#16. "RE: What is the dumbest thing you've ever done in photography?" In response to In response to 0
In 1983, I was assigned by the newspaper I was working for in West Virginia to photograph a group of rockclimbers at Seneca Rocks, about an hour and a half away. I met the group at the visitor's center, then followed them to their camp before accompanying them across a foot bridge and up a winding trail that ascended the side of the mountain. We reached the rocks and I spent a couple of hours or so shooting several rolls of film as they (and I) learned to scale the rocks. They, however, were staying until just before dark. I had to get back to the newspaper office. So, I began the descent down the side of the mountain by myself. Before I knew it, I had absolutely no idea how I got up there. I was completely lost. I decided to listen to the river, figuring if I found the river, I could go one way or the other until I found the bridge. As I followed the sound of the water, I came to a field of large boulders (Seneca Rocks is famous for rattlesnakes!) and climbed down them, coming out on a steep river bank that happened to be directly across the river from the visitor's center. Well, I foolishly decided the thing to do would be to simply wade across the river. So, camera in hand, I began to work my way across, stepping gingerly on the rocks that lined the river bed. Things were going fine until I got about two-thirds of the way across and my foot landed on a particularly slippery rock. I soon found myself submerged in the water -- all but the right arm which safely held my camera above the water line. I'm happy to say that my camera didn't even get wet. I, however, was soaked from head to toe and so were several rolls of exposed film which were in my pockets. Only the roll which remained in the camera stayed free of the muddy river water. Needless to say, that water wasn't very good for the film I had shot that day. And I had to drive the 90 minutes home soaking wet. Does that qualify for dumb?