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Author Topic: Worst Photography Experience  (Read 6659 times)
Image Northwest
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« on: December 29, 2004, 06:57:54 PM »
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I've lost a couple cameras and lenses, fortunately not stolen. but broken in the act of using/transporting them.  The worst experience was losing a camera and expensive lens over a cliff.  I was in the Olympics and walking out of a steep basin, which required a climb up a rock wall of about 150 feet.  Not able to do it with my backpack on, I simply tied a rope to it, with the intent of hauling it up after me.  Once at the top, I nearly had it within reach when the strap broke.  My camera was attached to the outside of the pack, along with my tripod. What seemed like several minutes (probably several seconds) all I heard was my pack tumbling down and pieces of metal flying,  I cried right there.

Eventually I got the courage to retrieve everything.  Naturally none of the outside camera equipment was intact.  I gathered up the pieces, since I didn't want to be accused of littering, and marched back to the car.  The silver lining is that I went to a different camera system and never looked back.
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2004, 10:16:12 PM »
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Not my experience, but it happened to a friend of mine. Let's call him Fred.

Fred spent 6 weeks shooting 4X5" transparency film on a dream trip around the American southwest. He returned home with a couple of hundred sheets of film, and though it was a Saturday night, and his lab was closed, he dropped everything off though the night deposit box. To keep things safely together, he put it all in a large green garbage bag.

On Monday morning he called the lab to see if they'd started on his film. Their response was, "What film?"

Long story short, a newly hired cleaning lady working the Sunday shift at the lab, found this green garbage bag on the floor inside the lab, and thinking it to be just that, garbage, had thrown it in the dumpster. By the time the mistake was realized the dumpster was at the city dump, and the film lost forever.

He didn't touch a camera again for two years.

Michael
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Image Northwest
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2004, 10:56:11 AM »
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Another one for me is the time I spent 10 days at Malheur National WIldlife Refuge getting shots of sandhill cranes and various other birds.  I was getting up early, before sunrise, and planting a blind in various places.  I was using film at the time and after each roll was taken out of the camera I put it (without the canister) into a zip lock bag.  At the end of each day I then deposited it into an ice chest back at the field station.   Well...the ice in the chest eventually melted and the zip lock bags were not exactly zipped tight.  Water leaked in and destroyed 40 rolls of film.  Unprocessed Velvia and Provia produce a highly saturated yellow/green liquid when mixed with water.
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FGARVIN
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2005, 01:03:46 AM »
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I have a very recent bad experience, I shot a job three weeks ago, toward the end of the shoot my flash card filled up and my camera battery went dead simultaneously. When I got back home I could not download anything, tried everything. I called Lexar, they had me send the card in, three days later I had a new card overnighted back with this sad reply "original card experienced an electrical failure, files unrecoverable". I hope that never happens again.
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boku
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2005, 09:21:14 AM »
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I have found that I can now expect to "Christen" my major aqcuisitions. So far I have had two such "Christenings."

1) Early Spring 2004: New 10D and 70-200 f4L Zoom. I thought my L bracket was secured in the Acratech saddle and went to move my tripod for a better angle on a shot. Kerplunk. 5 foot down to parking lot gravel.

2) Late Fall 2004: New 20D and 300 f4L. I thought my L bracket was secured in the Acratech saddle and went to move my tripod for a better angle on a shot. Kerplunk. 5 foot down to snow covered pavement.

I was able to use copy and paste because my 2 Christening events were like deja vu.

Lessons learned:

A) Canon makes some good SH*T. Nothing ever broke either time.

 Always check the camera attachment before major tripod moves.

C) Get an RRS lever shoe instead of a thumbscrew type for visual confirmation and feedback. (I have an RRS ballhead on order.)
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Oh, one more thing...
Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Abdee
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2005, 04:55:10 PM »
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Few days ago while roaming streets i saw this guy peeing (its noon, busy street, but he was doing it anyway):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v408/Abdee/pisach.jpg

I took shoot and like i knew what would happen i put my camera into bag. Suddenly i heard few fast steps behind me and felt something sharp hiting left side of my back. It was guys foot... He than tried to punch me but i was stronger and i managed to take him down with 2 hits into face... He ran away.
When i got home my mom saw that my t-shirt was bloody... I'll have nice scar... Funny thing is that he had some weird kind of shoe that managed to cut me altough i was wearing M65 military jacket...
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Coops
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2005, 06:41:53 AM »
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this is a personal recount of something that happened to me a few years ago (as opposed to the luckless Fred) while on a 4x4 trail in my Landrover Defender. A friend of mine who had accompanied me on the trip had to park his own vehicle before I proceeded up a exceptionally trecherous section of the trail, which wound its way up a mountain... This friend of mine hopped into my Defender from the rear end, but failed to close the door properly, and during a particularly bumpy section the door swung open... I didnt think much of it at the time, but when i arrived home later that evening (after driving the 200km home), I realised my camera equipment was not where I thought it was. What had happened was when the door flung open, my Lowepro bag fell out, along with my prized Canon and lenses... I am quite sure i wept, ha ha... Fortunately i knew the owner of the reserve, and contacted him, and managed to describe the exact point at which the incident happened. He promptly sent out a search party (friendly South Africans, i must say) and located the camera equipment intact, and had it delivered to me... I could happily wipe away the tears...
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andybuk99
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2005, 04:02:53 AM »
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argghhhhhhh nightmare

my worst experience was having to photograph a handbuilt jaguar c type, the client didnt want to pay for a studio with cove so had to shoot it in his barn!!! my assistant let me down on the morning of the shoot so not a good start. turn up at the shoot then the client advises me that we have only till lunchtime to get the shots as the car was going to be shipped later that day. so rushiing around like a goon setting up lights paper etc and then it happens!! 1) trip over wire, 2) wire pulls background stand over, 3) look round in horror as £50 background roll penetrates bonnett of substantially more than £50 car.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2005, 09:16:23 PM »
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Worst photography experience?  Hard to decide...  There was the time I was in the Gulf of St. Lawrence at low tide; very windy so I had the tripod legs set very wide.  Not to be outdone the wind changed directions and blew the tripod over onto a rock. Snapped the tripod collar on the 400mm lens and dented in the top corner of the XD-11.  Minolta offered me a trade on a new body.

One time in Regina (Saskatchewan - prairie province up here in Canada) I received an enlargement back from the lab, along with a 1 cm scratch across the middle of the slide.  Almost pulled the guy over the counter, but it wasn't his fault.

Funniest time was when I was working with Environment Canada in Quebec.  Sitting at streamside, just before sunrise, with camera, (different) 400mm lens and tripod a few feet away.  A white-tailed deer doe came quietly down to the other bank to drink.  Being a seasoned biologist type person and an experienced photographer I immediately LUNGED for my camera and she scooted off.  Set it up anyway and she came back a few minutes later.  Took some wonderful shots of her, several songbirds later that day, and about 3:00 p.m. I realized I hadn't loaded the film.  Being up before dawn addled my brain.

A similar experience was on the east coast of New Brunswick, Sunday morning.  Traveling east to Nova Scotia, and I had parked the car on the side of the roadway to shoot some boats and scenery at low tide.  Going on a visit to friends'; not really a photography expedition, but never want to be without some equipment.  Finished the last of the film, drove about 300 yd down the highway and there was a salt marsh with THIRTY SEVEN Great Blue Herons in it.  And so where does one find film on a back highway in rural New Brunswick on an early Sunday morning?

I was asked to shoot a wedding once for a friend's son.  Never again.  I'm NOT a wedding photographer!  But that's another story.

Bottom line:  Equipment can always be replaced and there will always be another 'once in a lifetime' shot.  Sunrises aren't going anywhere.  As for the others?  The film in my memory never gets lost...

Mike.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2005, 09:20:24 PM »
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Forgot about when I was in college and had my own key to the darkrooms.  Used to bulk load my own film, develop, etc.  One day I had loaded a roll of shots of lightening onto the spool for developing, set it down, then started loading another roll.  I was having trouble getting the film leader started, so I took the roll and the spool and put it in a drawer then turned on the light to find another spool.  Took the first roll that was still sitting in the spool, on the counter, in 100W of incandescent light, and threw it out...

Mike
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
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Stef_T
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2004, 05:43:59 PM »
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One of the biggest concerns that I have about starting to get serious about photography is the idea that I am going to invest a great deal of money into this, and that the chances of something happening to my equipement seem pretty high. Seriously, I have been having dreams of spending my savings on a 1Ds MkII and a 600mm lens, then for some reason it falls of a cliff, or into a river or that I leave it on the top of Mount Everest.

I realize that this is pretty unrealistic, but I really am concerned that something along these lines, or more probably theft, will happen if I ever get this type of expensive equipement. I was wondering if some of you would care to share if this type of thing has ever happened- dropped into water, or down some stairs, or you forgot it on a tripod on a mountain or it got stolen. I ask so that we could perhaps share some laughs (or tears) but more importantly so that I see if my fears are actually valid, that you could ruin or lose your equipement even if you are careful with it?

Thank you, Stefan Tarnawsky.
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Stef_T
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2004, 06:31:46 PM »
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I have yet to get  dSLR, and yes I will definetely get insurrance for it. I simply wasn't aware the insurance will cover theft, and other losses of the equipement. Does it actually cover this, and if so how much does it cost?

Thanks, Stefan. Please keep the experiences coming.
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camilla
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2004, 07:13:11 PM »
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well let me choose one of many.. my mind goes right away to an experience about ten years ago I guess when the ElanIIe came out. I bought two, to be on the safe side, and took with me another older Canon camera as backup. I used the cameras for several weeks without any problems.

Went to the Southwest and in Monument Valley, my very first day... the Elan IIe's did not work- a problem with the contact of the batteries I learned later--- the older Canon had a problem with changing lenses so I ended up shooting for 9 days, with one lens on my old old Canon AE. It was a pathetic sight indeed as I had hired a special guide to take me to an extensive trip to the Anazasi ruins...
 
Canon replaced the two cameras with new ones, but, who can replace the time, the cost of the trip and everything else?

My suggestion, travel VERY prepared for many unforseen circumstances..
Now, I am prepared and take backup cameras and ship everything I didn't need back home from one or two destinations. It's expensive, it's sometimes cumbersome, but, in most interesting places there are no supplies, no replacements, nothing at all.
Lots of luck
Camilla
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rickster
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2004, 08:36:45 PM »
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Making the same hike ten days in a row waiting for the perfect fall foliage and weather to coexist, then finding you left your CF cards behind.
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BryanHansel
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2004, 10:43:41 PM »
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This summer, I kayaked 560 miles of the Mississippi River.  When I got back my film all the rolls were processed wrong.  I still had a few shots to take on the roll in my camera, so I have one roll that looks good.  Too bad, it was from the last day.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2004, 11:08:10 PM »
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Nothing terrible, but have made some easy mistakes.  Once I was in a hurry, didn't secure my camera properly, and dumped it off a tripod into the dirt.  Fortunately everything survived although my heart skipped a beat when I picked it up.

I've also been caught without spare CF cards or camera batteries and have had to cut sessions short.

One other easy mistake to make is to not check your ISO, exposure compensation or other settings to be sure they are appropriate.  I've shot at ISO 1600 in broad daylight before discovering my error.  I now go through a checklist before shooting.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2004, 10:35:54 AM »
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From the "it could have been worse" category:  I'd have to say, the time I dropped my camera bag while hiking in the Sierras.  The trail was unfortunately winding its way up an extremely steep slope, and I watched as the camera bag tumbled its way down the slope for over a hundred feet, unable to do a d*mn thing about it except stand and watch and occasionally wince.  Once it got to the next switchback and rolled to a stop, I hurried back down to get it.  Fortunately, everything in it was completely undamaged.  On that occasion, I dubbed that camera bag "The Camera Bag of the Gods", and have used it ever since (to the extent that I refuse to get any gear that won't fit in it; though it's getting to look rather grotty from longtime use).  Good ole Tamrac!

Then there's the time my camera was broken when my spouse, who was carrying it at the time, slipped and fell into a creek in Yosemite and landed on his back in the water on top of the camera bag (yes, same camera bag).  What was funny was that the trail had been very close to the edge of a precipice for parts of it (just not that particular part), and he couldn't remember how close the edge was to where he had fallen, so he just lay there in the shallow water for several very long seconds before asking something like, "Excuse me, just how close am I to falling to my death if I move suddenly?" before we reassured him he was in no danger and he got up.  The camera never worked after that (having had someone land heavily on top of it, that would have been too much to ask for), no photos survived that trip, but it was about time for a new camera anyway.  Smiley

Lisa
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2004, 11:11:47 AM »
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On collecting my forty-plus rolls of exposed Kodachrome 64 from a trip to India, the lab lady started piling stacks of new yellow boxes on the counter in front of me.  "No, no", says I.  "I want my exposed film back, not new rolls".  "Sorry", she said, "You had emulsion batch 103.  You get all this film to replace the damaged rolls."  My entire shoot was three stops underprocessed and VERY magenta.

At least I could blame Kodak and not myself.
 
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seth1595
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2004, 02:24:45 PM »
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I went to shoot a testamonial dinner for an important local bigwig. Since this was an important job I decided to borrow my partners brand new 645 system with three lenses and a prism finder. 645 slr's were brand new then. During the speechifying, my flash was acting strangley firing at odd moments, and driving me crazy. When I processed the film, I realized that the lenses in this system have a seperate "T" setting on the barrel and the 150mm, the lens I was mostly using was set to time exposure. Calling the client was my worst experience. Always know your equipment.
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how786
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2005, 05:35:40 AM »
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My worst experience occured while I was being trained by my dad to develop his B&W film. (In those days he was using Plus-X) I was about 13 or 14 at the time.
 My dad was a teacher who worked weekends as a photographer of weddings and bar mitzvahs to make extra money and summers at a hotel in the Catskills doing photos for guests.
  He was quite good at what he did.
 The disaster that had occured is that, very early on, I must have poured hypo into the developer and vice-versa. Needless to say, the next batch of film that I developed came out totally blank! I think it was 3 rolls shot with his Rolleiflex.
 I was totally chagrined.
  Howard
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