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Photography Question 
Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2001


OH my gosh! Just took a roll of Provia 400F and opened the camera back before rewinding the film! Am I screwed???! It was only open a bit (as much it comes open when pressing the release) and for about a millisecond while I stood there realizing what the hell I did. This is the first time I've ever done this (I swear!). I was taking shots of my son and his girlfriend and another couple dressed in their homecoming outfits in late afternoon light (6pm-ish) but in shade. Do you think I've got an entire roll that's ruined? I'm hoping I only ruined the last few frames. Anybody?

I did take another roll, but they won't be as good since the kids were tired of posing and I was trying to hurry.

I am about to cry. Someone please tell me it's going to be all right please ... :(

Sniff, sniff...

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10/5/2002 8:06:25 PM

Jeff Galbraith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/20/2001
  Hi Piper,
Its hard to say if any light reached the film--I hope not--but why not take it to the developer's. They usually only charge you for the shots that turn out. I know this isn't much consolation, but I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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10/6/2002 7:32:33 AM

Mary E. Hamel   I had that happen this past summer. The back of the camera flew open (my stupid mistake). I lost 7 shots... but I'll bet you don't lose that many. I'm too ashamed to tell you what else I did!

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10/7/2002 3:39:57 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2001
  Whew! Thanks guys. Mary, I hope I only lose 7 shots! The first three are test shots -- it's the last 29/30 that are the important ones. Wish I could lose the other end of the roll if I have to lose anything at all! I'm not too worried about it. I took another roll of 36, plus I'll have whatever gets saved from the first one. I also took a lot of digitals, and everyone loves them, so if nothing looks good on film, I'm still okay. Whew again!

I know why I was so flustered. I was using my flash for the first "real" time, and my usual routine got screwed up. Never use new equipment for important shoots! NOW I KNOW!

You have to tell me what else you did! I'll be waiting...

Thanks again, guys.

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10/7/2002 3:48:56 PM

Mark English
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/7/2001

First off, you're not stupid. Everyone has done this. I doubt you have lost more than a few frames as someone else pointed out.

Let me tell you what I did... Went to Italy this summer. Shooting on the Palatine Hill in Rome (site of the Emperor's Palace... rewound a roll in first camera hanging from one shoulder, picked up the other camera on the other shoulder, and opened the back. Stood there for about a full 3 or 4 count trying to understand why the film had apparently not rewound, before it dawned on me what I had done. Quickly closed the back and rewound the roll. In the end I only lost a half dozen frames or so, but, like the "fish-that-got-away", I'm sure they were the best ones of the day.

A few days before, we were in the Piazza St. Marco, in Venice. I was really excited by some shots I was getting with my 16-35, framing the Campanile with the columns around the perifery of the square, shots of kids covered with pigeons in the foreground with the campaniie in the background; neat stuff. Then I realized I had been shooting for over half an hour without any film in the camera!

Trust me... You are NOT stupid.

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10/8/2002 12:50:42 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/20/2001
  Oh man. You must've felt so bad after that last one. That's gotta be a classic. I haven't done that one yet. My camera blinks a big "E" in the viewfinder when empty, which is surely the ONLY reason I haven't done it.

I guess we all get a little crazy when excited about great shots. I was just so happy about the light that day, I wasn't thinking about anything but getting another roll in the camera and shooting more.

I was more embarrassed that I did what I did in front of everybody! I wanted to look professional on this one. My daughter called me a doof. I guess I shouldn't have said, "Oh ___, look what I did!"

Thanks for cheering me up, Mark!

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10/8/2002 2:06:11 PM

Carrie C. Brannon   Don't feel bad, any of you...I am very bad for not getting the film into my Canon AE-1's slot correctly, and then watching to make sure the rewind knob turns with each time I advance the film... I happily shoot all sort of great pictures with a 24 exposure roll, only realizing my mistake when I look down and see that I am on the 30th shot......
It happens to us all! All you can do is Laugh (or curse) and then Learn!
Carrie B

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1/16/2003 8:37:24 PM

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