Night Bridge Disaster

I’m very fortunate to live near such iconic scenery like the Delaware River and the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. There’s always something new to photograph on the river, and the open space gives me ample opportunities to photograph sunrises and sunsets 1. I’d never, however, been down to the river to capture the bridge at night. Yesterday I rectified this situation and walked down to the banks of the Delaware with my tripod, wireless tether, and camera. I took my 18-105mm lens, as it gave me the best range of focal lengths for the photos I was envisioning. My favorite image from the night is embedded below.

The one struggle with my wireless tether is, however, it still does require a wire between the mini-usb port on my Nikon and the portable router which acts as the go-between. Typically I rest this router in the shoulder strap of my camera, or allow it to fall to the ground when I’m on grass. Last night, I kept it in my pocket.

And that’s when disaster struck.

My fellow “shutter hubby” called me over to look at his camera and I completely forgot the router was in my pocket. My tripod is rather light, and I didn’t even feel a tug as the attached wire tugged on the camera and pulled the tripod over. My camera fell on to the grass with a sickening thud, and my lens popped off. I quickly picked up my camera and angled tripod head down to minimize anything getting on the mirror. My friend and I then located the lens and discovered, to my growing dismay, the mounting points on plastic bayonet ring had snapped. Only one had remained intact.

Thankfully, the lens itself was not damaged, and the camera functions without flaw. I was able to temporarily mount the lens with the remaining mount and snapped some pictures. My favorite image of the night was, in fact, taken after the disaster struck. When I arrived home I used my blower on the mirror and mounted my 55-300mm lens the body without a hitch. Things seem to be ok, though I’m almost certain I’ll have to clean my sensor today 2.

My friend was great calming me down, and even located a replacement for the bayonet mounting ring. The actual work to replace the mount is not that difficult, and when the part arrives on Sunday 3 my friend and I will perform the surgery. Actually, he’ll probably perform the surgery, and I’ll sweat nervously. I’m comfortable around electronics, but he’s a mechanic and has much steadier hands.

I guess every photographer has to break a lens at some point, but it’s a club I’d rather have not joined. I’ve been putting off creating a way to mount my portable router on my camera’s hot shoe, but this will now be a priority.


ISO 400
f7.1
6sec
42mm


  1. Though I mostly concentrate on Sunsets. Sunrises should happen later in the day. 
  2. There wasn’t much wind, though, and the mirror was never face down on the grass, so maybe not. 
  3. Even though I’m eager to repair my lens, I’m really not sure how I feel about packages being delivered on Sunday. Can we not have one day off? 
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