Be aware this article comes with a injury warning. As I write this blog I find myself in recovery from a dislocated shoulder that I got when I was out in the Brecon Beacons photographing waterfalls of all things. After years of extreme sports (BMX, mountain biking, skateboarding, motorbiking and general tomfoolery) I started my journey with photography many years ago as I loved it and also I thought would stop me breaking bones and sustaining general injury's. Also my body was saying that enough was enough.
So two weeks ago I was on my way to photograph Sgwd Ddwliin in the the Brecon Beacons, Wales, but I stopped at the waterfalls beneath it. Whilst walking away from a shot that I was not completely happy with, I was not in a dangerous or stupid situation. I slipped on a rock and ended wedged upside down, under water in a water hole strapped to my backpack and unable to breathe. After a quick assessment that I had no broken bonesbut also came to the conclusion that i had the inability to breathe underwater, I extracted myself from my bag stood up and realised that my shoulder was at a funny angle. I saw my bag was still underwater, it is a Lowpro Vertex 300 AW so I was happy to leave it for the moment, Thanks Lowpro for a great bag!
As I was there early in the morning and was the only person around for miles ,I decided that my options where limited, so drawing on my experiences I put my shoulder back into place after two goes. One thing that I do not intend to repeat thank you very much. Then slowly picking my bag up I made the long trek back to my car.
So nearly two weeks later what do I take from this, well I was well dressed with all the correct clothing, which in a way protected me a bit more even though I was immersed underwater. Secondly no matter how much you plan or look or try to be careful accidents do happen and you should prepare for the unexpected. The downside to this is I was in a valley with no phone reception, miles from anyone or anywhere, so if it had been more serious (which it damn well nearly was) I was totally stuffed. The things that weighed in my favour was my past experience of finding myself in the middle of nowhere and having to put things right. So I have the knowledge and the ability to make quick assessments and decisions (and I do hate this phrase) to dig deep and do the things that needed to be done and get back home,quickly and safely.
Things are slowly getting better,but it will be a slow process, I have missed going out for the last two weeks. My camera and my lenses are all fine thanks to my bag.
On the plus side my calendar is at the printers, tests photographs have gone to other printers for assessment and my website is looking good and all other small jobs that needed doing are all up to date.