Tag Archives: 2011

Leave it all Behind

Laos (Oct 2011)

I planned yet another bike trip travelling around the northern parts of Laos, the trip would last about two weeks and cover from Vientiane upto the Chinese border and back down to Luang Prabang, during the trip I had planned for our group to spend two nights & one day in a tree house in the middle of the jungle forest with the Gibbons.  As part of the trip we had to take a ride in a four wheel drive for about 1.5hrs, to a small town, then cross a flooded river and proceed by four wheel drive another hour up into the mountains, bumping and bogging our way to what they called base camp.

At base camp the end of the road, we were required to carry our gear and walk the rest of the way, which was about an hour & half walk to get to the main camp, so off we went.  In my backpack I had several lenses and cameras, and few cloths, probably 15kgs, no worries off we went, up & up & up, stinking hot & humid with no breeze, because of the jungle & foret, by the time I got to the main camp, I can honestly say I was very tired and glad to be there, I was just glad that there was not another hill to climb, I was ready to lay down, however unbeknown to me, this was only the main camp no where near where we were staying, surprise, I’ll say.

After a short rest we then had to put some “zipline” gear on, as there were a number of ziplines, “flying foxes” that we were going to go to get to our treehouse, this was another hour and a half further up, so off we went, up hill down dale, I just could not understand why we would struggle up that hill only to have to struggle down it again, this went on & on forever it seemed, with the ocassional releif of a zipline ride, where you would latch onto a steel rope and traverse across the valleys, sometimes 300 meters, and about 100 meters above the ground, but the cool wind while you were zipping accross was a great releif, then you would unclip and start climbing up the next hill, this went on for an hour & a half, and I remember when climbing one of the last climbs, I was seriously considering LEAVING MY GEAR THERE, I was prepared to loose it, I will buy it again I thought, I had had enough, I couldn’t climb another step, I was exausted.

Well a bit of a rest, and some very slow steps, got me through, just as well because I can honestly say this was the first time I had ever considered dumping my gear, I am glad I didn’t though.

This website and its content is copyright of JDP Online Pty Ltd – © 2011.  All rights reserved.

The Fifty Grand Thud

Hamilton Island, QLD (Mar 2011)

Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel that time slows down so much that each second seems like a minute, well I have had yet another one, I had walked out before dawn, in the dark several hundred meters from the Hamilton Island beach sand into Cat’s Eye Bay at low tide to photograph the mornings sunrise, as the tide goes out it exposes a semi-muddy sandy flat that is easy enough to walk on, so off I go with camera & tripod in hand out to where the tide had receded too, which would have been several hundred meters, once I had got to the point where the water was, I set-up my camera & tripod and waited for the pending twilight & sunrise.

Well as it does every other day up came the sun and I was busily capturing as many variations of the event that I could, during this period however mother nature was slowly & quietly encircling me with the ocean, whilst I was aware of this happening, I just continued to photograph the sunrise for a while thinking that that’s OK, I can walk through that water no problems, anyway eventually I decided to pick my gear and leave.

As the camera was still mounted on the tripod, whilst turned looking behind me I did my normal check to tighten the clamps on my tripod to ensure that they were all tight, I then picked up my camera bag (a pelican case, full of other lenses etc), callapsed the tripod, threw it over my shoulder and headed off back to the beach, as I said earlier, I was surrounded by water at this stage, so I had to travel through about half a meter (20″) of sea water, then just as I got about 2-3 meters out of the water back onto the muddy-sandy flats that were rapidly being flooded, I heard a flat “THUD”, I remember just stopping, not looking around, just thinking to myself, “I hope that wasn’t what I think it was!”, sure enough when I turned around there it was, my brand new, one week old Phase One (extremely expensive) camera laying in the mud, upside down !!!.

My heart stopped, I remember thinking what do I put down first to rescue the camera, anyway, I dropped the case, it was waterproof, lay the tripod on the case and picked up the camera, frantically tying to dry it, stop the seawater penetrating it anymore than it had already, I hurriedly walked back to the beach, when I got there, I dismantle the camera, the Phase One have a separate back, body & lens, so pulled it all apart and cleaned it as best as I could.

The end result, was that the lens & back were OK, just needed cleaning, but the camera was a right-off!!.

Just as well for me I was insured, but unbeknown to me, I had under insured the camera body big time, so this created a bit a problem, however my various suppliers PPIB (The Insurance Company) & L&P Digital (The Australian Camera Distributer) & Phase One (The Camera Manufacturer) combined their efforts to put things right, I truly  appreciated their combined efforts, thanks.

This website and its content is copyright of JDP Online Pty Ltd – © 2011.  All rights reserved.