One Shot

I’m staring at the screen in disbelief then up to the sky then back to the screen ‘Card Full!’. Time and spacial dimension does a wobbly thing in my head as I try to re-align what should be, with reality, and fail. I silently watch the clouds pass beneath the sun as beautifully angled beams of light play onto the fields and the ridge that is enveloped by cloud.

The day had started the night before with lots of ideas and excitable plans about which route I could take on a rare walk into work (not school run dad today!). Batteries were charged lens given a clean, filters cleaned and fitted ready, memory card fitted and reformatted, check, check and check.

Well I didn’t make it out the door at the time I thought I would, so on to plan F,G or H, in other words I’m taking the shortest walking route to work and hope I catch sight of something. Not a plan then.

I took the Olympus as I also needed room in my pack for a rare shop brought sandwich treat (well you’ve got to have the triple fill!) and packet of square crisps. The Olympus only has one SD card slot, but there was a card in it, I double checked, it was there a tiny strip of blue beside the battery.

After securing the lunchtime goodies (priorities!) I walked up the hill to work, under a canopy of trees watching the light play between the leaves, as I came round the slight curve I could see the sky with clouds racing across and light streaming beautifully through them. That was the shot, from just inside the gate to the field, with a view over toward the ridge that runs southwards out of Belstone.

One shot, ‘Card Full’ icon blinking away.

I thought I’d been stupid and taken a movie on high res, that would fill the card up, that’s what must have happened. I quickly re-formatted the card and took another shot, this time on SCN mode – ‘landscape’. Yes, I know that’s not ‘proper’ photography but cock off, I needed to test the theory that it was me not the camera. ‘Card Full’ message blinking away again.

By now the shafts of light are disappearing fast so I re, re, re-format the card twirl the dial to A, select f/10 and let fly


One Shot – Olympus E-PL1, 17mm, ISO 200, 1/400 sec at f/10

‘Card Full’ blinks away on the screen. I turn and walk away. Sat at my desk with fresh strong coffee running amok through my system I pull the card out from the slot to see if it was damaged in some way, it was not. It did have 256MB written on it though. 256MB Why have I still got a card that small?, As my logic circuit in my brain started to break down the caffeine started to really kick in and zen moment number two happened, the native Olympus file size at its highest setting comes out at just over 11MB per shot, should’ve had room for 20 odd shots (20 shots is plenty to me who is used to 16 or 24 on a roll)


Zen moment number three – the card is corrupted, I’ll have to order some more. I put everything back in my pack and get on with my day, happy and settled that all I had to do is order a couple of new cards.

Only there’s nothing wrong with the card – out of desperation one night I’d used the SD card to transfer some high res images from the iMac to a PC (I couldn’t find any of the thousands of USB memory sticks that I have). I’d been lazy and just formatted the card in the camera afterwards instead of deleting the files on the iMac first, then formatting the card in camera. The files were still on the card, all the formatting had done was to format the remaining space – just enough for one shot.

I really couldn’t make this up.

I am the Worlds Worst Landscape Photographer.


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