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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Nearly lost my life taking an image, D200 dead
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01/31/2008 03:11:27 PM · #1
Hi Everyone,

Sorry this is a long post, but I had a very harrowing experience in the early hours of this morning around 5:45am.

I went down to Williamstown beach just before dawn to take a couple of images - one for the Earliest Childhood Memory challenge, and another for the Free Study. It was dark there and I was alone, but it is a suburban beach and I thought I would be safe.

I was standing with my tripod on a large drainpipe when this really unsavoury character suddenly appeard and asked me if my images were good. I said yes, and then my heart started racing. I was trapped on the drainpipe and he could have cleaned me up. He then got aggressive and asked, "Why are you taking pictures of us for?" There were a few more expletives in there... I told him I wasn't and quickly started packing up my stuff. He kept asking the same question. I am amazed he didn't come right to me. In my nervous panic to get off the beach and to my car, I dropped the D200 in the water. I quickly got it out, but it is DEAD now.

I got to my car, he went in the opposite direction. I said thanks to God that this guy didn't bash me.

I drove away and suddenly realised this guy was following me...the heart was racing. He stayed with me and then drove next to me demanding I pull over. "Why did you take photos of us? Give me the film!" I was trying to reassure him I didn't take photos of him as we drove next to each other at speed, but he wouldn'r listen. "You're lying, pull over" Being early morning there were not many cars around. I decided I would drive to the nearest police station, but that was 15 km away! At one set of red lights he got out and bashed my window with his torch, I drove off, he ran back to his car. From then on, I increased my speed...we were moving! I went through every red light and stop sign, he was undaunted and followed me. To make matters worse, I had left my cell phone at home - NEVER GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT A CELL PHONE!

He followed me all the way to the police station. I went right into the driveway, he stayed on the road. On my way to the front door, I tried to get a registration number, but he drove off. I thought he might be parked somewhere waiting to follow me. Stayed at the police station till I calmed down. There was not a lot they could do because I had no registration number. Thankfully, I got home in one piece. I am really shaken up. I am a little scared that if he is a criminal, he might get access to my details through my registration number. He was probably up to something with the girl in his car, or he might have been doing some drug deal or something. I had the widest lens on my camera in any case, but that wouldn't have mattered to him.

It was traumatic. God protected me from something that could have ended in disaster.

The D200 is now dead. It was submerged in water for a few seconds. I will be out of the challenges for a little while till I can get it repaired or even get a replacement. Unfortunately it is not insured.

MY ADVICE:

1. Never do this kind of photography alone. Take a friend.
2. Always have a cell phone
3. Never stand in a place that someone could trap you...
4. Be aware of who might be around...even quiet secluded places have people hiding out doing all sorts of stuff.

I thank God, it wasn't worse than this, but it was a costly lesson,

Enzo

01/31/2008 03:15:28 PM · #2
Blimey! Thankfully you are ok though.
01/31/2008 03:16:13 PM · #3
Wow, Enzo. So sorry to hear about your camera but thankfully you weren't hurt. Good advice and worth keeping in mind for all of the wierd hours we spend shooting.
01/31/2008 03:16:22 PM · #4
WOW what a harrowing experience. So very glad you are safe and not hurt and sorry to hear about the D200, I think this is the time to treat yourself to a D3 just because.

Message edited by author 2008-01-31 15:18:07.
01/31/2008 03:17:29 PM · #5
I know how you feel. I am always concious if I go out on my own about where I am an keep an eye out to ensure there are no unsavoury people around...

At least you are OK - Pitty you fumbled the D200, but that can be replaced...
01/31/2008 03:23:00 PM · #6
Glad you're OK. That's the main thing.
01/31/2008 03:23:46 PM · #7
Yikes! You have some scary childhood memories... automatic 10. Glad you made out better than your camera did.
01/31/2008 03:24:40 PM · #8
Good grief -- what a terrible story! People are just freakin' insane nowadays.
01/31/2008 03:25:33 PM · #9
Glad you're ok! that's insane! too bad about your camera though :(
01/31/2008 03:27:23 PM · #10
Wow Enzo, I'm so glad you are OK! I want to thank you for taking the time to post it here on the board as I'm sure anyone reading this will at least have it in the back of their minds now when they go out.

Did you attempt to turn the camera on? If not then it still might be OK. Give it a couple of weeks to dry out before turning it on and maybe it will make it?

01/31/2008 03:29:55 PM · #11
Did you attempt to turn the camera on? If not then it still might be OK. Give it a couple of weeks to dry out before turning it on and maybe it will make it?

I did try to turn it on, but it is dead. I am just hoping it will dry out today as it is quite warm here. More importantly, I hope this guy doesn't track me down.
01/31/2008 03:30:59 PM · #12
OMG. How awful. Glad to hear you are safe. Sorry about your camera but it is better that you are okay. Maybe once the camera dries out for a few weeks it will be okay. Thanks for sharing.
01/31/2008 03:31:47 PM · #13
HOLY SMOKES! That sounds awful. It's probably a good thing you packed up and left right away. By the sounds of it all, the situation would have escalated pretty fast. My bet is he'll forget about the whole thing in a day and move on to more current criminal activity, so try not to live in fear.

The danger in Burlington, Ontario is more from swarms of teenagers.

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01/31/2008 03:33:03 PM · #14
wow, crazy story, glad to hear you made it out fine, sorry about the camera, there are some complete idiots out there, I've been followed once, only in the car, not when i was on foot, he followed me for a good while (or at least it felt like it) and I tried speeding and all that, nope, he's gonna keep tailing me and following me, even back into my neighborhood, and i certainly wasn't going to go home with him following me. I got on my phone to call my dad, and i guess he though i was calling the cops, so he slammed on his brakes and turned around, scared the crap out of me though. Glad to see you made it out fine though, and glad to see you were protected. Best of luck with the whole camera issue along with the issue you have with this guy,

Best of Luck,
Ryan
01/31/2008 03:33:31 PM · #15
I amnot going to let Aimee read this one for sure. I often go downtown alone and at night. She makes me carry the cell phone and her pepper spray. But even then she gets nervous. Glad you made it out safe Enzo. There are some loonies out there for sure.
01/31/2008 03:34:54 PM · #16
And Australia's warning that CANADA is dangerous? ;)

Scary, scary stuff, glad you didn't get hurt, hope the idiot chills and drops it :(
01/31/2008 03:37:16 PM · #17
that is just nuts... wow. That story made my heart race.

Were you able to salvage the images? If so could you see anything going on with this guy that was so insistent that you were photographing him?
01/31/2008 03:41:20 PM · #18
Glad you got away my feelings go out to you.

Message edited by author 2008-01-31 15:41:50.
01/31/2008 03:42:37 PM · #19
Originally posted by timfythetoo:

I amnot going to let Aimee read this one for sure. I often go downtown alone and at night. She makes me carry the cell phone and her pepper spray. But even then she gets nervous. Glad you made it out safe Enzo. There are some loonies out there for sure.


I gotta get me some pepper spray...and a tazer gun! I am still shaking...
01/31/2008 03:44:18 PM · #20
Originally posted by escapetooz:

that is just nuts... wow. That story made my heart race.

Were you able to salvage the images? If so could you see anything going on with this guy that was so insistent that you were photographing him?


I did get one image where you can see he was there, but I was shooting at 5 second exposures to get the movement of the water, so you can only see his outline...The image gives me the creeps because it shows just how trapped I was! I was standing on a drain pipe, he was on the beach...
01/31/2008 03:45:11 PM · #21
Enzo - I am HORRIFIED!

This is just awful!

My heart goes out to you - traumatic experiences have a tendancy to 'stick' to us for a bit. I sending you a bucketful of 'peace'.

As for the camera - If the rest of the story wasn't so horrible I'd be in tears just over the camera.

Just as an aside - do you have ANY home and contents insurance? If so, you could try and see if the camera would be considered - worth the call for sure.

Holy COW - I am so shocked.

Thinking of you.
01/31/2008 03:45:12 PM · #22
Wow. He must have been up to something illegal. Glad that ended up ok for you. The camera is replaceable.

Thanks for the tip.
01/31/2008 03:45:33 PM · #23
Originally posted by hotpasta:

I gotta get me some pepper spray...and a tazer Real gun! I am still shaking...


I edited your post for you ;-)

01/31/2008 03:45:58 PM · #24
Sounds rather intense and awfully frightening.. Unpredictable behaviour like that usually stems from drugs and the like.. People overdue on their powders can do extremely dangerous things to earn money, so you may have just gotten away from someone heck of a lot more dangerous then an average criminal.. I'm hoping he was so off that he won't remember you..
I'm glad you're safe!

ETA: ugh and must relate your story to a friend whose camera bag got snatched on the street.. she ended up chasing 6 huge guys into an unknown neighbourhood..wearing heels.. she only came to her senses when her sister called her up, crying, thinking she'd been kidnapped or something... instincts are fickle things.. must always have contingency plan in case your instincts get warped..

ps: I think I know why my dad was quite sure thinking about taking pictures of the local druggie beggar was a bad idea even if he looked like he walked out of the pirates movie

Message edited by author 2008-01-31 16:04:48.
01/31/2008 03:48:13 PM · #25
Originally posted by ryand:

Originally posted by hotpasta:

I gotta get me some pepper spray...and a tazer Real gun! Double Barrel Shotgun I am still shaking...


I edited your post for you ;-)
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