In a Mirror Darkly

I was clicking away some pinata-punishing photos at a birthday party for a friend when I heard a disturbing sound from my camera. Thinking the shutter may have folded, I figured I was holding a fancy paperweight anyway, so I tried shooting again: the viewfinder went black. Interesting. I shot again: the viewfinder went half black. I realized my mirror had issues; not the shutter.

Moment of Dislocation
Moment of Dislocation

When I took the lens off, sure enough, there was my mirror, loose and bouncing around inside my camera. It was only a birthday party, and I was just shooting for the fun of it, so I could have just packed up the camera (as if I carried a bag). That would be throwing away a great learning opportunity, though.

It was great. Not only all manual, but blind! Thankfully, zone focusing is relatively easy with a 24mm lens in the daytime. I could just set it to f/8 or f/11 (or some smallish aperture), and use the distance scale on the lens to make sure I was in the ballpark. And at 24mm, that ballpark is quite forgiving.

What came out of it was interesting. I have zone focused quite a lot and I usually shoot with manual settings, but I had never really shot completely blind (for more than one or two shots like a hail Mary over the crowd). The following was, by far, my favorite photo from the shoot.

Shooting blind, but creatively new.
Shooting blind, but creatively new.

Now, I did not even bother giving this photo to my friends. To me, though, it just draws in my eyes. I keep seeing some kind of colorful, dynamic world map. Ok, so I am crazy. Yes, I know it is a trash shot, but it is trash like all that broken glass I keep finding my backyard is trash…until it hopefully becomes a mosaic one day.

p.s. Canon graciously fixed it for free, including shipping back and forth, because it was a known problem with the 5D. That was big of them, though I still am not so surprised something like this happened with a Canon.

Cooper Strange Written by:

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