A character takes a picture with a camera, and the photo develops, revealing that the picture taker had his/her finger(s) on the lens or left the lens cap on, obscuring the intended target of the photo. Bonus points if the camera in question is a SLR camera, because the viewfinder uses a mirror and prism to show ''the exact view through the lens,'' requiring a truly monumental level of stupidity. Usually fully justified when the camera in question in a vintage viewfinder camera.

This can still occur in the age of digital cameras, if the person has only a limited opportunity to photo their intended target and can't afford the time to review their settings before taking the shot.

See also BodyWipe. Not to be confused with the [[FatalFrame Camera Obscura]]. Nor should it be confused with the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_Obscura Camera Obscura]], from which this trope [[JustForPun derives its name.]]
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!!Examples:
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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ComicBook/AmbushBug did this in one of his 1980s miniseries.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''CrocodileDundee'':
-->'''Neville Bell''': ''Oh no, you can't take my photograph.''
-->'''Sue Charlton''': ''Oh, I'm sorry, you believe it will take your spirit away.''
-->'''Neville Bell''': ''No, you got lens cap on it.''
* ''Film/SkyCaptainAndTheWorldOfTomorrow'': [[IntrepidReporter Polly Perkins]] spends much of the movie with only two frames left on her only roll of film, and wants to save them for a truly awesome photo. At one point she accidentally shoots the ground while running away, reducing it to one. In the film's denouement, she decides to take a photo of [[spoiler: Joe Sullivan]], only for Joe to look at her and say ''"Lenscap."''
** Annoyingly, she could still have taken that picture. With the lens cap on, there would have been no light - meaning no exposure. Being that the while movie is 40's retro technology, that was probably a manual camera. If she didn't advance the film, she could have taken the cap off and shot that frame again.
* ''[[Film/{{Spider-ManTrilogy}} Spider-Man 2]]'': Happens to Peter.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', Rincewind uses a camera flash to defeat an EldritchAbomination and later finds out that he only has a photo of his thumb to show for it.
* In the original ''CheaperByTheDozen'' book, the father of said dozen children wants the removal of his children's and his own tonsils filmed. Since he wants to direct the filming of his own tonsil removal, he stays conscious during the procedure, and suffers great pain because of this. The pain turned out to be all for naught when the cameraman revels he accidentally left the lens cap on.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* There was an episode of ''{{Series/CSI}}'' where they started trying to identify the taker of a photograph by the print of the picture of his thumb he left over the lens (until they decided they could get more information by looking in the reflection of the subject's eyes. That episode was worrying on so many levels.)
* ''Series/MadTV'': one part of an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkCSbIJO3EQ Average Asian skit]] ends with this.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* From Heywood Banks' "[[GroinAttack Trauma to the Groin]]":
--> Too bad we left the lenscap on the camera by mistake/'Cause grandpa weren't too happy about the second take

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* There is a running gag in the ''{{Curtis}}'' comic strips where Curtis' barber claims to have met someone famous. When asked to show proof, he will inevitably produce a photograph of himself with his arm around the celebrity... except that the "celebrity" will be obscured by a finger.
* ''USAcres'': [[http://www.garfield.com/usacres/vault.html?yr=2013&addr=130316 Wade forgot the lens cover on when he tried to take a picture of the Trough Ness Monster]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* That famous picture of George W. Bush looking through the binoculars and they have caps on (which may or may not have been manipulated; [[http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/binoculars.asp undetermined according to Snopes]]).
** A similar picture exists with Bill Clinton, of course.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/TheSims 3'' has this occur from low photography skill, making the photos near worthless.
* ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' has {{White Dwarf Star|let}} Axel trying to rekindle his fame by fighting Adell and "rescuing" Rozalin, who he believes Adell has kidnapped, and having it filmed by the crew of his poorly rated travel show. Although he loses the fight ([[CurbStompBattle badly]]), the director is sure they can edit the footage into an epic scene...or could if the zombie cameraman hadn't left on the lens cap.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadrunner'': Coyote uses a [[ShoePhone gun disguised as a camera]], only for it to literally backfire because he left the lens cap on.
* Happens on ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'', when Deedee takes photos of his lab and plans to show it to their mom. Fortunately for him, his lab is barely seen due to Deedee's fingers being in the way.
* ''JonnyQuest'' episode "The Sea Haunt": Hadji tries to take a picture of the title monster but all there is on the photograph is a fingerprint.
* In ''TheFlintstones'', Fred and Barney capture the legendary whale Adobe Dick and Barney takes a photo of it before it escapes. Unfortunately, the picture was covered by Barney's thumb, which was a RunningGag earlier in the episode.
* The ''InvaderZim'' episode ''Megadoomer'' had this happen at the end, with the HumongousMecha's {{Invisibility}} failed and Dib tried to take pictures of it.
* When WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants made a movie of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, cameraman Patrick left the lenscap on so he wouldn't misplace it.
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