Sometimes it all goes wrong.
An instant of ceasing to pay attention, a failure to follow the takeoff checklist, leaving the camera on ISO1600 from the night before. This is a D40 we're talking about, which outputs a barely palatable 400 on a good day.
This picture from October 2009 reminds me that sometimes we just fumble the ball and ruin otherwise perfect shots. One year later I made a valiant effort to salvage my ISO1600 mistake with some new retouching techniques - so here we are.
My mistake left the skin... gacky. And although some new recipes for frequency separation can work wonders, I don't have all the time in the world and so shall let this be a painful reminder of what might've been, had I set the camera right in the first place.