All 10 comments so far, oldest first...

I bet that young man is also shooting JPG… This is nearly as bad as forgetting you set your camera on bracketing, leaving you with only a fraction of pictures correctly exposed…

— comment by Henk on July 16th, 2011 at 12:08am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

Sounds like you need to get Anthony his own camera so you don’t have to worry about that in the future.

— comment by Eric Mesa on July 16th, 2011 at 1:02am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

Sorry about your photos. But, seeing your post made me go look for Anthony’s LEGO photos with my son, Will. He now wants to go to Japan to visit Anthony:) He is obsessed with LEGOs!

— comment by Katie on July 16th, 2011 at 1:32am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

Always remember to “Zero Out” everytime, lesson learnt eh!

— comment by James Arendell on July 16th, 2011 at 3:53am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
I do understand how you feel right now.
This also happened to me once.
But remember everyone makes a mistake once in a while. So keep your chin up!

Erik (the Netherlands)

— comment by Erik on July 16th, 2011 at 4:52am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

In certain luxury cars there are “driver presets” so that when you get into the car on Monday after your wife drove it on Sunday, all you have to do is press a single button and the car returns the common things in the cabin (seat position, mirror positions, wheel tilt, etc) to the way you like them.
I wonder if this might ever catch on with camera firmware developers?

— comment by Clay on July 16th, 2011 at 8:52am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery,

If it makes you feel any better, we’ve all done something similar. Thanks for reminding us to check our settings.

I hope some of your images still turned out.

I really enjoy following your blog.


— comment by Ed Rosack on July 16th, 2011 at 9:20am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

Just out of curiosity, post one of those shots here as usual. I wonder if at that size there will be a difference to see. After all, those photos of A’s Legos didn’t appear to have any less resolution than your other photos.

If you wanted to print at A2 then you’d want all that resolution, but the brutal fact is that for us posting on the web, taking at anything higher than Basic Medium JPG yields absolutely no benefit at all. (In terms of resolution, that is; room for adjusting settings after shooting poorly is another issue.)

I need the room for adjustment after shooting poorly. And when I mention Anthony’s LEGO shooting, I’m not referring to these photographs, but to the bazillion shots he does when making stop-motion LEGO animation (which does not appear here). —Jeffrey

— comment by Zak on July 16th, 2011 at 10:16am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

Ahhh…I thought you were referring to that other post.

— comment by Zak on July 16th, 2011 at 10:53am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

Been there, done that, so appreciate how you feel. Try using custom settings, one click and you’re done.

— comment by Chris on July 16th, 2011 at 5:07pm JST (11 years ago) comment permalink
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