Tell Us Your Story of that ‘Missed Shot’


Every photographer has one – a moment when an amazing photographic moment presents itself but something goes wrong to stop you getting the shot.

Arctic glacial silhouette © Rob Watkins

  • perhaps you forgot your camera
  • your lens cap was still on
  • you memory card filled up just at the wrong time
  • you hit the shutter a fraction of a second too early or late
  • someone walked across the shot at exactly the wrong moment
  • your camera was on the wrong ISO, Aperture or Shutter setting
  • you were shooting video instead of shooting stills
  • or maybe you were ‘chomping’ (checking your last shot on your LCD) while you should have had the camera ready (like the guy in the photo above)

In comments below tell us your ‘missed shot’ story. What was the shot you missed and why did you miss it?

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • I will never, ever forget the shot(s) I missed once! We spent a week at Edisto Island, and anyone in the South knows you HAVE to catch a sunrise at the boneyard, otherwise known as Botany Bay. Google it if you have never seen the amazingness that is Botany Bay.

    I had a bit too much wine the night before my planned shoot, but managed to wake up at 4:30 and make the drive out the loooong, bumpy, nauseating, haunting, beautiful and scary road that leads out to the bay. We snatched up our gear and started the walk out to the beach only to be eaten alive by thousands of mosquitoes. I braved on, breaking into a run because the sun was already about to break the horizon. Just as I arrived on the sandy beach to behold the hauntingly beautiful dead trees standing in bay, and the magnificent colors of the sunrise I felt stinging all over my body. Sand fleas. Millions of them, all over my face, my camera, my gear. I forgot the dang bug spray and could not survive the combination of mosquitoes, sand fleas, no-see-ums and other biting insects. We had to make a run for it back through the marshlands and to the car…without a single shot of that freaking amazing location. The bites all over my body were worse than stuff you see on naked and afraid! They lasted more than 2 weeks, but the sting of missing that shoot has lasted over a year.

    I go back there Labor Day weekend this year, and I won’t forget the bug spray!

  • Samantha Kelly Walker

    I was upset and went to the lake front well before sunrise in Chicago IL. Sitting there I was engrossed in some really scary thoughts I didn’t have my camera. At about 5:00 am a 4’9 inch tall elderly Asian women came of the beach and started to do some martial art exercises and once she got good into her work out the sun started to rise. The way the sun was rising causing an almost silhouette effect of this women doing kicks and flips would have been wonderful to capture I was so engulfed at watching her that my anger melted and irritation crept in. “Why didn’t I have my camera”. I keep going back trying to see her but as of yet no luck. So I am still hopeful I will one day see her.

  • jime

    I was living at South Africa for three years. Even when I was travelling around there during that time, I’ve never seen a real ethnic group. The month before I moved out, I was travelling from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth through the Garden route in a motorhome with mi sister’s family and suddenly a real ethnic group was walking along the high way in the opposite way we were driving, then I shouted my camera on them, but in the exactly same mjimeoment my brother in law rinsed up his hand to greet them, so I got a very beautiful pic of my brother in law’s hand…

  • Cathy

    One evening I stepped on onto the back deck, dinner in hand to put on the grill, and across the creek were two Great Blue Herons having a knock down drag out fight. I had two choices run back in and get the camera and miss the fight or watch the fight which I will likely never see again in my lifetime. I watched the fight which lasted for about another 10 seconds so I wouldn’t have time to have got my camera anyway even thought it just needed to be turned on and the lens cap taken off to shoot. But, I do really regret missing that shot

  • samar22

    I passed by a gas station a while back and saw a young woman pumping gas, still wearing in her bridal gown – her veil pushed back over her head. Groom bending over into the car’s hood without his formal jacket – just slacks and suspenders. It would have been an awesome street photo, but I couldn’t stop. Always regretted missing that one!

  • rachna

    The ONE pic i really regret having missed from becoming the perfect shot is of the Great Humpback whale, in Hawaii. I was on a 2 hour whale watching tour and we did not get to see any breaches until the last 30 minutes. The lens i had on my camera was a Nikon 70-300 mm which sadly doesn’t auto focus anymore. It did not matter to me until that moment where it proved disadvantageous due to a lot of factors –
    1. you never know when and where a whale would breach out of the water
    2. the raft is shaking wildly due to the waves really cant adjust your focal length and manual focus in that 1 second that its out of the water
    4.the excitement of watching the whales really gets to you, so you would rather have a lens that does all the work for you 🙁
    So when these whales stared breaching, I was overloaded with excitement, plus the shaky boat would not let me stand still and before I could adjust the focus the whale had gone and i captured random parts of its body in the frame :-(.. so the next time it did , i just randomly clicked it and so even though I did get a proper frame of the whale, its so badly out of focus… after this there were no other significant breaches and the tour had come to an end… I was still happy to have got these clicks but would have really loved to have gotten a perfect shot here , since Hawaii and humpback whales are not something you see daily ! 🙂

  • Eli

    I walked outside around 2:30am because I had forgotten to turn off the Christmas decorations, when i saw a bright light coming from the neighbor’s car. Realizing it was the light of the moon coming off of the reflective car shade he had I reflexively looked up. It was a beautiful. There was a bright blue full moon straight above in an almost clear starry sky. The only clouds were 5 streaks of cirrus clouds that looked like a painter’s brush strokes starting from just above my neighbor’s house starting from small to consecutively slightly larger streaks ending just below the moon.

    My digital camera was in the shop getting fixed. I had a film camera on hand but had just used my last roll the week before, so instead I just sat down and stared at the scene for the next half hour. I’ll probably never get such a perfect shot of the night sky again.

  • Andy

    Only one that I still regret horribly, especially because it’s my fault and I don’t know what I was thinking, which makes it even more painful.

    There was a massive tornadic lightning storm. We were driving right by it on a flat freeway in Texas. Huge supercell right there for viewing, lightning literally every second all over the cloud.

    We stopped to watch it. I was on a trip with others so not thinking properly…I didn’t take any pictures. Instead, I just took video. Yes, the video was neat, but afterwards I thought “WHY DID I ONLY TAKE VIDEO?” So many missed picture opportunities.

    Yea, I’ve gotten some awesome lightning shots since then but nothing like that on a flat plain with such a perfect view. It’ll haunt me forever unless I see it again. Oh, and I won’t make that mistake again. I much prefer pictures to video.

Some Older Comments

  • Skip Conklin July 12, 2013 11:15 am

    We live about 10 miles from town in a very rural area. There are many patches of woods along the road. I had went into town one morning to get breakfast for some folks who were helping us on our house, and took my camera with me. On the way back, I rounded a corner near one of those patches of woods, and there, along the road, were 3 or 4 hen turkeys and about a dozen chicks! I very carefully stopped the van and got out with the utmost of quietness and turned on my Rebel xt. There on the screen was one of my most dreaded phrases-"No CF Card!"

    I had left the memory card in the computer when I downloaded photos from the previous days shoot!

  • Colin Pernet July 12, 2013 05:26 am

    A few years ago I was taking a stroll around Buckingham Palace in London.
    With the Palace in the background I watched a female police lady on horseback booking a driver in a car.
    At the time I was annoyed at not having my camera with me. When I returned to Australia I created the same vision in my Adobe Elements 8.

    Here it is. (First ever attempt, so may be incorrect link)
    [eimg url='Buckingham Palace Move on lady 612 for site' title='Buckingham Palace Move on lady 612 for site']

  • panniannie June 4, 2013 11:12 pm

    On holiday the most beautiful, colourful, complete rain bow appeared over Clitheroe Castle Lancashire. Should i shoot it through the window - no get out the front door get a perfect shot. Rainbows do not wait for photographers I only managed to get the last fading bit. Lesson take through the window and hope it has just been cleaned!!

  • April October 5, 2012 01:42 pm

    I live in South Carolina and issues of race can be a huge issue. Also where I live traffic is a huge issue. One day while stuck in traffic, due to a huge car accident pile-up, a police officer was holding a baby. Now normally that would just be enough to want to snap a photo. But, it was a white officer and a black baby. To me, it added way more value to it, because it was an opportunity to picture what police officers do everyday--no matter color of skin--and that is save lives. If you saw the wreck you would wonder how did this poor baby survive? And to add to it, be okay and safe. It was a beautiful moment that would never reach the news or be seen, but should have. I didn't have my camera in hand before the traffic began to move.

  • Dev August 18, 2012 01:01 am

    This pic was taken two years ago. I went for the shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The launch was scheduled for 4 in the morning. It was a cold night, if i remember correctly, 45 -50 F. I had witnessed shuttle launches from the beach before and i had a fair idea how to position the camera to get the entire trajectory of the shuttle. I reached there at 2 am. Found a good spot and set my camera and waited for the next two hours. Slowly people started showing up but were kind enough to move out of the line of sight of the camera. And then as soon the shuttle launched, a woman came and stood right in from my camera!
    I panicked for a moment but luckily the next moment i found lifting the tripod and quickly re-positioning the camera. Had it not been for that lady, this picture would have been a landscape capturing the entire trajectory instead of a light trail disappearing from the pic.

  • cyndy August 17, 2012 07:16 am

    Just yesterday, a beautiful sunset, big orange sun, not seen often in central IOWA, USA. I was on the way home from the grocery store. I knew I had to drive fast to get home, get the camera and run outside.....I made it in time.....however, we have too many very tall trees on our street.....over 40 years old........could not get a view from my driveway.......guess I will start to carry my camera at all times, even to the grocery store, then I can be ready to head to an open area to get the shot..........

  • Sally August 8, 2012 03:12 am

    We were driving on a back road on the Mojave desert when we flushed a Red Tailed Hawk, who was in the brush on the side of the rd with a big snake in his beak ! It was such a surprise I couldn't get my camera set up fast enough . however I did get some shots of the hawk flying away with that big snake ! he was having a hard time staying in the air!. What an amazing shot that would have been

  • Tegan August 6, 2012 11:59 pm

    As I get up early for work (read cold winter dark mornings here!), I am privileged (one of the positives) to see the stars still out. One morning there was a perfect frame of the moon, venus and jupiter all in alignment together, nice and close and bright right above our cattle yards...unfortunately, there was no time to stop and take the time to set up a shot of this awesome event as I had to get to work...! As I looked on the web at everyone else's shots of it that night I was kicking myself!

    On another occasion, I'd been trying to get shots of black swans that have been around here recently due to the good season of rain. I'd managed a couple long distance grainy shots of individuals, however on dark one evening was driving past and...where there was one there was now five! No camera and too dark! Next day, all gone to who knows where...

  • Michael August 5, 2012 11:39 am

    I had gotten up early to be at the southen rim of the Grand Canyon before the sun was over the horizon. To have more control and concentrate on scenic shots, I had set my focus to manual, turned on the shutter delay to reduce vibration from the mirror, and made about four more adjustments that escape me to get the clearest, scenic, shots of the canyon.

    In walking further along coming right towards me about 15-20 feet above the ground was a pair of California Condors. The sun, being lower in the sky in relation to the condors; glistened off the bottom of the wings as a shimmering fluorescent blue stripe on each condor. It as a beautiful scene. But in raising the camera, I had to turn the auto focus on, undo the shutter release delay and all the other adustments. What shots I did take were blurs.

    Now I try to have a strategy using the various modes so I can quickly change from the slow work with the scenic shot, to the on the fly wildlife shot where you need to take the picture NOW!

  • Mario August 4, 2012 03:40 pm

    Arghhh! Don't remind me, please! It was just this last Wednesday. I let my cats out to the front garden to explore and every time I take my camera with the Macro attached. Well, this time I did not take the camera with me.
    There I was, keeping an eye on the cats and taking a few weeds out when I saw this gorgeous ant happily doing its business . . . with a drop of water on top!
    I run inside, grab the camera, set the macro, and by the tine I return to the very spot the little bugger was gone!. I searched for it for a good ten minutes thinking "how far can an ant go in the less than two minutes it took me to get my gear?", right?
    Well, nothing, all I got was an amazing mental picture of an ant with a drop of water in the back . . .

  • K Parks August 4, 2012 02:26 pm

    BALTIMORE, MD. -- Several weeks ago, I was heading home from work up Interstate 95. As I went a around this one bend on the highway, I noticed smoke rising from the emergency lane and traffic eventually came to a crawl. As I came upon the scene, a delivery truck was fully engulfed in flames, and a Army member in his military utilities was directing traffic four lanes of highway traffic down to one. The gentleman had some guts. The fire must have spread very fast since emergency vehicles had not arrived on scene . As I passed through, I saw a great angle to catch the Army officer with the burning truck just off his shoulder. Unfortunately, when traffic cleared the scenes from one lane back to four, there was no possibility of me pulling over safely to get a shot. I had my camera ready but it was also unsafe to grab a shot with one hand as I drove through. The rest of the way home I was saying to myself..."what a shot I just missed."

  • Tony August 4, 2012 06:33 am

    Oh, on the same trip where I missed the Osprey and Eel, I missed out on a great deer shot. Here I am, driving along Highway 101, when I spot some deer by the side of the road. The light looks great, the background is good - everything looks awesome. So here I am, carefully, quietly waiting for this one deer to raise his head and look my way when some dumb doofus screeches to a halt on the other side of the road, leaps out and slams his car door with his rig.

    BOING! Away goes the deer, startled by this moron. Thanks guy.

  • Tony August 4, 2012 06:29 am

    This one:

    That was suppose to be an Osprey with a eel in his talons - it looked really cool in real life. However, I was shooting with really slow film (I love my velvia 50, but man do you knock the legs out from under it if the sun's gone away), with my 70-300mm lens with a brand new lens extender - and I was shooting handheld from a moving boat!

    Needless to say, nothing from that series turned out at all like I was hoping. This one was the best of the lot.

  • Jason Thomas August 4, 2012 05:26 am

    About two weeks ago I had to drive my mother 45 minutes to the airport at Four in the morning, and had decided not to take my gear with me as I normally would, because I was sure I would be far too tired to see let alone take any shots. On the return home I came around the corner out of a rocky canyon into open fields. The Sunrise had just started to crest the mountains, and the sky was full of oranges, reds, and purples, dancing across the high clouds. Below the peaks were low hanging fairly transparent little bunches of clouds lighting up in blues and purples. To my left there was a field in what is a slightly marshy area, and the mist / steam was rising in playful wisps twisting and rising in dances of orange and white over the brilliant greens and yellows of the field. I started to slow down and pull over to just take it all in, as I realized that I hadn't brought any of my gear with me. A beautiful four point whitetail deer stood up right in the left third of the scene and looked straight at me. The mist swirling around his body posing with perfect majesty with the field, mountains, and fresh sunset playing perfectly together. I held his gaze for a moment and started to tear up from the raw beauty of it all. I whispered a quick thanks to God for allowing me to see such a scene, then continued on home wishing I had obeyed my first instinct and just brought my gear.

  • Hayden August 4, 2012 12:53 am

    Hi all,

    London is currently basking in Olympic fever, so hence Photo opportunities are in abundance. The Olympic torch relay was coming through my neck of the woods and hence it would be rude not too. Having advance warning i planned which lens to use and where i would need to shoot from to get the best shot. So time for the torch to arrive i was in prime position and saw the torch approaching, so was very excited.
    The crowd started moving into the path of the torch, but so was I, after the bus in front of me moved on..........the bus didn't move on!! The torch was handed to another runner behind the bus, by which time a huge crowd and gathered around the change over.....once the bus did move the runner was mobbed - all i got was the torch in the distance.......lesson learned - be up!! Below is a snap of what i managed to capture.

  • Lori August 3, 2012 01:06 pm

    I was on safari in South Africa last year and the only animal I hadn't had a chance to photograph was a hippopotamus. Our guide drove us to a small lake and reminded us that they can stay underwater quite a while but, with patience, we would see one. Sure enough, one soon poked it's head out of the water. I quickly pulled my camera up and got ready to shoot. I turned the camera on, looked through the viewfinder and--black. I had forgotten to take the lens cap off. By the time I fumbled the cap, got the camera up and focused, the only shot I got was of the hippo's ears as it submerged again. I'm still pouting over that!

  • susan August 3, 2012 10:23 am

    I have 3 young children. I think that says it all with regard to missed travel shots. It is just impossible for photography to be a priority, despite visiting many fabulous SE Asian countries. I can't wait to go on my first photography tour, hopefully later this year. : )

  • Gail Rosenbaum August 3, 2012 09:59 am

    I was coming home from a 2 week trip in Italy. I took a lot of pictures so the last thing I wanted to do as I was driving home from airport was to take another picture. I'm sure some of you can relate to photography weariness/overload.

    The sunset was starting as we landed at Kennedy Airport. As my brother in law was driving us from the airport to NJ, we passed NYC. As we got closer to the city the sunset got more intense. It was awashed in the most beautiful sunset colors. The skyscrapers were sillohueted against the brillant sky. I kept thinking, just take out your camera and take the picture but I just couldn't do it.

    It's been 5 years and I still think about the picture I missed.

  • Marcia Stone August 3, 2012 09:08 am

    We were staying in Toad River on the Alaska Highway, just looking for wildlife to photograph. We left the motel and had driven 15 minutes when I remembered my battery was low. I decided not to go back for my spare. As night approached we looked at a pond. In it was a mother moose with her calf. Beautiful, but I had already completely used up the battery. We stayed and watched it for about 15 minutes. I tried again hoping it had recovered enough to take one picture. No such luck. Once in a lifetime opportunity.

  • Lenie August 3, 2012 07:47 am

    I have been taking care of my 21 mth old grandson. I was changing his diaper and he was lying on his bottom after I had put powder on his bum. He passed wind and there was a puff of powder!!!!! Needless to say, this was unexpected and couldn't have taken the picture. But I had a good laugh!!!

  • Wanda Huff August 3, 2012 07:09 am

    Another drive, but with my sister, Mom and Dad, we were heading to another town to watch my nieces and nephew play in tournaments for hockey and volleyball. we were running a little late, it was early morning and winter and we drove up upon highway construction and I begged for my sister to stop as I saw a once in a lifetime photo catch. There was large machinery up off the highway on the tree line, digging up ground, so that it was exposing black dirt on a white ground and the steam of the earth was rising all around the machinery and right behind it was the morning light. It was a gorgeous sight, but she would not stop, "not for a picture" she said.
    To this day, she regrets not stopping as SHE realizes the great picture it would've made.

  • Wanda Huff August 3, 2012 07:04 am

    My husband and I had a long car ride home from the city (700 kms) so he promised me that if I saw ANYTHING he would stop, so we had many great prairie finds and I was ecstatic to be having such a great photo trip when i saw something crossing the road a ways ahead. (usually my husband spots everything) so we watched as we approached and then my husband says, "it's a timber wolf" as it walked into the bush. He drew up slowly saw that there was a "road" that the wolf was walking in on, he backed up told me to get my camera out (which I had ample time to do but hadn't) and then I got out of the car, walked up the highway quietly as I could, tried to peek around the opening and there he was..........standing broad side on a snow covered open trail with snow covered trees framing him on both sides. I couldn't believe my luck, I raise my camera and before I get it to my eye, he turns and runs into the tree line. If I would've had my camera out sooner, left the car earlier and especially had it to my eye as I looked around the edge of the opening, it would've been THAT shot!!!!

  • Karen Wright August 3, 2012 06:15 am

    The ultimate 'one that got away. I went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park for my 49th birthday; headphones on (listening to Out of Africa soundtrack), leather jacket, jeans, my Minolta 35mm attached to tripod. But intead of using a typical lens, I attached my high powered Orion stubby telescope. When I came to the giraffe enclosure, I set up about 25' from the fense.No focus at all. Stepped back another 50' - still too close. Trekked up a small hill about 100' behind me and set up again. A giraffe's half-face filled my whole viewfinder. As I was focusing (touchy with a telescope) a tear ran down the side of the giraffe's face. The moment passed as I stood there knowing I would always remember the shot I missed. Lessons learned, don't expect to capture spontaneous shots when focusing a touchy lens!

  • Beth August 3, 2012 05:16 am

    I was at work one night as a police officer just before Christmas, right at dusk. A store front window downtown was done up for Christmas with all the toys, jewelry, gadgets, etc. imaginable mixed in among tinsle, ornaments, the whole nine yards. As I drove past I saw one of our regulars in the homeless population standing in front, dressed in rags peering into the window as snow flurries fell. I could see the photograph in my mind! Of all the times to have no camera! I even grabbed the department issued point and click and the batteries were dead. The image is burned in my mind forever and I would give anything to have been able to share it.

  • Victor August 3, 2012 05:15 am

    I was driving with my dad on the open road then the all of a sudden clouds start filling up the sky. I reach for my camera thinking I could get a long exposure shot, but then I remember I left it at the house. The sky darkened and the lightning storm lasted about 2 hours. No rain, just lightning.

  • Chris August 3, 2012 05:02 am

    A month or two back I was riding a motorbike up a windy mountain road in Japan, heading for some famous waterfalls in the area. I wasn't personally very thrilled as I've shot them before, and was really hoping to move a bit more away from waterfalls and landscapes.

    As I came rumbling up this narrow road, I passed a run-down old convenience store, and this very old, VERY wrinkly, tough-looking old man squatting down to take a breather, having just lit up a cigarette.
    He had one of those faces that was just so full of character (and wrinkles), you knew he would have had dozens upon dozens of stories to tell.

    He looked straight at me and I looked at him, and then a great image flashed into my mind, right as I flew past. I contemplated turning around for the next kilometer or two, but was already behind in my schedule, and odds are pretty high he wouldn't have been there for more than another half a minute after I passed him.

    I was kicking myself for missing that chance the rest of the day.

  • cyndi August 3, 2012 04:24 am

    I'm a mother of 3 very athletic boys and am always taking photos at football, soccer and volleyball games. My oldest son was starting his senior year in football and I was madly clicking away at the first game. I usually take over 200 pics per game and post them for all the players. I saw a play building and had a feeling this was going to be a pass to my was, and he ran it in for a touchdown. Of course, MOM (me) was standing in the stands screaming and yelling her head off with her camera in her hand...NOT clicking away. I was bombarded with "did you get that?" texts from the other moms and of course it was the ONLY big play all season that I MISSED. I think he's forgiven me...but maybe not.

  • Deb August 3, 2012 04:01 am

    We have a Renaissance Festival in our area. Lots of crowd interactions. We were watching the "Mud Show", a mucky version of Dante's Inferno. As the performance when on, the players, who are now mud-coated, start running up through the spectators. My young son stood up to watch the mayhem unfold while the rest of the family scrambled for a mud-free zone. One of the players came running past my son...stopped... turned around.... rubbed his muddy hands all over my son's face, patted him on the back and went on his way. My son took the encounter in good humor. (I was afraid he would be mad!) We were all laughing so hard when, to my horror, I realized......

    I left my camera at home!!!

    We always go to the Ren-Fest and I always make sure I have my camera but have yet to relived the same experience with the Mud Show.

  • Michael Helm August 3, 2012 03:38 am

    Taking pictures of the Transit of Venus (05 Jun 2012 - SF Bay Area). Mirror locked & camera on timer so
    tripod settled, watching thru lcd screen - and a plane flies across the sun at the same time.
    Not enough time to unlock the camera or shoot the lcd screen with the point-and-shoot.

    (I notice someone did get a picture like this - I think it was taken in Chile.)

  • Matheus August 3, 2012 03:19 am

    Well, losing some great photos happened a few times to me, but one that still bugs me is one wich happened on May this year...
    I was visiting an air base, wich was having a great presentation (with planes from a few different countries). It was a rainy day and I had only brought the essentials, wich also means about 4 hours of battery time...

    I went shooting the planes normally and had even the chance to record the take-off of an F-18... After the recording I managed to take some photos then I noticed the battery had died... I keep regreting not having stopped the recording a little earlier so I could get more photos, since they were making smoke trails in the sky...

    Well, atleast I got some nice photos like these...

  • Gerald R Masopust August 3, 2012 03:05 am

    So, here I was, July of 2011. 5 of us in car, traveling to Washington, D.C. I saw the sign "Deer & Bear Crossing". My comment was: "Bear? I don't thing I'd ever see a bear on this interstate. 20 minutes later, here comes this "BIG GUY", flat out crossing the highway and I'm at 75MPH and everyone shouts "BEAR". My camera's right by my hip. No time to react & of course "Missed It". Now of all the 800 plus pictures I took in D.C., I still wish I had the one of the Bear. He was beautiful.

  • Casslou August 3, 2012 02:05 am

    My husband and I were driving down the highway (one of those one's where you're not allowed to stop unless it's an emergency) on a beautiful clear day. He was driving and I was daydreaming when I noticed a solitary cloud in the sky. The shape was that of Christ on his crucifix. It was perfect - the bent knees, the head looking downwards. Well, we are not religious people and I thought my husband would think I was completely nuts if I asked him to stop so I could take a photo. Plus there was my fear of getting a ticket from one of the many cops around that day. I kept my mouth shut and I have regretted it ever since! I often "see" things in clouds but never anything as clearly recognizable as this one.

  • Lesley August 3, 2012 01:49 am

    Missed shot was just recently. I was in the OBX of North Carolina and we had a gorgeous display of horizontal lightening one night. Mostly it was missed because I was just amazed and the amount of lacey bolts, but when I got my camera, I couldn't determine what setting was best to use. Was it like fireworks? would it be a delated shot? I didn't know.

  • Lester Goddard August 3, 2012 01:46 am

    About 5 years ago Peter Sutcliffe ( the YorkshireRipper) was aloud to visit our village of Arnside to see where his fathers ashes had been spread. First time ever he had been let out. Total secrecy and I missed him by
    minutes. NO photos or film was ever taken of this event !!!

  • Susan August 3, 2012 01:42 am

    Six weeks after 9/11/01, I was strolling through the Garden District in New Orleans and was struck not only by the beautiful homes, but by how many were proudly flying the American flag. I decided to make a patriotic photo-essay of these homes, and spent the entire day working my way through the district. When I returned to my hotel, I discovered that the film had not clipped onto the spool, and none of my beautiful shots had been exposed. That incident was the deciding factor when I went totally digital.

  • Michele August 3, 2012 01:28 am

    I've lost count of those missed shots. One sticks out. Driving along a quiet country road just after sunrise, I saw a airplane hanger with the perfect light and the perfect comp .. But alas, I wasn't driving ... And it zipped by. By the time I asked my now husband to turn around and go back... The light had changed ... So the shot was missed. Sad that I still think about it 18 years later. :(

  • Advait Sontakke August 2, 2012 09:01 pm

    In may 2012, I went to Shimla, India with my family for tour, to roam many cities like manali, delhi as well. I had my Canon Powershot SX 40 HS, A new Cam, with me that time. I was very excited about this cam and I was keen to learn the various functions the camera has. When I reach mall road in shimla, I found one beautiful garden having variety of flowers. the viewer would have definitely be fallen in love with that flowers. I was so excited to snap it and went it to that garden quickly. Got the entry ticket and reached. Filling with excitement, I approached one type of flower and release the shutter. As soon as I took first snap, my cam got switched off.
    this was that snap I had taken.
    I need to come with empty hands. I knew my cam can snap 550 shots, when I end up with 535 shots for that day only.

  • Julie August 2, 2012 01:36 am

    The Image is still burned into my memory forever. Had been visiting a friend in lower Michigan. The night before we left we had a fresh layer of snow. Out in the middle of nowhere we drove on an overpass. Looking down I could see footprints in the snow and then what seemed like nothing. Then I noticed the orange beaks. Snow geese! It was an amazing beautiful scene. My camera was in the back of the van. I was so exhausted that we did not stop. Can so kick myself for not going back. :(.

  • Brad August 2, 2012 01:12 am

    Lacrosse tournament this weekend in PA. The 10 year old player's mother was helping him get his pads on before the 1st game that morning. 4 year old little brother was watching with a "I cant wait until I can play" look on his face. I watched him pull his brother's jersey out of the bag and hold it up proudly with both hands until they were ready for it.

    I looked down to see my camera and 70-200 lens all zipped up in my bag. Reached for it but it was too late...

    At least I "saw" the moment even thought I didn't "capture" the moment :o)

  • Grba August 1, 2012 09:26 pm

    Flashback: 6 years ago. Local autumn festivities, excellent weather, shooting parachuters jumping into the center square in my town (Kikinda, nothern Serbia). Positioned on a rooftop of a building nearby, having excellent poiint of view on everything. Just bracketted on a chuter with my faithful Canon G6 - little, but sturdy camera for the time. Buffer is full but I caught what I wanted.

    Then I raise my head and I see little plane sneaking in from behind - I remember from previous years, plane just make a SWOOSH over the people, scaring them first and actually adding to merry atmosphere. Now, what goes on: that plane is half a mile away and flying into me directly. Just like in a cartoon: I have perfect horizon in the back, behind I see roofs perfectly lit in golden hour and there in the middle there is a big propeller circle and two wings going straight into me, bigger and bigeer. Winner series of shots...

    ...Except that buffer in my G6 was still occupied. Instinctively, I raise my camera and press the shutter, knowing it will shoot once buffer is ready (multi-bracketting is stil on). Plane is coming in above the square, it makes the same maneuver as always to the cheering crowd below, while I follow it through G6's pathetic viewfinder and then I hear a shot being taken.

    Plane was partially out of the frame, something one would erase without second thought. Still, I kept it as memento of the missed opportunity to make the best shot in my life.

    I was waiting in an ambush during the next two festivities. Little did I knew that was the last time parachuters participated...

  • Robyn August 1, 2012 03:51 pm

    Driving down a very quiet road in Utah - missed the shot of a "dead skunk in the middle of the road" still can't get that damn song after my mind!!!

  • Mac August 1, 2012 05:13 am

    Well here goes. I was in the military stationed in Tuzla, Bosnia, The aviation unit has some room on a chopper going to Sarajevo. Long story short. I had been trusted with what at that time was a new top of the line digital camera. Fast forward. Flying over the old bombed out Olympic Stadium to get some shots, hard bank to the right plus doors open, plus an unsecured camera strap equals WHAT? You guessed it, I missed the shot. Hahahaah

  • Kimberly, The Fur Mom August 1, 2012 01:47 am

    I miss a shot all the time with our dogs and have learned that on the weekends, I need to keep my camera ready.

    But the biggest missed opportunity I had was on the day when we had riots in Seattle. It was earlier this year and I heard that there might be trouble and considered bringing my camera, but then changed my mind and put it back in the safe. When I saw all the happenings, I kicked myself raw. I should have followed my first instincts.


  • ccting July 31, 2012 02:11 pm

    Read this miss shots story, this happens in Singapore

    Angry clients vs professional photographer about miss shots

    Note: that CC is not me..

  • Leejay July 31, 2012 11:32 am

    I decided to venture to the area just outside the Sydney airport early on a Saturday morning last year. upon arriving at my 'station', I saw a whole lot of photographers looking for vantage points to get a line of sight into the Private Hangar. it transpired that Lady Gaga would be arriving within minutes of me getting there.
    I made my way to the front of the exit where she would be coming through (alongside 'The Paparazzi' and the respective news channels) and got within 1m of the limo that drove out of the parking lot for a brief glimpse of her whilst the window was opened....I was initially really chuffed with this bout of 'good fortune' and was keen to see how my shots turned out. To my dismay, I had left my SD Card in the computer the night before, so this Golden opportunity went a begging. i was able to laugh about it about one hour later :-)

  • Tom July 31, 2012 10:28 am

    Taking pictures of our kids being pulled behind a tube in a ski boat. I was shooting in burst mode and instructing the boat on the proper direction to drive to get optimal lighting o the kd's faces. We hit a bit wave and I put the camera down to steady myself. When the kids hit that wave my youngest son was bounced out of the tube and "helicoptered" into the water. It would have been a great shot. son was okay but my shot was missed

  • Josh July 31, 2012 04:55 am

    I had recently read on the forums about how to take shots of the moon, so I had practiced quit a bit until I was getting really good at it and tweaking my technique to get those in focus sharp images and was getting rather good at it...Well there was a weekly competition for another small and local photography group for shadows. I thought well I'll take another shot of the moon...I'm out there taking pictures, checking my histogram, looking at the previews, repositioning the tripod, and refocusing after every other shot or so...Low and behold I'm refocusing and a plane flew right across the moon from my point of view, totally missed a once in a lifetime shot...Even if I had hit the shutter fast enough it was on a 2 sec timer...I was totally bummed after missing that one :(

  • David Loose July 31, 2012 04:40 am

    I'm glad you asked... I've been needing to share with someone that "get's it.." My wife just keeps telling me to get over it. :)

    We were in Grand Teton National Park this past June and spent our days hiking all over it. I was carrying my Fuji X10 and taking all the pictures I could, and handing off to my daughter as well. She and I were discussing all the ways you can make better pictures just by putting more 'effort' into them.

    After a couple days, I had a hundred or so pics of yellow and white wildflowers, mostly, and they were getting kind of tedious. We were hiking down from Taggert Lake, when I spotted a tiny orange wildflower just on the edge of the trail. I knelt down next to it, set the camera to macro mode and aimed up to the flower, capturing a vibrant blue sky with just a few clouds behind the flower.

    I quickly checked the camera back and the shot was perfect! Vibrant orange bells hanging down in front of the vivid sky, with just a touch of green around the flower. With the macro mode, there was limited depth of field and the colors were amazing. One to frame.

    Well, we get down to the car and I check it again, this time with my reader glasses on. Zoomed in, and the shot was out of focus. Not just a little bit, but completely out of focus. I looked one more time and then erased it. I always tell my daughter that if you don't nail the focus it's not worth it. If only I'd spent "more effort..." Spent the rest of the week looking for something like it, and got a couple that were similar, but nothing like "the shot I missed!"

  • Elizabeth July 31, 2012 01:34 am

    The one missed shot I will never forget - I was driving over a bridge one morning on my way to work and all the sudden RIGHT next to me appeared a hot air balloon. It was hovering so close to the bridge and it was absolutely stunning. The sun was just rising and this would have been a fabulous photo - however, I did not have a camera with me!!

    I will never forget this "missed shot" and because of it, I bought a small Sony Cybershot just to keep in purse - I may not get the high quality shot I would with my Canon SLR - but at least I wouldn't miss it all together!

  • Michael July 31, 2012 01:16 am

    I was leaving at dawn to drive to a neighboring town to buy some oak hardwood that would eventually become the flooring in the house I was building. It was fairly dark still and large snowflakes were drifting down. I reached for my camera, but then decided I'd be too busy to get any shooting done.

    This was in northern Minnesota on a narrow gravel road winding between walls of poplar trees, and of course about half way to the next town we saw a bald eagle just sitting on a branch about eight feet off the ground right next to the road. We stopped and watched him for quite a while - with a dark background and large white snowflakes drifting past him the sight was amazing - we left him still sitting there within six feet of the camera I didn't have with me. I now ALWAYS carry a camera.

  • Ted Griffith July 31, 2012 12:29 am

    My wife and I were on our honeymoon and had driven into Grand Canyon NP. It was just about 15 minutes before sundown, when a bachelor herd (all bucks) of mule deer came out of the trees and into an open meadow area about 75 yards away from us. The light was perfect, with dark clouds above the trees and the golden glow of the sun. I grabbed the camera (it had a Vivitar Series 1 70-210 lens mounted) and got off five shots with different compositions before the deer moved back into the trees. As I went to advance the film, I looked at the take-up knob of the camera and it didn't move when the film 'advanced'. I had not gotten the tag end of the film inserted properly in the take-up spool when I had loaded the film, so none of the shots were captured. Fortunately, these were the first shots I had 'taken' since loading that roll, so only they were lost from our honeymoon.

  • BruSimm July 31, 2012 12:24 am

    My missed opportunities have come about because my Droid camera is as fast as gooey, thick, molasses.

    A year ago, I missed the chance to take a pic of the Dark Knight's Bat Pod... one of the privately owned ones, as it rode past me in traffic.

    A month ago, on two different occasions I missed clicking off the 1960's Batmobile driving by me in traffic... just like the Bat Pod.

    (I live near a very expensive zip code and these folks have bucks! Palo Alto, Atherton; CA.)

    I won't even go into how animals sense I have a camera in hand and leave the moment I turn it on, no matter what kind of camera it is!

  • Mark Paley July 31, 2012 12:22 am

    When I was 16 I had the opportunity to visit Montreal at their summer Olympics in 1976. I was at the women's gymnastics and taking a bunch of photos with my "new" 35 mm SLR (film not digital), when Nadia Comaneci was doing the routine that would mark the first perfect score, a 10. As luck would have it, I was busy replacing the film in my camera and missed any shots of the performance.

  • Ray July 31, 2012 12:21 am

    I am starting to get back into photography. I took some firework shots which turned out great. Then, there was a beautiful full moon out a couple nights later. Great! I'll try moon shots. Hook up camera to tripod, get remote, okay all set up. I'm taking several shots at different settings. Side note, I live in a northwest suburb of Chicago not far from Ohare airport. I just snapped a slightly longer shot. This was before I bought a canon 50d, so my camera is now writing it, and just after that pic ended and was writing to camera a plane flew direct across and centered across the moon. Perfect shot. Once in a lifetime? Missed it. I was freaking out trying like crazy to snap, snap, SNAP already. Oh man, missed it. That was my shot that I wish I had gotten. With all the planes coming and going, as the saying goes, don't think I'll ever have again the "moons in alignment" again.

  • Jane Carlson-Pickering July 31, 2012 12:13 am

    It was 1988 and I was in East Africa by the Mara River in the Serengeti photographing migration. Thousands of wilderbeasts, hartebeasts, zebras, etc. were trying their best to leap from the high banks of the river in an attempt the swim across to the other side toward fertile grassy land. There was no place for our land rover to cross and the only shots I could get from the side of the river I was on were complete silhouettes. I was totally frustrated for I had THE shots of a lifetime if only I could have been shooting with the sun behind me!!!

  • Dave July 31, 2012 12:08 am

    A couple stories, same area in Colorado. Skiing with my brother and a bunch of friends and I got the group shot at the top of the hill. I told them I'd ski halfway down, then catch them as they skied past. Put my camera in the bag, skied half way down and stopped to take pictures as they flew past. Either putting the camera in the bag or taking it out, one of the adjustments got knocked way out of whack. None of the shots came out.

    Another time riding with my brother to a different ski area. In the middle of an empty field there was a bald eagle sitting in the top of a bare tree. Nothing else around it. Unfortunately, when we realized what a good shot it would have been, we were too far past (going too fast) to stop and turn around. Not really room on the narrow road to turn around anyway with snow on each side. Now I look ahead, not alongside of where we are going!

    One more story: I was looking to shoot bears in the Great Dismal Swamp. I hiked about a mile down one trail and decided to turn around. As I started back, a couple women came around the curve, from a little further down the trail. I asked them if they saw bears and they laughed. They said they sat down to eat lunch and a bear came out of the woods to "watch" them (hoping for scraps, probably). If I'd just walked a little further, I'd have gotten a great shot.

  • Steve July 30, 2012 11:52 pm

    Last week I was driving home from work in the Forest of Dean - England when I discovered a Wild Boar Sow and 2 young piglets on the side of the road foraging.
    I parked up, snatched my camera from it's bag, and crept out of my car and over the road to grab a few snaps of a beautiful creatures.
    I was amazed as to how close I got, knelt down on the floor only 3 feet away. They wandered closer and closer to me. I was snapping away frantically, until a van drove past startling them and causing them to flee.

    Checked through the images as I wandered back to the car, some of which taken at less than 1 foot away, to find I had left it on f/22 from landscapes the previous day and as I was under tree cover with poor available light almost all my images came out blurred.

    The sheer excitement of seeing them, and getting so close I completely dismissed the settings.

    A rookie mistake I won’t be making again in a hurry!

  • Cindy July 30, 2012 11:51 pm

    I live in the country in northern VA about 60 miles west of D.C. We have a fairly large deer population and I have gotten several shots using a telephoto lens from my front porch or deck, but the other day I was going somewhere in my car and when I got to the end of my road, I looked to the right to check on-coming traffic. In the tree line were two deer - a doe and her baby staring right at me. I wouldn't have even needed a telephoto lens. And wouldn't you know it, the small Sony digital I usually carry in my purse had been left at the house!!! Not going to let that happen again - that camera will always go back to my purse after use!!

  • Marino July 30, 2012 11:22 pm

    Couple of years ago, I was at my terrace, in the summer around 6:30PM the moon was almost full and directly above me. then I saw and airliner (a quad engine) leaving a trail, and to my amazement, it was going to pass just beside the moon!

    Ran inside, popped the 70-300 into my camera, grabbed an empty card, went outside, locked the focus at infinity, began firing like a mad man...

    After the plane passed the moon, began checking my master pieces... only to discover that it was at manual, f16, 1/2000... I ended up with half a dozen 14Mp black pics.

    Don't need to explain, I'ver never had the chance again!!

  • Hans July 30, 2012 11:04 pm

    It happened long time ago during the analog era of film :-). I had to shoot an off-road motorbike race with sidecars attached. The whole event was scheduled on an large oval grass track for a Saturday afternoon way back in Germany. It just happened that the day started with rain, rain, rain and I could imagine that the grass track would be sheer mud after a few rounds.

    Because of the never ending rain, I left my regular gear in the box and opted for my underwater camera instead. I had permission to enter the ring and posted myself inside the oval, close to the entrance, with all the starters racing around me on the outer side. With an underwater camera, there is no easy way of changing lenses, so I chose the 35mm wide-angle and went very close to the racers passing me just a few yards away.

    The judges had a sheltered cabin on the other side of the oval. It happened that one of the judges ordered me to their cabin between to starts over the loudspeakers and wanted to know whether I had an injury & damage waiver signed for the host.

    Right then the next starter came in on the other end where I actually had my position. Those 2 guys started and while going through the first curve of that oval, their gas cable broke. In a fraction of a second, the bike was without power, the front wheel got stuck in the (by then) deep mud, and driver, sidecar passenger and the motorbike itself literally flew in a classic somersault through the air.

    The shot of a lifetime, but being called 100 yards away from it by an overly concerned judge, and just with a 35mm lens equipped... Not a chance. All I could do was watching it happen and wishing I could kick the judge real hard :-) The pictures turned out good in general, but this would have been THE shot for the magazine.

  • David Bahn July 30, 2012 10:55 pm

    In 1968 Bobby Kennedy came to my home town. I was on the high school newspaper staff as a photographer. So my buddy and I had "Press Passes." Somehow those press passes worked and we got in the front row, right next to Kennedy as he passed by. I took a whole roll of Tri-X film and went home and promptly processed it. I couldn't wait to see the images. When I unrolled the film it was COMPLETELY CLEAR! No light had reached the film. I had left the lens cap on. I had shot the roll with my Minolta A-5 rangefinder camera. No internal light meter. No through the lens anything! Man! I missed the shot!

  • davidp July 30, 2012 10:49 pm

    The scene was perfect. The light was perfect. I had my camera. I had the right lens. My memory card was empty. All I needed was just the right angle... hey what's that... a ladder... I climb.

    Now on the roof I set up my gear when... OH WHAT THE HECK A HORSE JUST WALKED INTO MY SHOT!

    I reach out to adjust my framing a little... and... and... FALL OFF OF THE ROOF!!!!!!!!!

    I wasn't hurt from the fall, but not getting a single image has been a stabbing pain that won't go away.

  • TraciA July 30, 2012 10:11 pm

    I was shooting my son's baseball game. He was playing 1st base and ran to catch a foul ball. He literally ran up the fence & caught the ball just like the pros do. I was watching him so intently that I forgot to take pics. Of course after the game he asked me if I had gotten pictures of that catch!

  • Iris July 30, 2012 09:31 pm

    One of our smaller mountains (Red Mountain) was light by sunlight and storm clouds around it. And of course I didn't have my camera with me :(

  • Paul July 30, 2012 09:20 pm

    As I strive to get the pic in natural light, I use long exposure times. So was a recent wedding. Unfortunately, I forgot to boost ISO to freeze move before bride and groom 'first' met in bride's room. My photos were blurry, and that moment was unique...

  • Chithra July 30, 2012 09:07 pm

    I was once shooting the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. Next to me was this cute boy chasing bubbles being blown by his mom. I tried to capture that without changing my initial settings.. and the photo came reallllyyyy dark! as f stop was around 18 or 16... even editing couldnt help me :(

  • sreenivasa sudheendra July 30, 2012 08:57 pm

    Unknowingly turned on RAW with little memory left and tried making a timelapse:(

  • Reed Lovick July 30, 2012 08:20 pm

    I had successfully shot the Transit of Venus and turned to show the live view and explain the outcome to a family of onlookers. I tuned back toward the camera and noticed the silhouette of a perfectly shaped jet airliner moving dead center across the orange surface. It was gorgeous! Gorgeous I tell ya!
    Turns out the family that had approached me were from India. She was a degreed engineer and speaker on the Solar System and her husband was an electrical engineer designing aircraft for Spirit. I felt sandwiched between what was and what could have been.

  • Jonathan T A July 30, 2012 05:13 pm

  • Jonathan T A July 30, 2012 05:12 pm

    This is a story of an amazing shot I managed to capture and never got to see...
    I was travelling in the desert with two friends when we noticed an amazing double rainbow (which is quite rare in that area). No need to hurry here - I took out my old Rebel camera made all the adjustments, and took the picture. Suddenly while I was with my camera in the exact right position two f-16s came flying very low from within the canyon, and I managed to capture a few pictures, with the double rainbow as a background and all.
    This was a film camera so I wasn't able to see the pictures right away.
    The camera indicated the film is finished so I opened the lid just to be horrified that the film wasn't wound back in correctly and the pictures were never actually taken.
    (old rebels used to take out all the film and wind it back in for each shot taken - to prevent the shots from burning if the lid opens accidentally before all the film was completely wound up)

    I still hold the image in my head though - so maybe if technology in the future will be advanced enough I will be able to finally develop it :)

    This happened in Ramon Crater, Israel.

    Just to help visualize my description, this is a short video taken (not by me) of a double rainbow in the crater I was referring to.

  • Photofintan July 30, 2012 04:40 pm

    I was out for some early sunrise shots at our local lake one morning last summer. After the sun was well up over the horizon I broke out my brand new Nikkor 70-300mm lens for some shots of a beautiful crane fishing on the other side of the lake. All things considered I was very happy with my mornings activity so I packed my camera away , threw my tripod over my shoulder and just as I did a huge hawk (an osprey I assume) swooped down and bagged himself a fat fish from the lake and slowly made his way back in to the distant trees ! Had I have still been set up I would surely have gotten a few good shots of what I imagine will be a once in a lifetime opportunity

  • Daniel July 30, 2012 03:44 pm

    This happened some twenty years ago but I still remember it as one of those moments that happen in a photographers life. We were on our way to climb in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in the Lake Louise area. We were just heading out from the parking lot after dawn when I saw Four Monks in Prayer on the boat dock. It was an incredible site, the bright orange robes, the stillness of Morrine Lake, the perfect sky all things that would make the perfect cover shot for some magazine cover. I dropped my pack and took out my camera and lined up for the shot. I looked though the view finder and set up the shot. As I was about to push the shutter button I stopped. I put my camera away and continued down the trail. It was their moment not mine. I guess it was sort of a karma thing but I have never regretted not taking the picture.

  • Alex July 30, 2012 03:23 pm

    That day the weather suddenly changed from plus something to like -30 Celsius - and huge amount of vapor was coming from the sea because of that. It was very non-uniform, not like a mist, but more like a pieces of wadding hanging in the air with blue sky visible through clearances. Than seagull flew right towards me and my camera - I pushed the button but she shutter did not go - it just froze, grease or something, t'was old soviet mechanical film camera.

  • Nick July 30, 2012 03:16 pm

    It was a semi trailer with about 6 VW beetles stacked 2 high all dented and rusty. the truck was parked on a leafy suburban road and I thought it would have made a great shot. I drove past it for several days thinking I really should go back and get my camera. By the time I did have my camera with me the truck had gone.

    I now carry my camera with me wherever I go. Some people laugh, but I tell them If you don't have a camera with you then its guaranteed that you are going to need one.

  • Michelle Hedstrom July 30, 2012 02:32 pm

    I was photographing Ted Nugent at his concert. I always shoot with a 24-70 at concerts and switch later to a 70-200. I decided to start with the 70-200. Apparently Nugent opens the show with his guitar and him in front of pillars of fire. The 70-200 was way way too tight so I got absolutely nothing. Only show I've ever shot where they did that and I'm still kicking myself.

  • Zane July 30, 2012 01:17 pm

    I was in Michigan visiting and went out shooting when there was some heavy fog. I was taking pictures of some water and looked down the stream in time to see an Amish cart pulled by a horse crossing on a bridge. My tripod was locked and before I could get re-aligned, the cart had crossed and I missed the enchanting moment. Another time, I was driving on a country road and saw a coyote that didn't have much fear, so I stopped at pointed the camera his way and pressed the shutter button. Nothing happened. What the world? I pressed it again. Still nothing. I looked at the camera, and saw that I had failed to return it to its normal settings, so it was on timer for a photo I had shot the night before, and it had 800 ISO and a fairly slow shutter speed. When the camera finally did fire, it was very overexposed and by the time I returned the camera to its necessary settings, the coyote had vacated. And my last story involves not having my camera with me. I was on a black ice-covered highway, so there was very little traffic out. I had opted not to bring my camera because I had a bunch of military gear in the vehicle and didn't want to have to worry about my camera while I was doing training. I came across a road-killed deer and saw a bald eagle fly from that location. When I got closer, I saw a juvenile bald eagle, so beautifully speckled, and it flew a short distance and landed. All I would have needed is a camera, because I didn't have to worry about other cars coming up on me while I snapped a few shots. Ouch! Since then, my stories have generally ended with, thanks to the fact that I had a camera, I got the shot!

  • raghavendra July 30, 2012 01:03 pm

    yes i have missed a shots of cat and birds. Every time i want to take a picture of cat it jumps and run fast. With the birds they move on to the other branches. After awhile took a picture of bird with conscious effort and skill
    Here is the picture of it :)

    Thanks to Digital photography school to give some space to say!

  • Tim July 30, 2012 11:36 am

    Early morning driving a back road (with a guide) in the Grand Tetons - we're out of the van watching a momma black bear and her two cubs cross the road in front of us and move away in a lower area by crossing a pond. About 100 feet away.

    My wife calls for me to help with her camera - she's dropped it and something popped off.

    As I pick up her camera I look back at my missed shot.

    The last cub is hesitating at the water's edge, the backlit sun making the outline of fur glisten, and then the jump into the water. Two great back to back shots missed because I didn't say "wait a minute, honey!"

  • Ben Royal July 30, 2012 09:36 am

    Vibration reduction turned off. Again.

  • Sam July 30, 2012 09:12 am

    Drove by a gas station and noticed a new bride in her dress standing next to her car pumping gas, while new husband -in tux- was doing the windows. It was a wonderful moment. Should have stopped and grabbed the pic! I now always have a camera nearby, just in case.

    Here's what happened next time I saw a photo waiting to be taken - I WAS stopped at a stoplight, so no one was in danger when I took this! ;-)

  • Pene Stevens July 30, 2012 09:10 am

    The most resent one would be last Friday evening .... 4 photographers in the car going to shoot sunset at the river mouth..... Went past a great egret standing in perfectly calm water with beautiful reflection and perfect sky and lovely light..... None of us had our cameras out !!!!

  • leonard July 30, 2012 09:02 am

    i was driving into a local park, and when i got to the back of the park, there was a woman driving away real fast. and a small jack Russel tearier chasing her. when i looked over and seen his bag of food and a bucket....i knew she just dumped her dog off.......and i missed getting a picture of her car and tag number for the police to go throw there ass in jail........that was my missed shot...and every one was giving me hell for it...i always have many cameras with me

  • Michael Kenny July 30, 2012 08:29 am

    I was down by Humber River taking shots of the full moon just as it was rising. However, not only was I struggling with all the usual stuff (never enough light, tripod and flat ground etc), I was having a running battle with the mosquito's, flies, and other sundry insects. And just as I had got the camera, tripod (and insects) in some semblance of order, I realized that a Porter Airline's Dash 8 was going to fly right in front of the moon! Grab camera, tripod, maim insects/self and....missed it.

    Ah well, will live with the low-n-slow shot I did get.

  • John Cassan July 30, 2012 08:26 am

    At Saratoga Racetrack August 20, 1995, I had a great shot lined up of Thundergulch coming into the final stretch as he overtook the field. I pressed down the shutter and a young child knocked my camera while he was jumping on the fence. I hoped the camera moved after the shot but knew better. Thundergulch was a blurr on my camera.

  • Brian July 30, 2012 08:09 am

    I have two of these stories. I'll start with the less painful one, which happened today. I was Photographing my cat stroll along our garden wall. The resulting shot shown here:

    [eimg url='' title='cFWBHu']

    However, neither the cat nor myself realised that his nemis (the tougher neighbouring cat) was approaching from behind, probably only just out of frame! I lowered my camera to check my shot, only hear the cacophony of my cat being beaten up and falling off the fence! Question is, if I was ready, would I have taken the shots or defended my cat (only I will know the answer).

    The more painful experience requires fewer words... Comet Hyakutake, a long drive to a dark sky, and a full roll of film that I later discovered wasn't winding on... I can only treasure the experience which was spectacular.

  • Zack Jones July 30, 2012 07:45 am

    I missed the shot when I forgot to reset my camera between shots. I was shooting at an air show and some slow flying bombers were doing flyovers and I set the shutter speed down to 1/350th to get some prop blur. The next plane to fly was a Navy F-18. Needless to say 1/350th was not fast enough to capture that plane properly. I got lucky though and went back the next day and shot the airshow again. This time I did get the shot. Good thing too because the pilot of the F-18 is the son of one of the big wigs at our company and I was shooting him from the ViP tent. :)

  • Michelle Alexander July 30, 2012 07:23 am

    I live on the water looking out to the inter-coastal with a strip of land about 200 yards between me and the open water. The weather that day started out sunny but as I stood on my balcony It started to get dark and I knew a storm was coming in. About 5 minutes after I stepped on my balcony I saw a small funnel starting to form across the way. I thought is that a water spout? Before I knew it, it hit the small strip of land in front of me, jumped back to the water and turned into a HUGE water spout. I ran and got the camera and took the shot…..but… the gods was against me that day, not only was the camera set on a 5 minute timer…. from when i took the pictures of the Super Moon the night before, but there was no CF card in the camera! By the time I realized all of this the Huge water spout had veered to the left and was fast approaching land down the way, which turned into a small tornado! As I hung my head I looked down at my iphone 4S (which of course had a camera on it). AGH!!!!!! I did manage to get a picture but it was grainy. Attached is the picture that I was able to take. [eimg link='' title='via Trendyful for iPhone' url='']

  • Alireza July 30, 2012 06:57 am

    Some people just got in front of the camera at the time I was taking photos, or some cars...

    or sometimes that we photograph outside from inside a car moving, the road signs that eye's don't see but camera takes 'em are really bad.

  • Erin July 30, 2012 06:19 am

    Last weekend I went kayaking with friends in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, NL and we were accompanied by whales and puffins. I with my water-resistant camera took many cool shots during the day. But I completely spaced when one of the whales went directly underneath the kayak. Being a novice kayaker I was more concerned that a whale was under the kayak and didn't take a picture. I will NEVER let that happen again!

  • Liem July 30, 2012 06:11 am

    I was photographing a fast-moving, and very rare, lightning storm passing about 30 miles behind the Seattle skyline. If you know Seattle you know that lightning is exceedingly rare here. Single strike storms are common but lingering multi-strike storms occur about every 3 years. So I was positioned and the storm was progressing more and more behind the skyline. I got a great shot with it just to the left of the buildings: a strong ground strike with lovely cloud-to-cloud action, but it wasn't the one I wanted. I was repositioning my tripod by about 10 feet to avoid some foreground vegetation, and strikes were occuring about 2 minutes apart so I thought I had plenty of time, and the strike hit as I was moving my kit. Right behind the skyline, cloud-to-ground. Darn. I'll have to try again in another 3 to 5 years.

  • Steve July 30, 2012 06:07 am

    Every year I look forward to seeing the red Arrows aerobatic display team. They are spectacular and one of the jaw dropping moments is when they fly towards each other crossing at 760mph and some12feet apart.
    It all happens so quick it is very difficult to capture the exact moment when they cross.
    So many years of the missed shot until this year I actually got them perfect (I guess a D3s and a 400mm prime lens does help) but you still need quick reflexes - and a bit of luck

  • Joe Urbz July 30, 2012 05:57 am

    Just last week I was in the Mt. Rainier National Park. One of the shots I was looking forward to was at the Reflection Lakes, where supposedly you can capture the Mt. perfectly in the lake - the mirror effect. I was excited since most of the fog was moving and getting a perfect blue sky. I pull up on one side on the lake and start setting up my tripod in a smaller spot since there quite a few people there. Then a gentlemen comes up and tells me to go to the complete other side of the lake to find a spot in the mud while showing me his point & shoot camera reflection shot - which looked very good. Well, there was a good breeze going and lots of ripples in the lake. But I left my spot anyways and climbed the snow and mud to find a quiet spot. Suffice it to say, the place I originally was had more calm waters, where the new spot was all breezy and ripply. I spent quite a bit of time waiting, watching the lake change... But, no shot I was hoping for. You can see both captures here -

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