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Author Topic: your scariest photography moment?  (Read 24264 times)


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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2013, 05:46:53 PM »
I was on a local nature reserve - renowned for its butterflies and orchids.
I was using my 180 Macro, and stalking a very flighty butterfly.
I watched it fly up the face of a dune, and settle on the grass at the top.
With great patience I crawled up the dune, holding my breath, and eventually got close enough to get a few "arty" shots with the butterfly filling about a fifth of the frame. Anxious to get a close "frame filler", I crawled on my elbows and got in close enough. I had just got perpendicular to the wings, and was about to trip the shutter, when I heard a loud "Oy you - what the *** are you about!"
I looked away from the viewfinder to see that the my lens was pointing directly at a very large, and very naked, man who I had just interrupted enjoying himself with (I presume) his girlfriend.
He started to run (still stark naked) up the dune towards me -  shouting about how he was going to stick my camera where the sun didn't shine.
Fortunately I ran faster than him back down the dune, but he only stopped chasing me when he saw that I was headed for the car park - and lots of people!

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2013, 05:46:53 PM »


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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2013, 08:33:33 PM »
Had a few scary moments...

Once was shooting a burning house, I was the man on the spot with a camera and a few rolls of Tri-X.  There was a large tank next to the house that exploded.  I don't know if it was LP or fuel oil (I'm thinking LP as the house was in Florida).   Knocked me right down to the ground.

Was shooting drag races from the crew zone behind the cars at the gate... had a rear engine rail blow when the tree went green.  Literally "blow" as parts and rubber were all over the place.  You don't hear stuff like that coming, as earmuffs and plugs (both) were required. 

I dunno, maybe the scariest was when I was shooting Vulcon in Tampa one year.  One of the last film shoots I did, and had a guy literally unfasten a 90/2.8 Elmarit from one of my M4's.  I caught him... lens in hand... he dropped it, I blocked its fall.  Got to keep an undamaged lens, the perp got away.

Not with the 90... but from that Vulcon... I've always like this image for some reason


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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2013, 11:55:36 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?  :=)

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

Yeah obviously it was my nose against the 7d who do u think won???
I got 3 stitches
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2013, 12:36:18 AM »
My family stumbled upon a largish rattlesnake while hiking in Arizona.  After trailing it a bit I decided to swap out the 15-85 for my new 70-300L as I was shooting way too close for my comfort.  Crocodile Hunter I am not!  After switching out the lens I called out asking where the rattler was.  Turns out my family had grown bored of the snake and had continued walking down the path!  Who gets bored of a live Crotalus atrox?  And, more importantly, where did the snake go???  Being this was my first rattler with proper photographic gear on hand I figured since I knew the general direction it was heading when I last saw it I’d see if it was still around.  I walked about 10’ across the granite strewn ground when thoughts of how Western Diamondbacks are naturally camouflaged caused me to look down.  It was then that I learned my last step had placed me directly *over* the rattler!  I was now straddling a coiled snake.  Not a rattle one came from it but everyone for miles around likely wondered the cause of my falsetto scream.  I’ve never moved so fast in my life, leaping blindly backward into a creosote bush (lucky it wasn’t a cactus!) from pure terror.  Thank goodness for IS for, after I realized I hadn't been bitten and wasn't going to die, I took some shots of it simply tasting the air with its tongue the entire time shaking badly from fear.  Three years on and my boys still loving imitating my scream when we desert hike...


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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2013, 12:11:50 PM »
Friend and I entered a large park through one of the many entrances...had about 20K of equipment amongst the two of us and some obvious lenses and 1 series bodies.... after a long shoot (he shot, I mostly made snide remarks about the sillyness of shooting birds and trees) we walked out through a different exit and found ourselves in an interesting neighborhood... teens in wife-beaters standing at the corner in groups, car windows blown out with garbage bags as get the idea...

Nothing came of it...and perhaps we judge unfairly folks in some neighborhoods, a few stares and may be a comment or two... but it was the longest walk to the larger road from that pot-holed street. I have had a closer call close to my own house few years back, but that only goes to tell you perhaps neighborhoods don't matter afterall.

I pay more attention now to where I am and how I carry my equipment in less obvious ways.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 12:23:58 PM by RS2021 »
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2013, 12:27:52 PM »
Does the phrase "don't walk and text at the same time" not mean anything?
Be aware of your surroundings!       ;)
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2013, 12:37:48 PM »
I decided I wanted a shot of the Goat Fell range on Arran in the snow.

I checked my OS map for a route in and route out and set off.

On the shortest day of the year.

The first warning should have been the 6ft deer fence.  Which I scaled.

The second warning should have been the footing on Cul-Nan-Creggan, the marsh, which I had counted on being frozen, was thawing a bit in the late afternoon sun.


Got to the peak of Cul-Nan-Craggan with a lovely view up Glen Rosa, and set up and got some nice shots.

Watching the shadows dance around the glen as the sun dips.

The sun dips, on this the shortest day of the year.

Mindful of the thawed marsh behind me I follow my plan down to a ford at Rosa Burn off of Bienn Nuis.

A fording point now under 5 ft of in spate thawed snow, or water as some folk call it.

Not to worry, I convinced myself, I'll find another crossing point.




Lost confidence a bit and wet up to my waist (carrying my billingham bag above my head) I decide on another course of action, to climb down the deer fence like a wire ladder, which was vertical in some places.

Now in the dark with my legs shivering and cramping.  Muddied from several slips, back twisting with tripod and bag hanging off me as I climb down.

I was almost at the stage where I was going to have to call in mountain rescue.

I eventually got the small bridge where the burns meet and a decent path.  I limped back to brodick and had a few pints at the Ormadale by the fire, reflecting on my lucky escape, but also my sheer minded stupidity, which nearly had me asking others to risk their lives to help me.

The pictures weren't bad though.

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2013, 12:37:48 PM »


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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2013, 12:55:43 PM »
does a bridezilla screaming at the top of her lungs the whole day count? Brazilian brides can sure be loud


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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2013, 01:49:31 PM »
An 11 year old running and kicking my 5Dii with 24 1.4 Lens on it, which I had set on top of my camera bag. Lens busted.



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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2013, 07:50:22 PM »
Got ready to pull out of a parking lot after doing some long-exposures during night photography when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw my 5D Mark III and 180L macro lens sitting on the trunk of my car.  That was right after I took this shot:
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 07:53:13 PM by bdunbar79 »
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #55 on: March 12, 2013, 08:40:30 PM »
Some great and amazing tales!
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Jan Jasinski

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2013, 10:09:24 PM »
Wow some insane stories here! Great thread!

I have a couple, only been shooting a couple years but have had some scary moments.

Last week I was shooting cruise ships in Ft. Lauderdale, FL leaving the port. The last ship to leave was the Oasis of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship. A local photographer told me to go by the rocky area as the waves produced from the ship are outstanding. Taking his advice, I took my gear and moved the couple of meters to the rocks. I settled on a rock with my bag on it and shot the ship with the 70-200 II and 10-22. As the Oasis got close (so close 10mm couldn't fit the ship), the water went more than a meter below and stayed. Half a minute later when the ship passed me, the water began to rise quickly and waves began. I took pictures of the dramatic change and all of the sudden the water got to my level. My heart raised and I grabbed the bag rapidly with a 70-200, 50 and 400L in it while having a 7D and 10-22 in my hands. It was merely 2 seconds from being washed over.

Another time I dropped my 70-200 on concrete, not too high thankfully. Nothing happened, the lens was intact but scary it was.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 10:11:10 PM by Jan Jasinski »
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2013, 11:22:42 PM »
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.

Actually, from what I have read, your instinct was actually the right one.  By advancing slowly on him, you left him with the impression that you were not prey, but an equal predator, and he retreated.

He might very well have attacked had you run.

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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2013, 11:22:42 PM »


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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2013, 11:23:53 PM »
This image was captured through the car window after the following encounter:

It all began before dawn as I left my car and hiked out into the fields of Arrowleaf Balsam Root, Larkspur and Lupine blanketing Antelope Flats outside of Jackson Hole. I intended to photograph the soaring peaks at first sunlight with the wildflowers stretching out in an endless sea to fill the foreground. I carried my full photo backpack, my tripod and my big and unwieldy panoramic tripod head.

After moving through the flowers until I found an interesting arrangement to compliment the foreground, I opened my backpack and spread my equipment out for easier access. I mounted the camera on the tripod, and using my 10-22mm I began to photograph a number of images. There were no wildlife to be seen anywhere from where I stood.

As the sun began to make an appearance and brought life and color to the sky, I immersed myself in capturing the best image possible, becoming totally engrossed in the task at hand, using my manfrotto sph303 panoramic head and live view to ensure ample image overlap and no camera shake.

Lost in this very nearsighted focus, I shot for about 15 minutes when I became suddenly very aware of a quickly approaching group of buffalo. While I would not describe their actions as a stampede, they were trotting quickly as a collective group directly towards me. When I reviewed my images later I could actually see the progression as they appeared on the horizon from below a depression I couldn’t see about 500 yards away, but due to my focus on the camera, rather than looking through the viewfinder, I had been oblivious to their approach.

I quickly realized I was in trouble. I was over 200 yards from my car. My tripod was the tallest thing other than buffalo for over ½ mile, I did not have bear spray with me as there were no animals in sight when I left me car, my stuff was still strewn around on the ground, and the buffalo were now within 100 yards with their rapt attention fully trained upon me. I knew that to break into a run would be foolish, only goading the unsettled herd into a stampede instinct. I knew they could cover the ground much faster than I ever could. Then, to make maters worse, the herd of 20-30 animals split into two groups. One group continued towards me while the other group totally surrounded my car, a 1997 Honda Civic. At this point, I was totally at a loss. I had a group of 15 or so bison bearing down upon me quickly and my only retreat was now surrounded by more bison.

Somewhere in there, I managed to scoop my stuff into my backpack and zipped it partially shut. I held my tripod out in front of me in a ridiculous attempt to perhaps fend off any of the approaching bison, willing to sacrifice my camera if it meant my own health was spared, and I began slowly backpedaling towards my car, of which I could only see the very top through the mass of buffalo. In my mind, I purposed to get as close to the car as possible and then make a maddened charge through the mass of beasts and jump onto the top. I had no other options and my pulse was beating a crazy tempo.

As I backpedaled, the approaching buffalo closed the distance to 30 or so yards and then they lined up shoulder to shoulder in a wall. I’ve seen them do the same thing facing down a grizzly bear. As they formed the line, they made a bluff charge towards me. As I continued backpedaling towards the car, I shouted loudly as they closed to 15 or so yards. They veered off and circled around, once again forming up the line and coming directly at me. We played this game 3 more times as I continued to get closer to my car. By this point I was praying fervently that God would part the Bison so to speak that surrounded my car and I truly feared the worst, as with each bluff charge and yell, the buffalo before me drew closer and closer before veering off.

I was within 50 yards of the car and still backpedaling fast when He did just that. The Bison moved around my car to the side opposite of me, so I had a clear shot to the vehicle. All in the same motion, as the animals before me veered off and I was within 40 yards of the car, I turned my back to them and took off. I managed to get to the car as I threw my backpack on the ground and slammed my tripod next to it and dove through the passenger door. The group pursuing me stopped approximately 10 yards away and milled about as I contemplated what had just happened, fully cognizant of the Lord’s blessing and my close call.

After 2 or 3 minutes of pulse-racing regrouping, I opened the door and reached out to grab my camera. I shot several images through the open window.

From the safety of my car, I watched the same group of buffalo charge a guy on a motorcycle as he stopped to look. I don’t know what riled them up, but I’m grateful to be alive and well.
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2013, 11:49:08 PM »
I was on a pretty regular shoot with an older man, then he decided to go in the forest.

I followed him... And he began to undress. Very akward moment, finally I managed to make him put his clothes back on.
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Re: your scariest photography moment?
« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2013, 11:49:08 PM »