Perhaps this is a good time to mention that I am extraordinarily clumsy. In fact, I was given the name “Krash” many years ago by some friends who were amazed by my ability to hurt myself (thanks, Mike and Bart). I really should have a blog dedicated to the ridiculous ways in which I’ve hurt myself.
It only follows that, on my first field trip with a new group of people, while hanging out with someone I’ve just met, I would do something embarrassing and at least mildly alarming.
After lunch at Gibbs Gardens, my cohort (let’s call him John in case he doesn’t want to be included in my blog) and I headed off to the Japanese garden.
As we walked towards an arbor-like structure, several people were gathered around looking at what turned out to be bats. I happen to be extremely fond of bats. I would say my fondness for bats is in direct proportion to how much mosquitoes like to bite me. Besides, bats are really quite cute.
Two of the bats had gone astray and were clinging to the post of the structure close to the ground. One appeared to be quite young. I happened to have my macro lens on my camera, so there was no question but that I was going to get some shots of at least one of the bats.
I opened up my tripod’s legs so I could place my camera very low to the ground, level with one of the bats. Then, I bent over to look through the view finder. This is when the 40+ pound pack on my back slipped forward and conked me in the back of the head.
This is also when I discovered I had mounted my camera backwards on my tripod head. I never really worried about which way was forwards or backwards, but now I will. When you mount your camera backwards in the clamp on my tripod mount, there is a metal lever facing you. This doesn’t seem like a big deal until a 40+ pound backpack smacks you in the back of the head and shoves your lip into the metal clamp. Fortunately, I lost only a little blood and no teeth. Poor John kept trying to find ways to carry things for me after that incident.
It reminds me of a former boss who used to watch for things I might run into and steer me around them when we were walking together. He started this practice after I bounced off a wall turning a corner too soon while I was mid-sentence.
I’m thinking about teaching a photography workshop on how to prevent injury while shooting. Most people probably worry about that when they’re shooting on a cliff or going on a safari in Africa or shooting for a newspaper in the middle of a war. I have to worry about it when I bend over to look through my view finder. But, hey, it could be a niche market.