Unless your lenses are perfect, your equipment will fail. Your observational devices--notepad, tape recorder, camera--will inevitably falter, yielding fuzzy and indecipherable returns. Something is diminished when such a loss occurs (who believes Duneier never lost a tape to some mishap or another?), but the ethnographic project is also humanized.

I could have returned to the site and re-taken the photo. And yet the ripple in my data-set, one photo out of focus as it appears to be, suggests something about the methods for gathering data. We can name it sloppiness or we can find in it, perhaps, something that comments more importantly on exception in a complex methodological moire.