An update on me. My Crash and a message (Warning post gets deep!)

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by vincechu, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. vincechu

    vincechu Veteran

    Sep 14, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    Here's a brief update on my life

    I'm sorry, this is loooooooong over due!

    Time sure has flown by, and some how or another it's already Feb 2012 - it felt like just yesterday since I graduated in July 2011 lol.

    When I graduated last July I thought I'd finally have more time for photography... boy I was wrong! I was going through an 'off-photography period' (see here, there's some excellant advice which I'm very thankful for there, a good read for anyone) and was working around 60hours a week up until Christmas as well as job hunting (looking to become an accountant).

    Well, in all that busy-ness before Christmas I got back into photography thanks to Best-Buy in the UK closing down... no seriously, in their closing down sale I picked up a Panasonic G3 on the cheap and have since picked up a few lenses. In short, it's IQ is great, miles better than the G1 I used to have. It's also a great size and weight for carrying with me all the time - My K5 definately has better IQ and ergonomics but it's just too heavy/big, so it's now my bad weather camera only (think it'll go after the OM-D E-M5 is available).

    This 2012 I'm working less (50hours a week lol). In addition to helping the family business, I am now a part-time accountant (whilst I look for a rather elusive full-time accounting training contract) in Manchester (great because its a big UK city with lots of photo opportunities!

    Now onto my crash and a 'message'...
    (Warning in advance gets 'deep' towards the end lol)

    Rewind back to December 2012, in the UK we had been pretty snow free until the weekend starting on the 16th. The temperature dropped sharply and all the snow seemed to come down at once, in what the weather forecast and papers were calling the big freeze (swear they say this every year when temperatures drop!)

    That Sunday 18th December, most of the snow had cleared off in my town and I knew it was freezing cold (-4*c). That night I was driving slowly because I knew of the dangers of black ice, especially because the roads in my aren't always gritted often. I took a very sharp left turn onto a road at walking pace, and began to build up my speed on the country road, I was doing less than 30miles per hour and the road went back around to the right... when suddenly my car lost its grip on black ice... it swerved onto the otherside of the road and gained momentum, clipping the curb the front end went up into the air, and into a hedge which flipped my car, rolling it a few before coming to rest like this:

    IMG_20111218_211511 by VinceChu89, on Flickr

    Note this was taken after the scene was made safe by the authorities. Taking a photo of this was the last thing on my mind but I kind of automatically took a photo of the wreck after seeing my brother (who had come to collect me) take some photos on his phone, for future reference e.g. insurance purposes.

    The accident happened so fast, yet the moment in which the car was in the air and rolling felt so long! I had never been so scared in my life, my legs were literally like jelly - I could barely stand after smashing my passenger window and climbing out of it.

    Miraculously I was unharmed - thank God there wasn't any on coming traffic because my car came to rest on the other side of the road, with me hanging in the drivers side facing on coming traffic - I doubt they would have been able to stop in time on that black ice. I guess I was really lucky, or as the officer who attended the scene put it,' someone was watching over me that night'.

    You see these kinds of things on TV or internet but never think it's going to happen to you, and I did especially because I always take care and drive responsibly. It just felt so unreal - like I was having a bad dream.

    For a few weeks after the crash, I had this weird fear of going around even the slightest bends to the right as a passenger. I guess it reminded me how powerless I was when my car lost grip and rolled. I know I'm young but trust me I've seen how cruel life can be, and I guess this car crash really opened up my eyes to how fortunate I am and to what a comfortable, if somewhat lazy life and unfulfilled, life i had been living. To me, this was a real wake-up call to me to start living life to the fullest but most importantly to cherish every moment and grasp every opportunity!

    I guess this leads me on to why I love photography and what it is to me, I love photography because it allows you to capture and immortalise (probably the wrong word) even the smallest or most fleeting moments. (fleeting is probably wrong word again? lol give me your suggestions). A long time ago I think I asked 'what photography means to you?' (to everyone here or over at mu-43) and I remember Don (I think it was Don anyway) said that photography to him is capturing the human condition and also 'proof that we were here' and at time I didn't even think twice about that idea, but now I think I understand what that means, and that it's become a more important concept to me.

    Hope that wasn't too deep lol ;-) anyway...

    Take care and live life to the fullest everyone!

    Here's a few photos to end, I don't think I've shared them here before, some have been on Flickr for a while though - apologies in advance if I have double posted them! (also think my monitor is off calibration so let me know if anything looks out of the ordinary)

    View attachment 49682
    P1010293 by VinceChu89, on Flickr

    View attachment 49683
    P1010294 by VinceChu89, on Flickr

    First two - hope I PP-ed the photos to look like my mum was upset, she was just running her hand through her hair whilst on the phone and rubbing her eye which was dry due to contact lens wear.

    Captivity. by VinceChu89, on Flickr

    Birdman by VinceChu89, on Flickr

    The Iron Lady by VinceChu89, on Flickr
    The nick name iron lady is a little iron-ic (sorry couldnt help the pun) as there is a rusty metal bolt or something or other on her face. Funny how the advert itself is folded over on her skin too look like wrinkles

    View attachment 49687
    Emily at Selfridges, Oxford Street by VinceChu89, on Flickr

    View attachment 49688
    Emily at Queens Park by VinceChu89, on Flickr

    View attachment 49689
    IMGP5076 by VinceChu89, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 8
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Dude, that's heavy! You certainly were lucky to come out of that unscathed. An event like that certainly does open your eyes to how quickly things can turn upside-down (literally, in your case).
    • Like Like x 1
  3. vincechu

    vincechu Veteran

    Sep 14, 2010
    Thanks :) Glad to see you're still around on the forums, hope I'll be back for a longer spell now ;-)
  4. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Vince, thank goodness you are OK! I have been in car accidents myself, but my car never flipped over. You were so lucky to be safe after that and thankfully you had the wherewithal to break your way out of the window!

    I give you great credit for taking your life by the horns, so to speak, and for making the most of it. None of us knows what our timing is, but when something like that happens, it can really shake you up to the tenuous nature of it all.

    Thank goodness you are safe and sound - and I'm so glad you've told us and that you've shared all of these pictures with us, Vince. Glad to know your mother wasn't crying and extremely glad to see Emily, too....and I've always loved The Birdman.:drinks:
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    just wow.
    Glad you're OK.

    btw, that photo of your car upside-down is awesome (I can say it now that everyone is OK)
  6. Oh My, I had wondered where you got to. Now I know. I'm so gald you are OK, its easy enough to start skating on that ice and losing it, been tehre. Good to see you back on track :)
  7. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    Hey Vince. Glad to hear you're okay. I know exactly how you feel. A few years a go we slid, hit a kerb and flipped at 70mph on a Greek motorway. I remember ever moment - in slow motion - when we were in the air to this day. I distinctly remember thinking 'We're dead'. In the end we walked away. It's incredible how strong and well-protected cars are these days. I think if it had been any of the cars my dad had while I was a kid we would definitely have been in a bad way. I recognise that nervousness about getting back in a car too. It passes with time but it can take a while.
  8. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    Welcome back Vince - so glad you're OK. Ten years ago I flipped our car and caravan, totalling both and three of us walked away from it. The anxiety is still real at times.
  9. Glad to see your in good spirits and safe and sound.

    Be careful out there folks.
  10. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mate good to have you back in good spirits and in one piece. You've been missed my friend. Be sure to visit and upload whenever you can...and take care now you here! :2thumbs:
  11. Lili

    Lili Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    welcome back, Vince. Glad you are ok!
  12. Geeeze thats a nasty accident! Amazing what can happen even at slow speeds! Glad you'reOK. Living in the UK myself i know how bad the weather can be.

    Keep taking those great pics and live life to the full every day!!
  13. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    wow, thank goodness for modern car construction, and that there was no oncoming traffic! And indeed great advice about taking life by the horns, I feel the same as you do about your life before the accident, my life so far has been mostly comfortable, fortunate and too lazy, as if I'll live forever... I'm aware that I should make more of it but so far I have made only small steps in that direction.

    Those are some great photos, by the way. The bird man is the only one I remember having seen before (and perhaps the second one of Emily?), but it's a great one to see again :smile: looking forward to seeing some more of your work again, I've always enjoyed it!
  14. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Glad you're OK Vince!
  15. Alf

    Alf Top Veteran

    Oct 11, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    Happy to hear you are OK, welcome back!
  16. christilou

    christilou Legend

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Wow, Vince. Very lucky escape. I was reading about a lady who sees Guardian Angels yesterday in the paper. Seems like you must have one watching over you. Nothing like a short, sharp shock to give you a bit of perspective though! Happy snapping ;)
  17. chromatin64

    chromatin64 Veteran

    Apr 26, 2011
    A Leekist in York, UK
    Crap exposure and composition on that pic Vince. And that central light is just one blown highlight. 3/10 could do better.

    */looks around/* What?

    Glad you're OK, Vince. Another reminder that life is too short.