Heat Stroke

Yesterday we left Marble Bar. As a group we decided to go for a little 300 km detour  heading down a gravel road into the middle of know where to see what it was like. Along the way we stopped off at an unused gold mine which was closed, not surprisingly, as it is only nutters who would be out there on such a stinking hot day in a stinking hot place.

As all good photographers do we decided to go in anyway and found a virtual treasure trove of cool stuff to shoot. We also found lots of drums saying cyanide. Ah she’ll be right mate, no problems as long as it is in the drums. Tony and I decided to kick a little of the dust in one of the shed around to get some good light rays, ok, I decided to. All good, no dramas, didn’t work too well but it was fun whilst it lasted.

On leaving we were visited by the caretaker who gave Les a serve for us not telling him we were on the property and then he dropped the bombshell. There is cyanide all over the place and if you start feeling sick get to the doctor asap. My legs began to shake as I had been dancing around in the dust minutes earlier. Now here we were on our way to who knows where and I was possibly going to drop dead of cyanide poisoning. Les told us what to look out for, the signs of our impending doom, bad taste in the mouth, tingling fingers and that wasn’t very reassuring. Before to long I had a bad taste in my mouth and then my heart rate went up. I had to be brave as the first person to cry like a big baby would suffer the brunt of the jokes for the rest of the trip.

By the time we got back to Headland I was stuffed, head pounding, dry throat, nausea and lethargy.  Still I couldn’t say too much as the word that is another name for a cat came to mind, and I didn’t want to be called that. I woke up this morning still feeling bad so I went to the doctor to discuss how many days I had left on the planet. I have to get some blood tests done to determine if I have inhaled any cyanide but he thought it was more heat stroke that is my problem and that more to the point I am a big baby. Still what ever it is I feel horrible. We have been going pretty hard since getting here and I had just reached my limits of endurance. Bummer the others are still going strong!!

The good news is I have been confined to my hotel room for the day and get to catch up on some computer work. The others are out on the wharf  getting cooked, ah being on your death bed isn’t so bad after all.

The photo is of our guide from BHP Andre, he was good enough to show us around his patch, and what a patch is is! We had so much fun there shooting all this industrial stuff, it was gold we were getting from an iron ore plant!! This photo was taken with the amazing Nikon D3x and 24-70mm lens. Just love that camera, in fact all these images to come are from the D3x. Tony Hewitt has the dream rig, a D3 and a D3x with all the best lenses Nikon have. He does some amazing stuff with it.


~ by christianfletcher on February 12, 2010.

16 Responses to “Heat Stroke”

  1. Funny story mate…rest and stay cool and I am sure you will feel better tomorrow…you must be getting old mate…it happens to all of us you know!

  2. Hey mate
    Have you left me anything in your Will? (And “no”, you can’t leave debt!)
    Oh, thats’ right … and it’s been nice knowing you. 🙂
    How does this sound: “There lies one of Australia’s greatest photographers …”?

  3. Kinda reminds me of the scene from Flying High were the doctor is describing the symptoms to Ted Striker and the pilot is showing them all with the twitching, uncontrollable drooling and then a bad case of flatulence!

    Seriously though hope your feeling better mate!


  4. A boy in man’s land up there by the sound of it. 🙂

  5. age could be a factor Markie, but I am the youngest!!! Doh!!

    Greg you can have my cyanide covered boots!

    I did have an upset tummy David, but luckily managed to keep it all in.

    Mervie the men were all in their air conditioning whilst the nutters were out photographing. But yes your right it isn’t for the soft weak minded idealists.

  6. It’s not heat stroke it’s Nikonitis – only one answer to that problem mate. A spoon of fig jam, one cold Redback and go to bed with a nice warm 5D2 – I’m sure you’ll feel better in the morning. Unless it is cyanide poisoning, then you’re stuffed….. 😉

  7. Hey Christian, Maybe you can pay me to accompany you next time as your personal qualified ambulance officer. Then you won’t have to worry so much!!!

  8. Isn’t that why photographers have assistants? so they can go dancing in the cyanide dust and you get the shots of the light rays 😀

    I bet Ken Duncan wouldn’t get heat stroke haha

  9. Ready for retirement hey CF!?
    it’s a shame Peter Lik wasn’t there he could have made a really thrilling video out of the occasion!

  10. Looking at the weather map, no wonder you got heatstroke/exhaustion, surprised no one else did!! Add a pinch of dehydration, not good.

    That aside, glad you are feeling better and that was the best thing to do, stay back, plenty of water and enjoy the A/C.

    Your body may also be going through organ rejection from the Nikon transplant. Last Nikon organ you had probably only had film. Just keep looking at those beautiful D3x NEF’s and that should wipe the 5D2 remnants out of your body.

  11. one more thing, find out a bit more about heat exhaustion here:

    in case the doctor didn’t tell you enough.

  12. Bloody Hell C.

    Stop being a pussy… how can Eastway outlast you?

    I would have thought that Cyanide gas might have created a cool coloured effect in air…

    I can just imagine your mind going into overdrive magnifying the tiniest little symptom into “sure signs” of cyanide poisoning.

    Great post


  13. Been there, done that, mate. I got heat stroke once and did I feel crook or what!?! My ex-wife who’s a nurse shoved me in a tub full of cold water and dumped bags of ice on me. I guess I was worse off than I thought, but that’s how heat stroke sneaks up on you.

    Get better soon and tell Peter to keep his hat on or he’ll be signaling the space shuttle with his head!

  14. Welcome to my world CF, it can get damned hot up there! Enjoy yourself working for the dark side and make sure you drink plenty, huh? Ummm, beer doesn’t count.

  15. Its better taking photos around certain islands. That way you an always cool down after a hard days work by taking a dip. But… you’d have to brave the sharks wouldn’t you Christian? 😉


  16. Great post!

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