On 28th September, 2010 my shooting buddy Michael Lam and I were walking on a fairly scenic path along the seawall at Kingston, Georgetown taking picture when we were attacked and robbed by 2 thieves. Michael was viciously beaten with a length of wood by one of the thugs and I was held at gun point by the other.
They stole mobile phones from us, our money, my camera and wedding ring and a pocket knife that I usually carry. It was a traumatic experience for both of us.
We have often gone to this spot to take photographs, while it is a bit remote, it can be quite photogenic. And at the time we were there, a lot of people were walking around so we had no fears for our safety and didn’t keep a proper lookout. It may not have mattered if we had, but at least we might have had the chance to take ourselves out of a dangerous situation, if we had paid better attention.
What caught us, being typical photographers, was the stunning sunset. We were about to leave the area and were walking East, but we looked back and noticed the sunset and turned around and walked West to get a better scene to photograph.
It was while we were walking back West that we walked past the thugs and walked into a small area where there were no other people. The thugs took the opportunity and attacked us.
Two things worked in our favour; firstly, Mike, forever trying for that great shot, had taken a picture of the thugs before we had walked past them. He was looking for a silhouette of their two bicycles against the setting sun. And secondly, because there were people walking around the area, they didn’t have much time and hurriedly took what they could easily get.
Mike had his camera attached to his wrist with a strap and the thugs couldn’t get it free in the limited time they had.
As bad as Mike being beaten up was, both he and I have been diminished a bit. I wouldn’t say that we have walked into the dens of any lions, but we used to walk fairly confidently around Georgetown. Now, although we have been making the effort not to let our experience prevent us, I think we do feel a little less confident about walking around.
And that is a shame. Because Georgetown, the place and the people, are worth recording. And for a little while at least, it is going to be a bit harder for at least two of the people who think our country and people are worth taking photos of.
At least I got a good shot out of it.
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