Saturday, May 20, 2006

Lost My Camera (and today is my birthday)


Hi
Originally uploaded by katzeye.
How ironic that this would be the next post after posting about my PASSION.

The camera is almost a year old. It has been my "baby" for 11 months. I got it with tax refund money, which I set aside as I eagerly anticipated the camera coming onto the market. Once it was in my hands, I was in love. It became an extension of my eye, my hands, my heart, my soul.

I took it everywhere and kept it safe, and on me, always.

Here is what happened: Mark had business in Phoenix last Monday and yesterday. He decided that we would celebrate my birthday in AZ. So, he worked there Monday, and then we went to Sedona for three days of hiking, exploring, culminating in a hot air balloon ride. I was so excited that I had trouble falling asleep, and our wake-up call was for 3:30 AM. I saved most of my card for that experience and took about a hundred photos then.

Friday, after work in the morning, we met up with my son, who is living in Phoenix, and did a few errands with him. Each time we got out of the car, I took out a small messenger bag, and put that on, and then added my camera bag, because the temps were in the triple digits and I didn't want to fry my camera by leaving it the car.

I think I made two mistakes: 1-I put the camera and the lenses in the camera case. I usually only do that when traveling a long distance in the car. When not doing that, the camera is usually in my backpack or a messenger bag that goes with me. That is what I am used to. Because we made a few stops, I was taking TWO bags with me, instead of the usual ONE (not taking the time to remove the camera and put it in the one bag-not wanting to slow down the process). 2-When we went in to get a sandwich, I had the small messenger on my person, and set the camera bag at my feet. That was a mistake, but not a biggie, because I am also in the habit of looking around me as I get up to leave a place, lest I Ieave something behind. This time, for some reason, I was distracted from doing that. I recall there were several distractions.

Nevertheless-I am beside myself with grief and suffering at my loss. I am kicking myself all over, bursting into tears at odd moments, and generally feeling like my best friend died and I had a limb amputated. I literally feel physically ill.

Having packed the camera for the trip home, it contained not only the camera body, but my most beloved macro lens, a zoom 80-200 telephoto, my lensbaby, a spare battery, and a card containing thousands of photos of hikes and the much-anticipated balloon ride (which was on my list of 43 things to do).

My husband has contacted the manager of the Subway in Phoenix where we ate, and no one has told her of a left-behind camera bag. She is in the process of contacting two more employees, but our guess is that someone was thrilled at the find and not likely to turn it in.

My loss pains me immensely, and this is the most depressing birthday EVER, as a result. It's not like we can just go and replace the equipment that took decades to accumulate. And, of course, we cannot EVER replace the hundreds of photos that were on the memory card.

I think of my much-loved camera in the hands of a stranger who would only care for its monetary value. I think of the dishonest stranger looking at photos of my husband and myself, our balloon ride, and erasing the card without a second thought. I think of the loss of the one material possession that meant the most to me in this world, and I am depressed beyond belief or relief.

I am in mourning. Happy birthday to me.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is sad! It made me cry!

-- Sven

Anonymous said...

AS A FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHER, I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!

JOEL
MISSION VIEJO, CA

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, I feel like I want to rewind life so that I can do some parts of life over. I'll bet you feel the same way

Candace

kat said...

Sven, thanks for the sympathy! It helps to know that others would feel the same way.

Joel, thanks for understanding. I feel like part of me has been severed.

Candace, yes, INDEED!!! Aggggghhhhhh!!!!

nicolle said...

your in our thoughts kc... keep your head up!

kat said...

Thanks, Nicolle, working on it!

Patty said...

Happy Birthday, girl! Let me just say that there is a special place in hell for people who take other people's cameras, and extra special torture if their memory cards were full of, well, memories! You're going to make it through this one, too! It just makes me really mad when bad things happen to good people!

kiera said...

I'm sorry momma. You can have my camera, you take better pictures than me anyways! I love you. My motto at times like this is what goes around comes around. Karma is in the air.

kat said...

Kiera, those are kind words of support and love, and compliments, especially since you have done some very nice photography (frankly, I think that the only difference between my skills and yours are years). I love you, too!

Soooooo...when you bring your camera down next week, what lenses are you bringing, and do you have skylight filters on them, and, hmmmm...do i need to get a new camera bag to fit that all into?

LL said...

Somtimes it's just NOT fair!

PDT said...

What a nasty birhtday surprise! I can't offer much, but plan to chip in a little because I want to do something good for someone! Maybe you can have a happier birthday on anotehr day soon!

KC said...

ll-You're right, I think. Sometimes it just ISN'T!

KC said...

PDT-
Thank you, that is soooo kind of you. I appreciate it. How can I repay you?

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog is the first time anyone has seemed to understand what I just went through myself.I have been shaking, bursting into tears too. For me my camera was not as expensive as yours and it was not my bday but my son's first birthday pics that I forgot to download. We got a new reader and I didn't even recognize it. We were really distracted with three out of state families visiting us back to back. Every timeI would mention the loss to anyone and the hope that it might be returned they would just look at me like I was crazy and insist that no one would be willing to give it back. For me it isn't the camera itself that was so valuable but that first haircut where my son did so well and looked so "grown up" and handsome. My daughter's first dance recital. I felt safe taking it strawberry picking and I trusted my husband to keep it in his pocket.I trusted all the people at the farm because they were mostly parents with kids and I thought they would be good role models and have empathy as soon as they say all my baby's pics but maybe they didn't look. I look at the kids and focus on living in the now and looking at all the pics we do have that we did extra back up for as a result. My heart hurts, I can't sleep.I am frantically trying to guess where the finder might have tried to look for me despite the opinions of others who inducate it is a lots cause.I went back to the farm for permission to post fliers, my husband went back and raked through all the plants just in case but that was all in vain.We bought a metal detector! It has been a big shock. An employee at the farm said it is the world we live in nowadays. I am still praying that the person's conscience gets to them or they come across my number in a classified ad or on a flier. I want to suggest you try thefoundbin.com
I discovered them after I opened my own first ever website called lostandfoundcamera.com. Neither of us are for profit but just want to help honest people get their finds back to the rightful owners. There are lots of lost pets for example. You could try the police dept if you haven't already.I am going to create a list of suggestions on my website soon. I have to learn how though. I am not as high tech as most web writers yet. Please forgive yourself. You are only human. Maybe you can pray that society improves and by sharing your story it will make other people think of the person who lost a camera and how many photographs are irreplaceable once in a lifetime moments.That is is like ripping someone's soul and heart out. I always thought if you found something you could turn it into the store management. I think the subway manager sounds supportive and understanding which is great.I have a gnawing feeling about the cynicism of the people I spoke with at the farm. They say no one ever turned in a camera! Wallets with tons of cash yet but no cameras ever! The few times workers found cameras they were never claimed. People have to become aware that keeping found cameras or videorecorders is really devastating to the owner. Best Wishes to you for one day getting your images back at least and finding peace with your loss.

kc petersen said...

I sure know how you feel! The main thing is always the loss of the photos. This experience happened to me a bit over a year ago, and I still feel almost shell-shocked, watching out for thieves, not letting my camera out of my sight, etc.

I hope you recover your good feelings, if not your camera (but I really hope you recover both!)

Thanks for posting.

AdamFL said...

I'm real sorry to hear about your camera- two days ago i too lost my baby. I had only had that particular camera for about a month, and it will be missed immensely. I went online to see if anyone else has a tale similar and yours was the first to pop up. I took a girl on a date and brought it along, and I left it on the beach. Not only did it turn into a $1200 date, but it put a damper on an otherwise fantastic night. Good luck to you, and know that others are out there who have the same hole in their hearts where their camera used to be.

kc petersen said...

I bet you're kicking yourself, Adam! Sorry to hear of your loss!

Adrien said...

My DSLR with brand new L lens fell off the cliff, I looked at it fall helpless, I am so upset, don t worry you are not alone, my passion is also fainting because of the lost...

Me and My Camera said...

www.lyc.se helps you find your lost camera! Check in their forum!

Anonymous said...

I lost my camera at the phoenix airport on Thursday. I took over 100 pictures of the Grand Canyon and Sedona. I too am devestated by my loss. I would even just accept my pictures back if I could. I would pay more than my camera is worth. I too am kicking myself for not storing it in my backback instead of my purse with no zipper. I too wonder what the person is doing with my pictures and if they have erased them already....

Stacy

Jonathan Hemmingway said...

Wait! I was in a Phoenix Subway and I found a slr in a bag and I turned it into the manager as soon as I found it. A coincidence?

kc petersen said...

Stacy, I know exactly what you mean!!!

Jonathan, Omigosh, even though it was a long time ago, i read your post and actually got excited for a moment!

Anonymous said...

Went on a trip of a lifetime to French polynesia and lost my hubbys beloved photo camera nikon with lenses and new battery together with our video camera worth lots of money we lost all the gorgeous snaps taken In this heavenly place we lost everything insurance won't cover a cent am still devastated about this and still burst into tears whenever I think about it .....I can fully relate to your awful experience it's really unfair that such a small mistake can make u so devastated ...