Murphy’s Laws of Photography
Originally written in my journal on deviantART Jan 16, 2007
You are not Ansel Adams
Neither are you Herb Ritz
Automatic Cameras – Aren’t
Auto Focus – won’t
If you can’t remember, you left the film at home
No photo assignment remains unchanged after the first day of shooting
When in doubt, motor out
If a photo shoot goes too smoothly, then the lab will lose the film
If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid
Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the Client is watching
The most critical roll of film is fogged
If you forgot, then you did not rewind the film
Photo Assistants are essential, they give photographers someone to yell at
The one item (batteries, film, and ect.) you need is always in short supply
Interchangeable parts aren’t
Long life batteries only last for a couple of rolls
Weather never cooperates
Everything always works in your home, everything always fails on location
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism
The newest and least experienced photographer will usually win the Pulitzer
Every instruction given to a lab, which can be misunderstood, will be
There is always a way, and it usually doesn’t work
Never tell the Photo Editor you have nothing to do
Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren’t
No photojournalist is well dressed
No well dressed photographer is a photojournalist
Professional photographers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs
The nature shots invariably happen on two occasions:
-when animals are ready.
-when you’re not.
Same rule just substitute children
Client Intelligence is a contradiction
There is no such thing as a perfect shoot
The important things are always simple
The simple things are always hard
Flashes will fail as soon as you need them
A clean (and dry) camera is a magnet for dust, mud and moisture
Photo experience is something you never get until just after you need it
The self-importance of a client is inversely proportional to his position in the hierarchy (as is his deviousness and mischievousness)
The lens that falls is always the most expensive.
when you drop a lens cap, the inside part always lands face down in the mud.
Bugs always want to land on the mirror during a lens swap.
Your batteries will always go dead or you will need to put in a new film canister at the least opportune moment.
Your batteries will always go dead during a long exposure (so with the shutter open).
When you shoot the night away and never have to stop. Your film did not roll on to the take up reel.
Camera are designed with a built-in sensor, that senses the anticipation to develop the film. When the level of anticipation is highest, this sensor causes the back to flip open exposing the film.
Lenses are attracted back to their source – hard rocks.
Corollary: The more expensive the lens, the greater the attraction.
No matter how long you’ve had a convention for marking film holders, you will forget it – when exposing the once-in-a-lifetime shot.
Safelights – aren’t.
The greater a photographer’s excitement, the greater its chance of fogging film, scratching prints, and deleting files.
The success of an assignment is inversely proportional to the product of its importance and the number of people watching.
Strobes only explode when lots of people are watching.
Corollary: Strobes only work when there is nobody else to see.