(the fun starts in the fourth paragraph)
Hey folks. Hope all is well. It's been a while since I last wrote a journal. Truth be told, I've kind of burned myself out on editing pictures, and it's bled over to site participation. Whoops! I'll try to do better!
In any case, I went on a little camping trip with family down to San Diego this past week, partly to test out a new little 10-foot camper that my mom bought, partly so that I could visit the San Diego Zoo for the first time (and maybe last time, but more on that in a second). I even borrowed my brother's new Nikon D750 to try out on the trip. Super exciting! Camping was fine, but a train ran right by the campground, and it ran *all* through the night, so that was funny at first, and then miserable after.
The zoo was a fun time for the most part. Lots of sun, lots of heat, lots of animals, and lots of ground to cover, and in a zoo that I am not familiar with, that makes shooting difficult. Several of the exhibits were designed such that sun was on the fencing for the entire day, so it was tough to get a clean shot through, and without knowing the disposition of the animals like I do at the Sacramento Zoo, I wasn't really sure quite what to expect for behavior/whether it was worth my time to wait for them to wake up, where I should be at what time of day, etc.
And of course the place was crawling with people. Crawling, I tell you. I was jockeying for position most of the day, alternately blocking crowds at a fence while waiting for animals to cooperate and watching animals do amazing things while I myself was buried deep in a crowd, unable to shoot. I resorted to kind of setting up shop once I did get up to the front of several exhibits, setting up my tripod with my big camera/lens combo on it, and then standing next to it to shoot for a bit. Usually, it's good to get me a little working space, but this time it caused... well, probably my worst fear to come true.
So I'm set up at the jaguar exhibit, shooting this baby jaguar, and suddenly I hear this sickening crash slightly behind me, and I just know that it was my tripod and camera hitting the ground. I turn around, hoping for the best and fearing the worst, and my gut ties in knots as I see it. For a split second I think things may be okay, and then the camera -- my brother's D750 -- falls off the top of the tripod. My 300mm lens' lens collar has snapped into several pieces, and as I investigate the camera, I see the the case has cracked all across the front , and the flash housing is busted as well. The through-the-lens display info no longer works, and while the camera still technically takes pictures, the ISO sensitivity is beyond broken, and the shutter speed and f-stop dials no longer alter the exposure at all.
In short, I screwed up my primary lens and my brother's $2000, top-of-the-line camera. I suspect it was knocked over by one of the other zoo visitors, but I was in such shock and disgust in the moment that I didn't look to see anything but whether the camera and lens were okay. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. I still kinda do. I wanted to replace it for him, but I honestly can't afford more than $1500 of the $2000 I would need. After breaking the news to him this evening, I'm going to be looking at sending the camera in for repairs, but I'm really not holding my breath at this point. Maybe if it's even possible, it'll tally up to less than the whole $2k.
Got some great pictures the rest of the day that I'll be looking forward to sharing over the next several weeks, but even just writing about this right now is making me feel ill. I may put together a high-res picture pack for $5-10 soon for anyone interested, kinda try to start putting together that extra chunk of change, so look for that soon if you're at all interested.
That's about all for now. Hopefully it won't be six months before my next journal.