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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> What's right with the world... (a happy ending)
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07/12/2009 10:06:00 AM · #1
Stories like this one break my heart. Others, where people have dropped or otherwise broken their camera equipment, I can readily identify with (having dropped my 72-200 2.8L IS lens when it was brand new)

But ... I just wanted to share a story with a happy ending!

Yesterday, my daughter and her husband were celebrating their one-year anniversary with a photo shoot. The plan was to start off in downtown Salt Lake City and get some nice pictures there, then head out to the Great Salt Lake to do a "trash the dress" series.

Well last night, as we were finishing the downtown part of the shoot, I saw "one last shot" I wanted to get before we "quickly drove away" to head down to the Great Salt Lake before the sun went down. That "one last shot" was a quick "put the bag down, take the shot, and run" kind of thing.

Oops, did I say ... "put the bag down"?

Yes.

My bag containing the my most favorite lens of all, the Canon 85/1.2L lens ($2000), but also the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS lens ($1600) and the Canon 100-1400 f/4-5.6L IS lens ($1100), the Canon 15mm Fisheye lens ($500) and an assortment of other goodies probably totaling over $5500 worth of "stuff".

We drove off to the GSL (about a 30 minute drive) for the photo shoot and had just completed one set there and were about to start another when I decided I wanted something a bit more creative on my camera than a Canon 24-70 f/2.8L lens. So I reached for my bag and ... and ... and ... OMG ... I just about crapped my pants right there. My daughter heard me swear for the first time in her 21 years of life.

We got back into the car and were screaming down the road at over 100mph just hoping and praying that nobody had taken the bag. All the while thinking ... if it's a non-photographer, they'll just take it and not even realize their good fortune. If it's a photographer, they're going to be screaming BONZAI at the top of their voice and going home to celebrate an early Christmas. I thought ... the only happy ending for this is if nobody touched it. At all.

We were just about 5 minutes away from downtown Salt Lake (we had been gone for over an hour at this point) when I received a call.

The guy identified himself as a photographer and then said .... I have your bag.

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

I couldn't believe it.

He waited for me to arrive. He gave me my bag. And FLATLY REFUSED any kind of monetary reward. I was so astounded.

I did ask for one of his business cards. I plan to show up at his place of business (unannounced) later this week with a gift card or something that he can't refuse. I am just *so* grateful for the honesty that some people still have.

So while I suffer with Eric's loss (equipment stolen right out of his car), I do want to counter-balance that story with "what's right with the world".

Thank you Highlite Photography!

07/12/2009 10:14:12 AM · #2
Glad to hear things worked out well.
07/12/2009 10:20:05 AM · #3
Awesome!
07/12/2009 10:28:35 AM · #4
Holy toledo, Batman - AWESOME story! You'll not be setting the bag down again anytime soon... And talk about heart failure when you realized what you'd done! Good on the guy who found it. And yeah, suprise him with something nice he can't refuse.
07/12/2009 10:34:51 AM · #5
Good news is always welcome. I guess that the guy, being a photog himself, knew that you would probably appreciate getting your gear back.
I lost a bag with a couple of lenses in the Rio Grande gorge by setting it down while setting up a shot, and had to backtrack for a few hours to find them. I had just about given up on them when we located the bag. Lucky for me it was not an area with any people traffic at all. I backtracked using the photos in the camera to help locate it.
It's an emotional roller coaster ride when your gear gets misplaced. You were very fortunate.
07/12/2009 11:27:03 AM · #6
What a great story! It's nice to know there's still some honest people around.

I take it you had your phone number somewhere in your bag? That's an important consideration that many of us may have overlooked for our own gear. I think I have contact info in my bag, but I'm going to go make sure right now.

I'm glad that it worked out well for you David.

07/12/2009 12:28:17 PM · #7
Very good point to have contact info in your bag.. I know I don't.. going to do that now. Glad you got your gear back=) There is more good people in this world than there is bad, the odds were in your favor=)
07/12/2009 12:32:06 PM · #8
Your very lucky and what a great guy, glad to hear this is some good peeps in this world! I think I would have crapped myself had I been in your shoes!
07/12/2009 01:02:37 PM · #9
A very refreshing story. I still think there is more good than bad out there, but it is easy to think the opposite when you only hear the bad news.

I'll share another refreshing story here. My brother, I and our respective spouses are driving from Atlanta to Lake Toxaway in NC for one of our photo shooting adventures; it is midnight and my brother's birthday, we are a bit tired and hungry, so, we stop for a bite in one of those Diners that are open all night. The Diner is nearly empty, only a group of 4 guys are eating about 2 tables away from us. About 20 minutes later, those guys leave without us even noticing as we were happily enjoying our time and meals together. We were shocked when one of the guys returns into the diner to tell us that the passenger door of our SUV is wide open. In the 10 seconds that it took for us to sprint to the car we both thought exactly the same thing 'it is all gone'. We had ALL (I mean ALL) of our stuff in the car, bodies, lenses, filters, gadgets, tripods, etc. Remarkably, my brother had left his D700 with the 24-70 attached right on his (passenger) seat. Nothing was taken and the guys were there by the car waiting for us to secure it. We simply had inadvertently left the door open. This story is particularly refreshing when you consider that the guys were migrant workers from Guatemala. Obviously there is nothing inherently bad with that or any other ethnic group, but it is one group that suffers the blunt of prejudice.
07/12/2009 01:07:28 PM · #10
Glad to hear of your terrific fortune, David!

You must live right!......8>)
07/12/2009 01:08:01 PM · #11
That's awesome! I never saw my bag again after I did the same thing in Mykonos (and no insurance), but at least I didn't have megabucks invested in it. Great to hear your story.
07/12/2009 03:09:52 PM · #12
Great story. Obviously a Nikon user that didn`t want to soil his hands :)
07/12/2009 05:36:03 PM · #13
Rock on; glad to hear your gear is safe David, pucker moment for sure!
07/12/2009 09:17:50 PM · #14
Originally posted by Nald:

Rock on; glad to hear your gear is safe David, pucker moment for sure!


The killer question is... if I had lost it all, would I rebuild ... or throw my hands in the air and quit? (having a day job, the latter is a real possibility)
07/12/2009 09:19:23 PM · #15
Originally posted by marbo:

Great story. Obviously a Nikon user that didn`t want to soil his hands :)


Believe me ... that thought at least crossed my mind. (I didn't dare ask what cameras they were using)
07/12/2009 09:36:32 PM · #16
You made me realize that I didn't have a luggage tag or anything on my camera backpack!! If I left it somewhere, there would be no way anyone could get a hold of me! I immediately went and put return information into the backpack. I'm going to get a luggage tag something this week to have something a little more permanent.
07/12/2009 09:44:12 PM · #17
Originally posted by vawendy:

You made me realize that I didn't have a luggage tag or anything on my camera backpack!! If I left it somewhere, there would be no way anyone could get a hold of me! I immediately went and put return information into the backpack. I'm going to get a luggage tag something this week to have something a little more permanent.


ME TOO !!!!!!!!!
07/12/2009 10:04:01 PM · #18
Congrats on meeting one of the many fine people still existing in the world today. The media won't tell them about you, but they're there.

And I'm glad of it.
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