My Camera Thinks it’s a Graphic Designer


I don’t think that my camera likes making time-lapse photography. I can’t blame it for getting bored after taking the same photo several thousand times. It is tedious production work. I set up the camera and then leave it all alone for most of the day. Not exactly a camera’s dream job. So I am not surprised that once in a while my Nikon Coolpix 995 decides to rebel. Once every few thousand images it decides to break the routine and design something more interesting. It moves parts of the photo around. It changes the colors. It repeats the parts that it likes, and deletes what it doesn’t like. If I didn’t know better, I would think that my camera wanted to be a graphic designer. It never resizes the image, but sometimes it leaves a white edge on one side. I think that is its polite way of saying that it would rather work in a different proportion. I guess 4×3 is a digital camera’s equivalent of 8.5×11. It’s boring.

The results of my camera’s improvisation are useless in terms of time-lapse, but often they are quite beautiful on there own. They are almost always more interesting than the photos taken seconds before and after. I am sure there is a more technical explanation for these images, but I prefer my Toy-Story-esque explanation. Rather than delete these images I have decided to save them. It’s best to keep the creatives happy, plus I think they fit very well with my Found Photography theme…

You will know that you are getting one of these magical images when Photoshop warns you that, “This document may be damaged (the file may be truncated or incomplete) Continue?” That is computerspeak for “Don’t get mad at me because your computer has a mind of its own.” Just click “ok” and prepared to see what your camera has designed for you. And next time your camera acts up, try to think of it as being creative and not broken!

Here are a couple more improvisations by my camera from the same scene as above:



3 Responses to “My Camera Thinks it’s a Graphic Designer”

  1. Michel Valdrighi Says:

    Oh, nice to see I’m not the only one who’s faced the experimentations issue! In my case, it was the card reader that was to blame.

    Here’s an example of an experiment that the card reader did:

    Another example is the “experimental” way that the reader chopped my bad Eiffel Tower shot (yes, it’s the Eiffel tower on my blog).

    I’m thinking of using that card reader again to experiment more… :)

  2. Tim Drage Says:

    Those look cool! I love it when images get interestingly corrupted… sometimes they’ll even look different in different applications.

    My friend once had a magic gif which when opened in photoshop would cause all other images open to be remixed into colourful weird glitchiness which you could alter by zooming in + out etc… generated tonnes of spontanious graphic design that way!

    Lots of cool corruption/glitch art can be found at

  3. Jim Says:

    You know what, this happened to me a couple of times. Only I have an Olympus C4000. Took it to Greece, took over 1000 shots. My camera omits some color in a band across the photo. You can see one, called “Spectacular View” at

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