Photographer gets beat up by camera during Grand Canyon rapids shoot (PHOTOS)


posted Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 3:26 PM EDT


Photographer Dawn Kish has a message for others using underwater housings with their cameras in rough water: Keep the rig away from your face or you might end up looking like a zombie!

Kish learned this lesson the hard way while photographing the Grand Canyon (Colorado River) rapids during a rafting trip a few weeks ago. Kish was using an Outex underwater housing with a Nikon D7000 to capture the whitewater action when the raft hit a big hole and she went flying.

"I didn't hold on with both hands because one was holding the camera as I was looking through the viewfinder," she told Imaging Resource. "We hit a big hole and WHAM. I hit the cooler with my camera in front of my face and got the biggest goose egg on my forehead. "

That "goose egg" turned into the black and blue (and purple) bruising on her face you see in the photo. Kish, who originally told her story to Arizona Highways, a magazine she works for, later found out she's not the only one this has happened to.

"After I posted my battle wounds on Facebook, I didn't realize that others did the same thing," she said. "One photographer told me that it happened to him, and that when you have a waterproof housing around the camera, you must hold it away from your face when your shooting in rough water. I was too busy looking through the viewfinder and didn't see the big hole in the rapid coming up. All this trauma for the love of making photos. Next time, hold on and keep the camera away from the face."

Kish says she's finally feeling "close to 100%" and looking better since the incident. "I'm still a little green with a small knot on my forehead. I had a headache for about a week after and I had to take a bunch of naps. I have never had a head injury and it definitely slowed me down."

See more of Kish's work on her website and her Facebook page.

Photo © Dawn Kish, used with permission
Photo © Dawn Kish, used with permission