For example. Everything tested fine in the studio, but when I got on site, the intervalometer (a Pocket Wizard) seemed to only be working intermittently. It would fire, then stop for a long time, then fire again. Then cease completely. First I thought it was the power-off function of the camera, and that the signal from the Pocket Wizard wasn't waking up the camera. But it was still wonky. I fiddled with more settings, nothing worked. At last, I figured out that the lens was on auto-focus. If there wasn't an edge in the focus point (I set my cameras to use just one active focus sensor), it wouldn't fire.
I have never shot in jpg before, so I had a learning curve to manage with white balance and exposure. I knew enough to leave it on manual, but it was dusk and the light was changing over the course of the time lapse,. As it got darker I'd just open it up a half stop every now and then, as I couldn't think of a better solution.
The next day, with that steep piece of the learning curve behind me, I set up again. This time I found new mistakes to make, like not regarding the power drain on a battery when a camera is firing continuously for five hours. The next run I had plenty of batteries. I just kicked the tripod once when I went to check the battery and CF card levels (you can spot the moment in the Dismantle video).
Robin watched me go through this process and remarked, “A lot of people are afraid to go through what you're going through. They have shame around failing. You're just plowing ahead.” I think of it as, the more mistakes I'm making, the faster I'm learning. You have to be bad at something before you get to be good at it.