and or Eddie!
and or Eddie!
"Vocation to Solitude -- To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light." Thomas Merton
Got a shot of the moon setting behind a windmill at ~3AM standing in a road side ditch in the middle of god-forsaken-nowhere. If I had any adverse experience, no-one would have seen me till the county mowed the shoulder.
Back in '67 - '67 I spent a year photographing the landscape of South Vietnam while serving as an Infantryman with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). One day the army decided to transport our backpacks by Chinook and I watched as the sling carrying the packs, mine included, broke about 2-3 miles out and dumped our packs into dense jungle canopy. In my pack were a Pitre and Canon (I think the AE1 of something like that) 35mm cameras as well as film both exposed and unexposed. I wanted to go out and retrieve the packs but the army wouldn't listen to me.
Before I went to Iraq in 2003 the newspaper I worked for at the time sent me here: http://www.centurionsafety.net/
I had never realized there were so many ways to bite it. Seriously, it's a great course on working in hostile environments and while it's expensive, I recommend it for anyone working in war zones, etc. They cover how not to get maimed or killed, and emergency first aid in case things don't go as well as planned.
Thankfully, while I often work in somewhat hostile and difficult places, I've only gotten shot at a few times and mostly have been able to avoid (best case) or defuse tense situations.
Iraq in 2003--just being there as a non-embedded journalist--was probably the most risk I've taken. But we never took stupid risks and it's all in a day's work, after all...
I photographed a wedding.
Use to skydive with a video and still camera. Mainly photographed tandem jumpers. Looked dangerous but really wasn't any worse that driving a car. That said I did manage to almost die, was photographing a sky surfer and we both lost track of altitude, opened at 800 feet, another few seconds and it would of been all over. Got kicked off the dropzone for that stunt.
Out on a back road in Utah one day in the mid 1980's, with my old 4x5 monorail camera and '86 Toyota 4x4 truck. Saw a nice scene to photograph off to the side, so pulled the truck onto the right side shoulder. The county had mowed the roadside and the cutoff tops of the thick grass and weeds concealed a sharp drop from the road. The truck immediately canted over. I froze, slowly scooted up on the seat, and gingerly opened the door. Stepped out, being careful the truck wouldn't then roll over without my weight. It was tenuous to say the least. A very slight push with a finger caused the uphill tires on the right to gently lift off the ground, surreal. It's easy in Utah to be in the middle of nowhere so any hope of help driving by was remote. My Toyo 45E was on the front seat and I wasn't the least bit worried about it. I was on my own.
Anyway, after much head scratching and brainstorming I had a plan. I manually locked the front hubs, being extremely careful on the down hill side in case it went over on me. Then slid inside the truck with my left leg out the open door, ready to jump out. Reached down and put her into 4 Wheel Low. Shifted the transmission to neutral, pushed the dash button to enable engine starting without the clutch, and started the engine. Stepped on the clutch, shifted her into reverse and slowly turned the steering wheel all the way left, to quickly swing the front end downhill when the truck would start to move. Slowly let out the clutch, gave a little gas, and swung the front end as planned, ending up perpendicular to the road. She was now stabilized, no longer in danger of tipping. Being already in 4-Low I simply straightened the wheel and backed up onto the road, all in one piece. Writing this still makes me nervous, whew, I need a drink.
Before they fixed up the road -- tourists would sometimes pull over a little too far off the road at El Capitan Meadow in Yosemite Valley to watch the climbers -- I remember seeing a sedan laying on its drivers side on my way out of the Valley.