June 13, 2015

B-17 Bomber landing

(C) Copyright 2008 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

They certainly do happen.

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to visit a collection of retired military aircraft at a museum several hours from my home.  As the forecast called for rain, and in the spirit of being prepared, I packed my Nikon Nikonos waterproof camera, which was originally designed for scuba diving, and its equally waterproof 35 mm lens.  (As an aside, the Nikonos will give you an idea of how long ago this was as that 35 mm film camera has been out of production for decades.)  That camera/lens combination would be perfect for the subject matter and the anticipated weather conditions.

Both the aircraft and the weather lived up to expectations.  However, I was not worried about the latter as the camera shrugged off the rain as it should.  The only real issue was the need to wipe the lens of raindrops.  Still, it was quite an enjoyable time as the rain kept most others away and I had the aircraft virtually to myself.  The dark grey rain clouds made for a nice background and the inclement weather made for shadow-free exposures.  I happily photographed until my allotted time ran out, packed up, and left for home.

On the drive home, though, a nagging thought began its inexorable journey from my lower conscious and made its way to the forefront of my thinking:  had I loaded film in the camera?  Not being one to multi-task while driving, I did my best to stop thinking about the camera and keep my attention on the road.  That thought, however, would not go away.  Well, did you?  Finally, I could take it no more and pulled off to the side of the road, opened the camera bag, and grabbed the Nikonos.  Nope, the rewind lever spun freely-there was no film in camera.  I had forgotten to load it.

It was a treat to have a nice walk in the cool rain and look at vintage aircraft, still…

Mistakes are inevitable and, in fact, necessary for the long-term learning of new skills-as described by Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born.  It’s Grown.  Mr. Coyle explains how analyzing mistakes, making the necessary adaptations, and then practicing new responses is critical so that one becomes “better” at a given task.  With regard to this particular mistake, I learned to load the camera the night before and to put the flattened film box in the camera bag under the camera as it would provide a visual confirmation that the camera was indeed ready to go.  I also checked again in the morning before leaving.

That particular mistake never happened again.

By the way, the photograph that opens this post is The Collings Foundation’s restored WWII-era B-17 Nine O’ Nine.  This was taken at a different airshow many years after the incident described above.  After all, I have no photographs from that trip.

Take care.






One Response to “Mistakes”

  1. Reminds me of when i formatted my computer Hard Drive with the intention of partitioning it. I have over 6,000 photo memories stored in my computer and I periodically used to save some of them in my other relatives computers with the intention that in case I ever lose my laptop,( I was back in Kenya then and laptop is an eye candy for street smarts) I would have a backup. So while formatting my computer I formatted everything including the pictures. I had the collection for a long period of time and I cannot emphasize enough the value of a picture especially one s carrying important milestones in ones life.To cut the long story short, I have since then linked my phone to googlephotos.com and that ensures that every single shot i take, the picture gets automatically saved to my online account. I too learned how to retrieve a deleted picture file in the computer as i went to great depths to recover the pictures, of which i got back almost all of them.
    Thanks for the post as usual and I’m going to get a copy of “The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.”
    by Daniel Coyle as my summer read.

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