Hard Lessons Relearned

By Mark

Why are these photos in .jpg? 

Why is this picture blurry?  

I am very mad at myself for failing to follow one of the basic rules of photography—always check your camera settings.  I had to send my beloved D800 off to Nikon for a repair. They fixed it and even updated the firmware to the very latest version and shipped it back to me.  It arrived just before Sarah and I were headed down to Virginia Beach for a math conference.  We raced out ahead of the last real snowstorm of the season and after a very busy week for both of us.  We had a lovely time and I was happy to take advantage of the seaside room to capture a lovely sunset; on the one day we didn’t have freezing rain and yech weather.  

Quite honestly I looked at the screen and was quite happy with the images.  Last night, the Piedmont Singers did their Holy Week concert and I started shooting inside.  I looked at the series of the first 3 images I shot and my heart dropped.  They were all blurry.  So I stopped and actually took a serious look at my camera and realized that in addition to upgrading the firmware, Nikon had actually restored all of the camera settings back to factory original.   I should have made the connection much earlier when my custom menu function having the camera zoom to 100% magnification hadn’t worked.   Yep, the camera was set on ISO 100 and was shooting in .jpg fine.  I was lucky in that I was sufficiently early before the concert that I was able to reset all my controls.  If I had been shooting a wedding or something else which was critical, I might have lost all the shots. I was able to adjust and capture some decent images in RAW and with the right ISO. 

Roger and I both preach that you should make sure your camera is set up before you shoot and then reset it after you complete a shoot.  I guess I will have to start paying attention to my own words.