Monday, March 2, 2015

Dangerous Photography

I have suffered two significant laceration injuries which were directly related to photography activities in the past 6 months. The first was when cut the back of my left ear bad enough to require stitches and then just this past weekend, I filleted my left thumb with a knife. The how and why of how I managed to put myself into two situations resulting in these lacerations is what follows...

Turner and I were in Itaewon to shoot a You Tube commercial for Coreanos Kitchen, a delicious Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant that's not to be missed. After we wrapped the shoot, it was time to load all the photography gear into the back of Turner's SUV. The back of Turner's SUV is taken up by a combination of baby seats and related accessories, as well as all of our photography gear. On this particular occasion, we also had to load up a jib, slider and other videography equipment that we don't normally bring with us, the end result was that the back of the SUV was overpacked and I had to use one hand to kind of push and hold everything in the back of his SUV, whilst simultaneously attempting to close the hatchback. My efforts were unsuccessful. As I pulled down the hatchback, I failed to move my head out of the way in time and my left ear was clipped by the metal edge of the hatchback. Although, it sounded and felt like I simply shut the trunk on my head.

The pain set in almost immediately, my ears were ringing like the after hours of a loud rock concert and there was a little blood. Initially, I didn't think I had cut myself, I was content with the fact that I had just shut the trunk on my own head like a ritard. But when I had Turner's wife look at the back of my ear, she gasped and said, "Oh, that looks bad". It was bad, it wasn't so much a cut as it was a gash. I kept pressure on it and made it to the Combined Troop Aid Station at Camp Casey where they proceeded to apply 5 stitches.

As for the laceration from this past weekend, the cause was rather more straight forward, but equally negligent and ritarded on my part. I received a "Cam Caddie" camera stabilizer in the mail that day. It was brand new and was attached to it's packaging with a pair of thick, black, plastic zip ties. My only tool to cut the "Cam Caddie" free from the zip ties and packaging was a recently sharpened Gerber knife.

Many years ago, I had cut a finger when I applied too much pressure to what I was trying to cut through and when the knife broke through, it raced towards the flesh on my left hand ring finger and lacerated me. I remembered this hard won lesson and made sure to face the blade away from my body and fingers as I began to cut through the zip ties.

These were thick zip ties and I had to really apply a lot of pressure to try and get through them. I was determined, wanting desperately to get at my new camera accessory. I pushed hard and finally the knife snapped violently through the first zip tie, the thumb on my left hand lay directly in the path of the thrusting knife. I had just sharpened the knife a few days before and it proceeded to make a one inch fillet near the first knuckle (see image). My combat lifesaver first aid training instincts kicked in and I applied pressure immediately. I happened to have some 2 x 2 inch sterile gauze and fabric medical tape in my room and dressed my would within minutes. This cut was bleeding profusely. But eventually, the bleeding stopped and I finished opening my package, a little bloodied, but not defeated.

The moral of the story is, you can never be too careful when working with knives and photography can be a dangerous endeavor. Keep safe y'all and keep shooting!

Dangerous Photography

Maybe I should wear a protective helmet when I got out from now on?

See the zip ties? Bastards. Cam Caddie.

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