I was just setting out on what I hoped would be a great photographic venture, a peak leaf season voyage to upstate New York’s Letchworth State Park.  Known sometimes as the Grand Canyon of the east, this large expanse not far from Rochester was carved by the Genesee River.  Here one finds magnificent high cliffs, panoramic vistas, spectacular waterfalls, and—in the autumn—the brilliant red and golden hues of the season.

Along with me was my beloved, relatively new Nikon Z9 camera, the flagship of the Nikon line and a beautifully engineered and crafted creative tool.  It rested safely, or so I thought, on the rear seat, protected behind the tripod I’d stored in a soft carrying bag.

A tractor trailer crash on the Interstate blocked all lanes, so I chose a rural route through scenic landscape to avoid the otherwise inevitable miles-long backup.  A wise choice, but with unforeseen consequences.

Two cars preceded me on the two-lane highway.  Though following at a safe distance, I nonetheless suddenly found my car closing rapidly on the car in front, which had stopped for first car to make a left turn into a tourist trap.  To avoid a collision, I applied the brakes, vigorously.  Too vigorously, as it turned out.

My car lurched to slow speed.  As it did, I heard a clunk coming from the rear seat as things shifted around. I thought nothing of it. 

Only when I arrived at my destination did I discover my camera lying on the rear floor and the damage that had occurred.  As the photos show, the LCD screen was punctured, probably by a sharp point on my tripod.  The screen’s functioning was destroyed, and with it went my chance to put this magical piece of image-making gear through its paces.  My camera was well and truly busted.  And so, my fond aspirations dashed, was I.

Detailed view of my cracked LCD screen

Published by Norman Reid

I worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 27 years in the field of rural community and economic development. I retired a few years ago and have been devoting my time to photography and writing. I've been a semi-pro photographer for more than 25 years and sell my work on the Web. I live in rural Virginia not far from the Shenandoah Valley.

One thought on “Busted

  1. I think that is the nightmare for many of us. I must admit I hate putting my camera in the car when it isn’t in my camera bag. If I do I usually put it on the floor surrounded by things to keep it still. Your story will make me rethink that. I hope you had insurance, and it hope it wasn’t damaged too much.

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