By Michael Kenna
On Thursday night, while photographing a tree on the shore of Lake Taupo here in New Zealand, I left one of my Hasselblad cameras out on a tripod for a twenty-minute time exposure. During the exposure, I ran back in the dark to where I had been previously photographing, to see if I could find a lost cable release. It was a cold, wet and very windy night so I became a bit anxious that the tripod might blow over in my absence.
On my return, I was shocked to find that both my camera and tripod had disappeared completely. I saw a car accelerating away on the nearby road and feared the worst—that my equipment had been stolen. I remembered that the frame counter was on number 12 so my roll of exposed film from the day and night had gone also. I searched all around the immediate area with my torch, just in case, but found nothing.
Returning disconsolately to my motel, I reviewed my list of equipment so that I could report the loss, along with serial numbers, to the local police station. This I did, an hour or two later.
After questioning me about the precise make and type of tripod I use, which I thought rather strange, the police officer informed me that he had the equipment! Apparently, a man had been walking his dog earlier, saw the camera and tripod by the lake, in the dark, and assumed that the owner had fallen into the lake! He scooped up the camera and went to the police, who in turn came out to search the lakeside for a body. Somehow, our timing conspired so that we missed each other.
All's well that ends well! Thank you Mark Porter for finding my camera and taking it to the police. Thank you to the Taupo Police Officer. Thank you New Zealand.
Note to myself—in the future, always leave a message taped to unattended cameras....
As they say over here, cheers mate!
Reprinted from Facebook page of Michael Kenna Photography, with Michael's permission. Thanks to TOP reader Frank Eberdt for the pointer. Michael Kenna: A 20 Year Retrospective is a good starting kit for those who don't know Michael's work.
©2014 by Michael Kenna, all rights reserved
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Mark Porter: "The concatenation of circumstances that have happened in order for a Mark Porter to have walked by Michael Kenna's lonesome Hasselblad somewhere on an Island in the Pacific, swiped it up, gave it to the police, and then for Kenna to write an essay about the event, on the one photography blog I read, and for my name to be Mark Porter, and my favorite photographer Michael Kenna, is leaving me feeling a bit nervous, for I've never been to New Zealand!"
darr: "I love it when my faith in humankind is resurrected and a Hasselblad is involved."