Stupid is as Stoopid does...
I bet you didn't know that photography is an extreme sport. Yeah? Injuries sustained in the field can keep you housebound for a while. But that doesn't mean you can't create in other ways during the recovery process, providing you have a photo library and some ideas—and too much time on your hands.
The masked plover .mp3 alarm on Stoopid's smartphone broke the silence at 0515 on a Sunday morning. Stoopid jumped out of bed and looked out of the window into the darkness. The faint glow of dawn was building in the east
"Good. Looks like a dramatic sunrise is on the cards with those layered clouds, and I should have enough time to get into position well before the sun breaks the horizon." Having hatched a plan the previous evening, he dressed quickly and considered footwear. "Boots? Nah, too slow to lace and tie and, besides, I won't be on the rocks this morning, or anywhere near the water; just shooting from the grassy knoll. The old favourites will do...so comfortable".
He slid the eighteen year old Converse casuals from under the bedside chair, slipped them on and tied the laces—marveling, as usual, at how well the faded suede uppers had withstood the years. He loved them as one would love a faithful old dog. The crazed and shiny synthetic soles were still serviceable, despite their tread having disappeared long ago.
Old (Converse) faithfulsNot recommended for extreme sports.
He parked the little red car near the leaning banksia that resembled a laurel wreath gateway to Tacking Point. Shouldering a camera bag and gripping a neoprene sheathed leg of the heavy tripod, he bush-bashed through a thicket of trees, shrubs, fallen branches and flax on the steep slope. Breathing heavily and attended by mosquitoes, he emerged on the grassy knoll commanding a view south along Lighthouse Beach. But the beach wasn't in his plan; nor were the mossies. "Little bastards!"
He turned to face the headland, looking for a clear view to the lighthouse at an elevation that would put the base of the building on the sea horizon. Stoopid was too high. Moving down and left a few paces his view was frustrated by trees. "Typical", he thought. "Nothin's ever easy! Where's that bloody chainsaw when you need it!"
"OK, maybe if I get down there under that tree I'll find a gap in the canopies that I can shoot through. Gonna need one long and two short legs on the tripod to compensate for the slope, though."
As Stoopid descended, using the extended tripod leg as a steadier, the shiny soles of the Converse veterans met the lustre of flax. Something gave way underneath, perhaps a rotting branch, and Stoopid's right foot turned in and under as his left foot skidded away. As if having the rug pulled out from under, Stoopid's backside crushed the bulk of his mass onto his hyperextended right foot. The rush of pain from a serious sprain synchronised with an exclamatory snap of bone.
"Ahfu___! F____!" (I can't lie, Mum, I do swear)
Too late, Stoopid thrust his right leg out from under and lay back into the slope, closing his eyes and reeling from the spasms in his foot.
"Good one, you stupid bastard! You do own ankle-supporting boots. Can you even get yourself out of here now?"
Stoopid rested for a couple of minutes as the sun rose above the Pacific and the pain subsided. It was a spectacular sunrise, of course.
Long story short...in for a penny, in for a pound. It was too early to seek medical attention, so Stoopid hobbled back up the slope, this time using the tripod as a crutch, and set it in a sub-optimal position on the grassy knoll. "Now that I'm here, I may as well shoot a few before heading home. Something good might happen."
Lighthouse keepersMultiple exposures composited.
It didn't, really, and about forty minutes later he packed it in, hobbling and bum-sliding down to the car, rueing that he'd driven the little red VW with the manual transmission that morning instead of the auto Subaru. He left the car in first gear all the way home.
Orthopaedic surgeon's verdict: Guilty of stupidity, severe sprain and fractured fibula. Sentence: six to eight weeks on crutches; eligible for parole in three months depending on satisfactory behaviour.
Serves Stoopid right.
Spouse's resigned reaction: "Robert, Robert, Robert!"
Philosophically, I suppose Stoopid can be thankful that this happened so early in retirement: a good wake-up call that should serve to make him even more careful as the years advance. And the lay-up does give him plenty of time to play with Photoshop and ideas.
Yes, this issue's video does include some gratuitous political satire but, hey, it's just a bit of fun. Having fun with photography is the most important thing. Try filling up your days with more than boredom when you're laid up with a broken ankle! :-)
You can't teach an old dog...A bit of fun creating an image to depict a saying. Created while recovering from a broken ankle, hence the crutches for props.
Cant imagine what you'll be thinking of/doing by the time your parole is finished. All the best hope you're out and about soon
Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments and well wishes. I'm four weeks into my 'confinement' and staving off cabin fever by culling photographs in my Lightroom catalogue and revisiting a few favourites. I'm also preparing a couple of presentations for a photography conference in May.
Dan, I can't believe it either!
Chris, yeah, right. In two weeks I go for the second x-ray. I'll give 'stand up' a go if the orthopaedic surgeon gives me the go ahead. :-)
David, yes I do wear the 'mind is a scary place' tag with pride. Makes life interesting. ®
Bravo Rob ! I can see a novella in the making or even a book of short stories to go with the great photos .
Very funny, Rob - the video not the injury! Hope you are on the mend and can use the down time to you advantage. Look after yourself better from now on.
Leg broken, sense of humour intact. Fair Trade, maybe, maybe not.
Really sorry to hear the news. Unfair to have the time but not the mobility.
Enjoyed the story and great job with the video.
Take care, and I mean that :)
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