My most expensive image ever?

What do you think is the most expensive image you’ve ever taken (no jokes please about it being one on a Natures Images trip or workshop though please!) ? It’s a question I’ve found myself pondering this week as I’ll explain shortly.

I’ve racked my brains through the trips that I’ve done in search of images of a location or a species and there’s certainly some that have had a high monetary value in that respect.  I know that I’ve spent hours, weeks, and days waiting for certain things to happen or appear in front of my lens on many many occasions so there are plenty that fall into the high cost in terms of time.  I’ve walked to some endless places and up some pretty steep hills with plenty of heavy gear to lug in both directions (and these too have been fruitless treks on plenty of occasions) so the cost has been high in terms of physical effort.

But this week I hit a new height in terms of cost and it’s that of anxiety (accompanied with a potentially high replacement financial replacement cost) as I managed to completely submerge my beloved 500mm in a local lake while working on some Great Crested Grebes that I’ve been enjoying greatly over the last few weeks. It’ll teach me to sit in the water for that perfect shot (and I’ve had some amazing experiences and some fantastic images and video too with them but that’s for another day as it’s still work in progress) – my wife and children think I’m barmy for doing that anyway – but it’s what I’m driven to do in search of greater intimacy in my work so I can’t see myself really learning too much on that front, but the anxiety wave that hit me as I turned to see bubbles where my lens and tripod used to be (fortunately no camera body attached at the time) and having rescued it watched the muddy smelly water drain out of the focus ring was very high I can assure you.  The air was mildly blue too! 

 My anxiety is still high as the lens is currently sat with CPS awaiting their verdict and although early indications from the insurers appear positive nothings sorted until it’s sorted on that front and there will of course be financial penalties even if it’s a successful claim – if not it’ll be even higher as life without a 500mm is impossible to contemplate. Fortunately it’s tolerable at the moment thatnks to great friend Kevin at TFC who’s helped me out with a 600mm to tie things over until the verdict is reached.

If you own expensive kit the moral is clear – don’t do stupid things with it like I do, and make sure it’s insured. And then ask yourself what the most expensive image you’ve ever taken and why too – here’s mine: not the best by any means but the last one of the morning before the sinking of the 500!

Postscript: Just been told the lens is “beyond economical repair” – the anxiety just got higher!!

4 thoughts on “My most expensive image ever?”

  1. Sorry to hear of your Woes! If it makes you feel any better I was setting up a perch for Kingfishers which meant wading into a deep very cold brook (in my boxers) up to my waist and yep I ending up blowing bubbles!!

  2. Commiserations Mark – that’s a terrible mishap…hope things resolve themselves as well as you hope!

  3. Ought to just add a footnote to this really: my replacement lens arrived today, speedily delivered and the whole process speedily resolved with my insurance company: if you have expensive kit good, professional photographers insurance really is a well worthwhile investment: this could happen to you too (even if you aren’t as daft as me in terms of where you go for your photography!!)

  4. steven flaherty

    Hi mark my father in law nearly did a similiar thing the other day whilst we were both on skokholm island of pembrokeshire. He was changing the battery and turned round and a gust of wind caught his camera with his 500 attached, of all the places on the island for his camera and tripod to go over his went over on to a huge stone. Thankfully his 500mm survived only due to photographing meadow pipits minutes before and because this he had the 1.4 converter attached and this and the camera took the full blow. Camera is totalled converter hopefully fixable. Hope all is well and glad to see you got you replacement quickly. (lucky as they are coming very hard to come by in the uk at the moment) I managed to get a second hand 600mm in mint condition for a great price.

    hopefully we will cross paths some day soon

    all the best


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