Before you click that "delete" button, take a close look at what you have on your view screen. I am sometimes so blinded by what I was trying to capture that I fail to appreciate the image I did capture. One example is of a sunset shot I was trying to do at Leo Carrillo Beach. The effect I was going for was a 30 second exposure that would turn the ocean waves into flat seas and fog. I had already captured one beauty, looking due South. I thought I would try to get another looking into the sun. I used my smallest aperture and lowest ISO. Even so, I used a graduated neutral density filter to darken the sky.

Turning to the West, I thought I could get the same sort of image looking straight into the sunset. I was standing with my tripod on a rock about 15 feet above the beach below when I released the shutter. To my surprise, a very large wave smashed up into the rock I was standing on and splashed all over my camera. I did my best to shield the camera with my body but the lens was splashed just the same. I figured that shot was ruined but when I looked at the result, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Water splash sunset

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One February, I was in Yosemite. At night, I decided to try to capture the setting crescent moon with an exposure long enough to get the stars (4 seconds). Every time I released the shutter, a car would drive towards a nearby campground and illuminate the trees, ruining my shot. On one of the "ruined" shots, the moon had cast a strange inverted image (lens flare) that looked like a little green planet on purple cloud. The combination of illuminated trees, lens flare, stars and what appears to be a tiny sun (4% moon) made for a truly amazing image. 

Yosemite moonset with planet lens flare

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