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Author Topic: your scariest photography moment?  (Read 14636 times)

Stu_bert

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2013, 01:38:01 PM »
Some great stories, thanks to all...

Silliest moment - aside from the normal misreading the tides and getting "stranded" on the english coast, my best to date would be diving/slipping into a stream with 1Ds and 17-40mm attached with tripod. Photographer and equipment fully immersed and not an underwater housing kit to be seen! :-[ Left everything for 24hrs drying and it was all fine...

For scariest, they're all animal related...

I've had a herd of springbok get suddenly spooked and dart towards the car and one hit the rear but shook his head somewhat dazed and ran away...

What always scares the beejezus out of me is self-drive, narrow roads, herds of elephants in close proximity. I was in Kruger a couple of years back, heading down a backroad. Came across a bull. Normally if I approach slowly but consistently, the elephants will ignore me. Not this bull. He proceeded towards me. I paused, perhaps that was my mistake, but then I went forward again. Like a game of chicken, he keeps coming, I advance slowly. When he shakes his head a little, it was time to retreat. 500 yds back to the T junction I wait, deciding I could either go backwards with a quick u-turn, or floor it forwards if he continues.

Then out of my left field of vision comes another elephant and the penny dropped. He was in musth and not interested in me. I watched him court the female with his demonstrations of destruction, and after about 5 minutes she turns and trotts off and he follows at a pace. I decide to go back to where I was heading and leave them in peace....

For the rest of that holiday, whenever I came across a herd, especially on the narrow roads where literally the brush almost touched the side of the vehicle, I could always feel my throat, the adrenaline and the stomach acid  :-[ Funny on how I spent half the time considering where I could quickly throw the vehicle into reverse if I needed to get away from a charger  ;)

By contrast, driving through a herd of buffalo at 5:45 in the morning, because a hundred of them decided to block the road was a lot easier... I drove slowly but surely, and they parted without issue. So long as they are not frightened, then it's normally all good....

Oh and finally, never back away from a warthog... I did that when walking to a water hole hide, and he decided that meant he had the upper hand. Fortunately there were some decent size stones near by and i had my monopod. Neither was required, just a bit of patience and his lost interest  :D
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2013, 01:38:01 PM »

dafrank

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2013, 02:13:55 PM »
I've had a couple moose encounters in Montana and Wyoming. They can be aggressive and deadly! A moose is a HUGE animal!

You are right. Most people think of a moose as a sort of whacky (see Bullwinkle, the cartoon character) deer. However, stand next to one, and that idea dissolves rather quickly. A moose almost killed me without me even seeing it. I was headed to a scenic location in upstate NY in the second truck in a caravan of trucks, some of which were to be shot by myself and one other photographer for a car manufacturer. Driving over a twisty mountain road, a moose jumped out of the roadside foliage onto the road in front of the lead Chevy Suburban, giving the driver no time to avoid him. A mighty collision took place; the moose, although deceased, won. Over half of the huge Suburban was crushed into an accordian shape and totalled. The driver miraculously survived with nothing more than whiplash, while I, unable to stop in time, was able to skid terrifyingly onto the shoulder, missing the Suburaban/Moose combo (a sort of Borg synthesis, for you Star Trek fans) by inches.

There you have it - my moose story of the week.

Regards,
David 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 04:07:45 PM by dafrank »
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silversurfer96

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2013, 02:20:43 PM »
Almost got mugged on Vegas strip.  Was at the north end, taking picture of Stratosphere.  Two guys hanging around the corner of a building.  We were next to a Chinese restaurant building; two workers outside taking break.  As soon as those two workers started going back into the restaurant; the other two guys around the corner starting approaching us.  We shouted to the two asian guys to wait for us.  Don't remember what we said as we clearly didn't speak their language. We grabbed our stuffs (tripod, camera bag, etc..)  and ran into the restaurant.  Had we stayed on the strip, who knows what might happened.  We were there shooting for 10 minutes.  We noticed those two guys because while we were doing our setup, they walked passed us and then just hung around the next building.  We waited until the coast was clear and rushed back into Stratosphere.
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RMC33

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2013, 02:34:39 PM »
When my 7D fell 25 feet off a chairlift into the snow. Survived and shot with it all day.

When my friend I was shooting a few days later took my 7D and 400 f/2.8 II off the table (laying base down) and set it on the back of the camera a bit to hard forcing the lens into the body~ Had 205k shutter at that point.. so I was not too concerned. I think the fall did damage the mount as it felt weird afterwards mounting a lens to the body. I now let no one touch my gear~

davidson

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2013, 02:36:18 PM »
i was out trying some long exposures at night, some flash photography and what not, just trying to sharpen my limited skills. pressed my shutter, minding my own business waiting for my 350d to do what i twas doing, then all of a sudden, RIGHT NEXT TO me i heard "You taking pictures of me? i saw the flash from where i was, i don't like people taking pictures of me". I never heard this dude coming, and I'm sure he was high. I just said no i wasn't and then he seemed satisfied a went back to his group of friends. i was sure he was going to attack me

surfer57

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2013, 03:11:04 PM »
Seeing a nice puddle of water inside the port of my SPL housing. Luckily it was only my 30D and my nifty fifty in there so it wouldn't have been a huge loss. It was a tough swim in with head high surf and good current that day all while trying to hold the housing over my head and out of the water.

Oh well, found the leak, fixed it and have been swimming with it again. Still scary as it hasn't happened in 3+ years of shooting in the water. Also a little nerve racking considering I will soon be getting a housing for my 1DX.

charlesa

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2013, 03:14:20 PM »
Taking the fisheye off and momentarily forgetting it has a very VERY bulbous front element... which I put down element first onto a stone wall while changing lenses...

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2013, 03:14:20 PM »

RGF

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2013, 03:30:01 PM »
In the Masai Mara (southwest Kenya) a pride of lions is upsetting an elephant herd and the Matriarch is getting very upset since there young calves in the group. For some reason she decides we are the problem and charges our vehicle (we have 40-50 yard head start but she is go faster than we can).  Well the ground is muddy and we start slipping.  Luckily the driver is able to get traction and matriach finally gives up after chasing up 1/2 mile or so.

UrbanImages

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2013, 03:33:47 PM »
While photographing a dwelling fire in Detroit last spring, the homeowner came upon the scene and pulled out a gun and started firing into the crowd... Not a cop in sight and when the Battalion Chief radio for "PD Urgent", "no scout cars available" came over as a response. Got the hell out FAST
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JPAZ

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2013, 04:02:56 PM »
Years ago was in Domodedovo airport (Moscow) waiting for a flight.  I casually asked our guide permission to take a pic of the sign indicating our flight number and was granted that permission.  I lifted my camera to my eye and suddenly a very large female security guard came running and screaming at me as she pushed the camera into my face with her hand almost knocking me down.  I guess she did not know that I got permission!  So much for the post Cold War democracy in Russia!  Neither I nor the camera suffered any permanent damage, so it could have been much worse.  In retrospect I wish I had the chutspah at the time to take a pic of her charging at me.

Hmmmmmm.  Is this something like an encounter with a moose?   ;)
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Dantana

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2013, 04:57:33 PM »
Long ago, in my much younger and stupider days, I was assisting on the shoot of a dancer on the beach. At the beginning of the day she asked me to hold onto her engagement ring which I proceeded to put in my pocket, since I didn't have anywhere else secure to stow it.

A few hours later I was holding a large reflector about thigh deep in the surf and got bowled over by a wave I didn't see coming. Sunglasses gone, other odds and ends missing, but on incredibly agitated inspection of my pockets the only thing that actually was there was the ring. No thanks to me.
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tphillips63

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2013, 05:07:55 PM »
Every time I talk to my wife about purchasing new equipment.

+1 lol

Mine is whenever my wife logs into our amazon account after I've ordered a new lens.  Tomorrow should be fun... Just ordered the 135mm f/2L yesterday.  :-)

You just need to get her own login setup!  I did that because I explained if she bought me a gift I would see it before it arrived.  It works. sort of :)
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dafrank

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2013, 05:16:35 PM »
I've been in a lot of scary situations doing my photo work for national news magazines, mostly feature stories in big cities, where I was variously threatened with guns, knives and assorted blunt objects by various citizens because I was often interrupting their street business or venturing onto turf where I was an inviting target with expensive bangles on my shoulders. Amazingly, by either guile, luck, inspiration or 45 caliber solutions, I was able to make it through many such adventures with only vivid memories and amazingly high levels of adrenaline in my bloodstream as a consequence.

Another scary moment, this time with a wild animal, is also worth the telling and the telling is devoid of any politically correct risk.

I was on a really fun assignment to shoot vacationers all over the state of Michigan. One innocuous location was the bank of the Huron River, not far from Ann Arbor, where canoers launched their crafts for a day trip on the river. All in all, a very non-risky job.

Just before sunset, when I finished shooting the boaters, I turned into the very tree shaded, dark forested land adjoining the river bank which would take me, by shortcut, to where my van was parked. I had a 300mm lens on the camera with ISO 50 Fuji Velvia loaded aboard (all you people who started with digital only, take note - this was FILM) Just short of the van, my assistant, about 30 feet away from me at the vehicle, in an exaggerated stage whisper called out "don't move, David." I stopped in my tracks. I asked him what he was talking about. He said to turn around 180 degrees, very, very slowly. I did. What I saw was literally unbelievable. Staring right into my eyes, about 15 feet away, was what looked exactly like a black panther, weighing about 150 to 175 pounds, with some huge fangs showing in his open mouth! I was too freaked out for a moment to know what to do but stare. And, stare I did, until my autopilot idiot photo genes kicked in. I very slowly backed straight back a few steps and asked my assistant to hand me a camera loaded with ISO 400 film and an f/2.0 short lens to get a shot of this insane scene - black panthers are definitely not native to Michigan. I quickly got the camera, not taking my eyes off the big cat, and slooooowly walked forward to try to get a decent shot with the fast wide angle. For every step I took towards him, he backed up, making the distance between us constant. Finally, after about 20 steps in our mutual dance, he sidestepped behind a rock about 10 feet in diameter. When I slowly moved forward, afraid he might leaped around the rock at me at any moment, he had to have run straight back behind the rock, further into the dense woods, so that when I finally mustered the courage to peak around the rock, he was nowhere to be seen.

Just about then, the utter stupidity of my behavior dawned on me; there I was, actively invading the space of a very large predator cat, instead of trying to do the opposite. All of a sudden, my knees felt awful rubbery, and I hit myself on the forehead about twenty times, counting my naive blessings.

When I went home that night, I told my wife (then girl friend) about my adventure and tried to decide if I should inform some authority, or even a news organization, about it. I decided not to, because I didn't have a picture proof and I felt they'd just think I was a crackpot of some sort, because "there are no black panthers in Michigan." Then, much to my surprise, about two weeks later, newspapers and local TV stations in the metro area started reporting horses, cattle and dogs being killed at night in the same area I spotted the panther in, and some people even reported seeing what they too thought was a black panther fleeing the scene of some of the kills. The matter was never resolved as far as I know, but, as I was definitely the only person of those reported to have seen this cat close-up, I was probably alone in knowing that it was not just a story but a very real predator cat -  most likely to be a potentially deadly black panther, probably a lost exotic (and illegal) pet or zoo/circus animal loose and lost in the not too wild woods of suburban Michigan.

Regards,
David
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2013, 05:16:35 PM »

7enderbender

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2013, 05:17:51 PM »
Swimming through the Connecticut River with my (then still relatively new) AE-program and sneakers overhead after sliding off a cliff with no way to get back up on that side. Maybe that's what lead to focusing on people and leave the whole landscape thing to others...

There were a couple of close ones while skiing and climbing in the Alps as well. Does being mugged in a strip club in London count? Again, the camera made it out of that one as well. Part of the reason I'm still attached to it I suppose.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 05:22:10 PM by 7enderbender »
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fegari

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2013, 05:31:09 PM »
I was photographing lightening,had the camera and the umbrella in the same hand and just as I was switching the camera (putting another one on the tripod)  a gust of wind pulled my hand and I hit myself with the 7d's hotshoe right in the face and broke my nose

OMG, that's a winner.

But is the 7D OK?  :=)








That wasn't the scary part,2 seconds later lightening stuck the neighbouring building literally 20 ft away

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2013, 05:31:09 PM »