I can relate to this image.
Many years ago I was sailing with a friend at Zeekoeivlei in Cape Town. A guy was doing acrobatics in a crop-spraying aircraft above us and I had my camera with me.
Suddenly, as we watched, the aircraft nose-dived into the ground behind some trees a short distance away. We sailed across the lake and started running towards the accident.
On the way there a woman in a car stopped us, she was crying. “Please don’t go there” she implored, “I’ve just lost a dear friend”.
“We’re from the Press” I lied and continued running.
At the scene, the aircraft was in flames, the pilot roasted. A rowdy, drunken crowd had gathered, celebrating his death by clapping, cheering and throwing stones at the wreckage.
One guy had a guitar and was strumming and singing loudly as he made his way through the crowd.
I took some photos of the unruly revelers. ‘This’ll be a big news story’, I thought.
Later, we rushed into town to one of the local newspapers and I told them the story. I gave my film to one of the reporters who took it into the darkroom to develop.
After awhile he returned and looked at me in a strange way. “There’s nothing here” he said, handing me the developed film.
I couldn’t believe it and checked, the last frame was totally black. Then I saw what had happened - the sprockets which move the film forward had stripped the holes in the film and I’d been taking photos on one frame only …
Karma’s a Bitch …