Someting Wong

I have a beef.  For months, I deliberated about whether a new camera was worth it to me or not.  I cut back on expenses and saved until I could afford the camera I wanted.  I waited for it to arrive for weeks while it was on backorder.  Finally, it arrived and I thought for sure it would take my photography to a new level.

(Alas, you know what they say:  it’s not the ingredients, it’s the chef.)

What I didn’t expect was to have some bizarre problem with my brand new camera.

Yesterday, after attempting to shoot the Transit of Venus, I nearly had a heart attack when I placed my loupe up to the LCD and saw some of the images included in this post.  Having previously seen a video that shows how you can ruin the sensor in a digital camera by pointing it at a laser light, and having also read enough of the camera manual to know it says “never point the camera directly at the sun,” my heart took a pause when I considered the possibility that I had just destroyed the sensor in my 3-week old camera.

The images looked like half of sensor had been completely blown.

I stood there at my tripod and tried to breath.  My heart was racing, my stomach doing flips–had I just ruined my biggest single investment in photography?  I tried to calm down by reminding myself that I have shot sunsets numerous times without a filter and it’s never burned my sensor.  This time, I had a 10 stop filter on the lens–surely that protected my camera?

Taking a few deep breaths, I managed to dissipate the panic enough to do the only thing one can do when anything operated by a computer starts to malfunction:  reboot.

I turned off the camera and turned it back on.  Thankfully, it started working again.  My heart slowed down and I almost cried with relief.

When I looked at my photos on my computer, it became clear that there was indeed a malfunction.  Some of these images look like double exposures–I didn’t think that was possible with a digital camera.

In looking at the problematic images, I discovered several things.  First, it happened when I was shooting bracketed exposures (e.g., the camera automatically shoots 7 images in a row with a shutter speed that is one stop of light apart for each shot).

I also recalled several times when I was expecting to get 7 shots, I ended up with 2.    When I looked at the pairs of photos that were most likely associated with these misfires, they have identical metadata.  By that, I mean the shutter speed, ISO, aperture, date, and time (down to the second) matches exactly.  Yet, the exposures and even the subject in some cases look wildly different.

I have googled to no avail.  I seem to have a unique problem.  I always knew I was different.  😉

If anyone knows what this problem is, please comment!

P.S.  Title is an exact quote of my all-time favorite error message in a software program circa 1994.