Murphy's photography laws

June 9, 2014 /Photography News/ Here are some versions of Murphy's laws which often relate to us, photographers. Feel free to add yours in the comment section below.

1. You are not Ansel Adams.

2. Neither are you Herb Ritts.

3. If a photo shoot goes too smoothly, then your computer's hard drive is likely to crash.

4. Photo assistants are essential, they give photographers someone to yell at.

5. Weather never cooperates.

6. If it works in your home, it will fail on location.

7. The newest and least experienced photographer will usually win the Pulitzer.

8. The nature shots invariably happen on two occasions:
    -when animals are ready
    -when you're not

9. Flash will fail as soon as you need it.

10. A camera is a magnet for dust, mud and moisture.

11. Photo experience is something you never get until just after you need it.

12. The lens that falls is always the most expensive.

13. When you drop a lens cap, the inside part always lands face down in the mud.

14. Bugs always want to land on the mirror during a lens swap.

15. Your batteries will always go dead or you will need to put in a new film canister at the least opportune moment.

16. Your batteries will always go dead during a long exposure.

17. Cameras are designed with a built-in sensor that senses the anticipation to develop the film. When the level of anticipation is the highest, this sensor causes the back to flip open exposing the film. (Takura Razemba)

18. Lenses are attracted to rocks.
      The more expensive the lens, the greater the attraction.

19. The greater a photographer's excitement, the greater the chance of fogging film, scratching prints, and deleting files.

20. The success of an assignment is inversely proportional to the product of its importance and the number of people watching.

21. Strobes only explode when lots of people are watching.
      Strobes only work when there is nobody else to see. ( by Jason Antman)

22. You never really need a tripod when you're actually carrying one. (by Marshmallow)


  1. Marshmallow says

    Good post. Insightful yet very funny.
    Here's another one:
    You never really need a tripod when you're actually carrying one.

    *okay, that was so lame* =))

    Marshmallow says
    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Anonymous says

    AA was a great artist and pioneer but he's not the end all be all of photography. I doubt most mature, humble photogs walk around thinking they are Ansel. Maybe the guy who wrote this list, the same one who misses shots and drops lenses, secretly compares himself to Ansel.

    Photography News says

    That's a good one, Marshmallow. We've added it to the list. ;)

    a says

    Great post and very funny.

    Abhijit says

    They all do it just right, before you point the camera.

    Anonymous says

    it's Herb Ritts, not Ritz

    Anonymous says

    How are half of these Murphy's Laws? Saying "you aren't a famous photographer" isn't a Murphy-style law. Film? Seriously?

    Anonymous says

    23 There is always an idiot on your website that will point out your errors. It puts them on a higher plane than Ansel Adams.

    Unknown says

    Are you a bit pessimistic perhaps??

    Anonymous says

    Here's one: If you need an hour to do a photo shoot you'll most likely be given 10 minutes!

    perlfoto says

    If you are carrying multiple lenses, the one you need for a particular shot will never be the same one mounted on the camera. (via Scott Kelby)

    Anonymous says

    You get all set for a long exposure, and then realize your shutter release/remote is in your other bag at home.

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