Posted by: Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) | September 16, 2008

The Mysterious Case of the Shutter Schmuck

If you were preparing for a fun photo expedition with friends, what would you do?  Here is a tip.  Don’t do what I, jenfera, did.

From Newport

The picture above was taken on Tuesday of the big Newport trip, the very first picture I took with my digital camera of the trip. Guess what happened immediately after that? My batteries died. Did I have another set of batteries ready to go with me? Nope.

You see, I am a big fan of lithium batteries. They last a really, really long time. So long, that one might easily forget that batteries are something you need to think about. It wasn’t that big of a deal though. A little later that day, I found a little shop selling batteries and settled for some suspicious looking loose unpackaged alkaline double-A’s. Soon after, I was happily shooting away.

And I was happy! There are beautiful sights to be seen in Newport, and we were lucky to have gorgeous weather to enjoy it all. I couldn’t help myself but take lots of pictures all that evening. The next morning we headed to a mansion, where I happily took plenty of pictures all around the grounds.

After the tour, we headed out for more photo ops on the Cliff Walk. We started at the Forty Steps…

…where, after taking that picture, my camera promptly told me that my memory card was full. Did I have another memory card with me??


I spent most of our walking time re-saving a few pictures at lower resolution so I could squeeze in a few more. That got tedious fast. By lunch time, I was shooting with the camera on my phone.

Did I mention that I also toted along my big 35mm SLR? I sure did! And it even had a fresh battery in it. You know what I forgot? Color film. I had one sad old roll of black & white rolling around in my camera bag. But Newport is so beautiful, and I couldn’t see missing out on the gorgeous blue skies and blue waters all around us with black & white.

So, we searched for a new memory card. My digital camera is a Sony, and Sonys use a special memory card called the Memory Stick Pro. It is not as common as cards like the SD or XD, so when I ran into CVS before dinner? They didn’t have it. They had some different Sony card that looked to be a different size and shape than mine. I went across the street to Radio Shack. They were fresh out of Memory Stick Pro, but they might have some by Friday!

I know what you are thinking. Why didn’t you just offload the pictures on to your laptop when you got back to the room? Guess what else I didn’t bring? Yep. My laptop. The USB cord so that I could have perhaps downloaded onto Shrewbie or Maven’s laptop? Don’t be silly. Like I am going to remember that?

My dinner photos would have to be camera phone pictures.

Ugh! What is that???

The next morning, we managed to find a little camera shop on the other end of town. There, I found out that my Memory Stick Pro is obsolete! Who knew? But, all was not lost. The new thing – Memory Stick Pro Duo (or something like that) is available with a special adapter for use in older cameras. (My camera is an ancient 3 years old now.) The nice gentleman in the store even let me try it in my camera before I bought it to make sure it worked. Yay! I was snapping away again on our walking history tour with 1 gig of memory. And, I grabbed a roll of 35mm while I was there.

So, I made it through the rest of the trip with the sketchy batteries and the huge new memory card, but I really felt like I should at least take a few 35mm pictures since I bothered to take it with me. On the last day, I loaded up the film and took a few seconds before figuring out why I couldn’t set up my shot by staring at the hard, black plastic back cover of the camera. Right! No LCD screen. I peered through the actual viewfinder and took a few decent shots, and I was happy I chose color.

Well, I knew for sure I was happy I chose color after I got the film developed at Costco when I got home and had them make a CD for me. But still, I could have done better with these pictures. We took another walk on the Cliff Walk and I brought just the camera, not my bag. So, I didn’t have my polarizing filter which could have really made the sky pop in a shot like this.

And what is that schmootz in the middle of the sky? I think my regular filter could have used a good cleaning.

So, the moral of the story is – don’t be a shutter schmuck! Now that I have made my confessions, my next post will be sure to be about happier things – like all the great food we ate in Newport.



  1. Jen this post is priceless. I was laughing out loud in my kitchen! Thanks for sharing.

    And BTW, the covered walkway, the window looking down the street and the flowers are my favorites.

  2. Shutter schmuck! Ha! Much kinder than we were saying in Newport! 😉

  3. Oh come on! Say it like it was…Shutter Shithead!
    (like you didn’t know I was gonna do that)

  4. LOL! I love the title, Jen! Since I wasn’t there to hear the actual term used, then Shutter Schmuck will be the one that gets stuck in my head.

    Yeah, Memory Stick Pros are mostly found in gaming stores now, since older Sony handheld video games used them. Now, everything’s about the Pro Duo. Good that you now have an adapter. It’ll make next time a lot easier. 🙂

    The walkway and the first shot are my favorites. And I’m impressed with that phone camera shot of the beach. Nice! (Not so much with the dinner plate. 🙂 Were those mussels over pasta?)

  5. brc – thanks – I aim to amuse! That walkway picture reminded me a little of your beautiful walkway picture from Spain.

    karma & renae – just trying to keep the headlines clean around here!

    hut – I hope there won’t be a next time! I now have the 1 gig card and two 128’s, and the camera is only 4 megapixels. So, unless I take that one month trip to Europe someday, I think I will be all set! Oh, and good call on the mussels! That was my dinner one night.

  6. Yeah! At least you got some shots, Jen. You were not to be denied. I LOVE the Hydrangea shot…and Nae Nae, you slay me.

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