Posted by: standing_baba | December 7, 2009

Cow Killed the Video Star

FOREWORD: This is recycled news. My point-and-click camera was stolen in the tropical metropolis of Iquitos, Peru. Originally, I didn’t want to make much fuss over a stolen camera because my words have repercussions: I wouldn’t want anyone to avoid Peru because of my bad experience. One camera thief does not and should not overshadow the endless generosity I’ve received from all other Peruvians.

However, lately I feel the need to explain why my photo section is no longer bursting at the seams with spontaneously shot, creatively angled photos. More importantly, I want to explain why there are no videos. The reason: I’m now only shooting with my much larger, much more expensive looking digital SLR camera—function-free of real time video. This is not the type of stealth camera that subtlety slides into your pocket in questionable neighborhoods or colorful but pickpocket-laden markets; it’s the type of camera that screams rob me with a loudspeaker.

This is why I don’t take it out as much as I’d like.

This bulky camera is now my only way of visually documenting South America, and as such I’m holding on tight. Below I’ve cut-and-pasted the same brief explanation of events that I announced in my “Video Section.” It pains me to say there will be no more videos on this blog.

The one in the middle was the thief's accomplice

NEWFLASH: My point-and-click camera—the one with which I’ve been shooting video—was stolen in Iquitos, Peru while unloading my bike from the riverboat. Knowing the port was rife with thieves and pickpockets I watched my things carefully. There was activity everywhere, like an Arabian market less the bazaar tents. At one point, as I was hooking my trailer to my bike, a bull that was being off-loaded jumped the wooden plank onto shore, then charged the crowd in my direction, the owner chasing it as the rope dragged uselessly behind. People screamed. The bull was confused and aggressive. The moment my camera was stolen, I think, was when the bull stopped and began to jump and kick the air over a pile of hundreds of live chickens that were also recently off-loaded. The scene was so sad and surreal, like a 17th century India that I seemed to have known intimately in another life, that I lost focus. I let my guard down for an instant. I didn’t even realize the camera was gone from my handlebar bag until I went to photograph the mangled pile of feathers and dead and crippled chickens. I don’t plan on buying a new camera with video anytime soon. I will continue to take photographs with my digital SLR throughout my travels. Unfortunately, I will not be able to update this video section any longer.


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