Panic - RJ Wilner

Posted: 01/10/2019

Shaw Nature Reserve 0019, 01/06/2019

"Aside from a few minor scars, she had led a rather charmed life."

Location: Pacific, MO, USA
Date/Time Captured: 01/06/2019

Shaw Nature Reserve 0022, 01/07/2019

"The two shall become one."

Location: Pacific, MO, USA
Date/Time Captured: 01/07/2019 @ 13:35

I experienced a moment of equipment related panic the other day....one entirely of my own doing.

Typically, I'm not much of a 'winter' photographer. But with ambient temperatures reaching the 60+F range for a few days earlier this week, I had to take advantage and made a trip out to Shaw Nature Reserve (a 'natural area'  extension of the Missouri Botanical Garden) on Sunday. With largely overcast skies, I anticipated the possibility of capturing 'long exposure' images for my ongoing 'The Secret Lives of Trees' project.  So, I loaded the gear in the car and made the 45 minute drive out to SNR. When I arrived, I went to grab the gear out of the CRV and thought…

'Why am I going to carry this 30lb backpack around when I'm never going to be more than a mile (at most) away from the car. I can always come back and get whatever.' 

I decided to grab just the extra lens in its soft case and filter pouch and hit the trail. And that decision to 'travel lite' turned out to be an interesting one that has me re-thinking what I carry for each photo session. More about that in a later post.

That session turned out to be a great one and I captured a whole big bunch of images. I forgot to note how many miles I wound up hiking around the place, but it had to be a couple bajillion. :) By the time I was ready  to call it a day, I was hosed. So hosed, I didn't bother to put the lens & filter pack back in the backpack...just tossed them in the back of the vehicle. And when I got home, I unloaded the car without thinking much about it.

As it turned out, Monday was pretty much going to be a repeat of Sunday from a weather perspective....60'ish and overcast in the am and clearing in the afternoon. So, given how much new territory I'd discovered at Sunday, I decided to go back to SNR Monday am. But when I started to gather up the gear to load in the car, the extra lens in the soft case was nowhere to be found. I thought  I had put it back in the backpack when I got home Sunday, but obviously not. I started searching the house...and searching and searching. Nada. It wasn't anywhere in the vicinity of the other gear. It wasn't in my study. It just was nowhere to be found. So, I pulled the CRV out of the garage and tore it apart in hopes the lens had rolled under a seat or into a corner somewhere. Once again, nada. Now, I'm starting to get discouraged and begin to fear I'd left it out on the trail Sunday, and when I re-enter the house, I looked in both bathrooms and then the refrigerator and freezer. I was just that desperate.

By this time, resignation that the lens is simply MIA and not to be found is beginning to set in. And since I was getting ready to head back to SNR, I figured the one remaining option was to to stop at the front desk out there and ask if anyone may have found a camera lens and turned it in.....a real stretch of a possibility. And as expected, that had not occurred.

As a start for Monday's shooting session, I returned to the last trail I had hiked Sunday and walked out to the last location I had stopped to shoot Sunday...again on the ultra remote chance I may have set it down on the trail while shooting and neglected to pick it up....another snowball in hell chance. And another nada.

Not surprisingly, Monday's shooting session proceeded with the resignation of a lost lens settling in and diminishing my enthusiasm for the day's shooting. Fortunately, I was able to capture at least a couple keepers (one of which is included above) despite being a little bummed. It just wasn't as fun and exciting a session as Sunday's had been.

On the drive home, I'm kinda beating myself up for losing a $1k+ piece of equipt. And upon arriving home, I make one more tour of the house looking in every nook & cranny...once more coming up empty.

Monday evening rolls around and the Alabama/Clemson national championship football game is about to start. I grill up a burger and plop my butt down on the sofa. After all but inhaling the burger, I lean back against the 2 throw pillows on the couch and get poked in between the shoulder blades by something solid. 'What the heck is that' I think...having put the lost lens out of mind for the time being. I reach around and pull guess what from between the pillows.....the missing lens, of course. What the heck it's doing there, I have no idea. I guess I must have set it down on the pillows when I got home Sunday, but have no recollection of doing so. And even more puzzling, I'm sure I leaned up against those same pillows Sunday evening, but never noticed it....never got poked in the back by it then. How all that transpired is beyond me, but the knowledge I wouldn't be calling B&H and ordering a replacement in the next day or two was such a relief! the panic just ran right out of me.

Now the only question is....that $1k+ I didn't really have to spend on a replacement lens, but would have anyway....what do I spend it on now.(??) :)

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