This image cost me £325 to make!
Actually, to reframe the above statement in a more positive attitude, ....I had the pleasure of parting with £325 of my hard-earned cash to pay for a lesson in due-diligence.
I was on Portmuck shoreline on Sunday 3 January setting up this image in very difficult weather conditions. The scene doesn't reflect it, but there were frequent heavy showers that day and a biting-cold, gale-force wind gusting & blowing like the tail-end of a hurricane: - just keeping my camera steady for each shot was a real challenge.
I set about setting up the shot; I duly set my tripod up - but I didn't level it off the way I usually do - and then I placed my camera (complete with Nikkor 28-300mm zoom lens) on to the tripod head. I turned round for an instant to select a Lee 0.9 ND filter from my photo-bag and, 'clatter!' the tripod and camera had blown over crashing into the rock.
I couldn't believe it! On this day of all days, not leveling my tripod nor weighing it down with my photo-bag (as I usually do) was an expensive oversight! The wide-angle zoom was wrecked - no broken glass but the automatic & manual zoom operation wasn't working at all.
I sent the lens off to Nikon for a repair quote and have just received their estimate - £325! Ouch!
It's a great lens and second-hand items on Ebay are more expensive than the repair quote, so I'll begrudgingly pay the education fee.
The lesson? Never, ever, become so comfotable with your kit that you don't observe due diligence for it's care and always continue to perform those practices that have served you well over the years!
"He that thinks he can afford to be negligent is not far from being poor."
~ Samuel Johnson