March 26, 2010

World famous

When I was a wee lad, wet behind the ears with Dektol and D76, like most budding shutter snappers I dreamed of making a photograph that people around the world would look at with awe.  In 2007, some 30 years later, I reached that accomplishment but not the way I had planned.

While covering a high school track meet, my foot caught on the edge of a rubber mat and I went plummeting downward with my Canon 1Dm2 camera body attached to a 500mm f4.5, all mounted on a monopod.  With my hand on the monopod shaft as I fell forward, the front of the titanium body was peeled outward by the force created by my body weight and the weight of the lens (around 8 lbs) leveraged against the camera mount.  That truly sad part wasn't the fact that I totaled a $4,200 camera body and possibly damaged a $6,000 lens, but the fact that I went down, in front of the main bleachers at the meet with hundreds of people watching, camera first.

The lens actually survived and to this day works to spec.  The camera body as you can see below wasn't quite so lucky.

The result of the fall is a front on view on the left and below, more pics which were first displayed on in my member profile in 2007 and seen by photographers both in awe and sickened at the sight of one of the world's best and Canon's flagship camera bodies in a state the kind of looks like the Terminator before he jumps in the vat of molten iron.  Click the photos to see a larger view.

Since then, the photos, the fall, and the damage have been discussed on Chinese, Japanese, Finish, Israeli and Spanish websites around the world.  I've seen links to my sportsshooter profile on Thai, German and other European photography sites, too.  Many of the discussions and responses are entertaining (if you can read them).

My favorite set of comments are on this site:

This shot is a photo taken immediately after the fall.  The accident occurred early in the meet.  I didn't have time to morn my loss.  While I had to later replace this camera body,  I was able to finish my assignment with a second camera body that I always take on every assignment just in case situations like this occur.

Here are just a few links to some of the sites that talk about the damage:;wap2

The lens was fine and in fact seemed to work better after the fall.  The camera body was complete loss. I called Canon repair for the fun of it to see if they could repair it.  That conversation is a funny story all its own which I might tell in the future.

~ Clark

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Can we share this story and an image or two with our readers on PetaPixel (

    You can reach me at