Photographer’s Images Prove that Bear Was At Fault for Breaking Rented Gear

Depending on your subject matter, it can be a very good idea to take out a damage waiver when renting camera equipment. Wildlife photographer Andrew Kane learned this recently after renting gear from LensRentals for a shoot in Yellowstone. Here’s his account of how the borrowed equipment ended up broken:

I recently rented a D4, Wimberly head, and 600VR from you, and the day before yesterday, I had a little bit of an accident. I was photographing a coyote here in Yellowstone and I followed it into the woods about 300yds away from the road. As I am taking pictures of the coyote, I heard twigs breaking behind me, and as I turned around I saw it was a grizzly bear. I picked up the tripod with the D4 and 600 on it and slowly started to back away. The bear got closer and closer as I tried to back up. When the bear got to within 20 yds. of me, I bumped into a brush pile that I could not lift the tripod over, so I had no choice but to leave the gear and continue away from the bear.

Luckily for Kane, he had a second camera hanging around his neck that he used to captured what unfolded. The bear proceeded to push his camera and tripod over and give it a few stomps for good measure:

After retrieving the camera, Kane found that it still functioned properly. However, the lens mount was bent and the camera had developed a severe case of back-focusing.

The Damage Waiver Bearly Covered This One [LensRentals]

Image credits: Photographs by Andrew Kane

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    ha! greats shots. Glad that lensrentals could get new equipment sent out to you with what sounds like little hassle

  • Frederico Malaca

    the bear is not a nikon fan

  • Pryere

    Pesky bears. 

  • ennuipoet

     Indeed, it is clear the bear is a Canon shooter.

  • Knur

    Bear, typical Canon fan.

  • Joey Duncan

    Seriously, the Nikon and Canon hate needs to stop I tell you! 

  • David

    Who’s the biggest lens-breaking badass:  bears or soccer rioters?  I say we put them both in a cage and find out!

  • Zak Henry

    Drag cars

  • Knur

     Angry Leica fan ? :)

  • Lhalstrom

    The photographer was negligent and owes the renter for replacing or repairing the equipment. There was no brush pile that kept him from climbing over it. This is a meadow with grass and a few trees have fallen across it, which can easily be walked over. This is Yellowstone, where lodegpole pine doesn’t grow very big. It would have taken a second to remove the camera from the tripod as well.

  • David

    That’s it, you’re going in the cage with the bear and the soccer guy.

  • Jackson Cheese

    This bears repeating.

  • ravan52

    my buddy’s mother go t paid $21508 the previous week. she is making money on the internet and bought a $386500 house. All she did was get fortunate and put into work the instructions explained on this web site===>> ⇛⇛⇛⇛►

  • Angus44

    Deploy pic-a-nic baskets, now!

  • Jamie Weir

    Nice, calm collective observations that are easy for one to make when a BEAR ISN’T COMING TOWARDS THEM.

  • 9inchnail

    I guess Yogi Bear doesn’t like paparazzi.

  • Patrick Ahles

    So he could not lift the tripod over the “brush pile”, but he did have time to set up the tripod fully erect so the bear could take a swing at it?

  • Steve Troletti

      This is why you need an assistant in the field! Someone dedicated to your photographic well-being :-)

  • nik

    Armchair experts are especially funny when it comes to situations involving charging bears

  • Knur

    Smash the picnic (camera) up! ;)

  • Paul Conrad

     Photo assistant = Bear Fodder.  LOL.

    Great Idea! I need and assistant for an Alaska shoot. Any volunteers? You’ll be carrying my camera gear & lunch.

  • Paul Conrad

     That’s not Yogi. It’s Boo-Boo’s angry Uncle.

  • Lhalstrom

    This bear is barely 2 years old if that. The viewfinder is probably 5 feet off the ground. Even the legs don’t look fully extended. The photographer has taken many bear pictures, as seen in his gallery. This is definitely one of the smallest . The worst thing to do is show you are afraid of the bear. Most people taking pictures of bears in Yellowstone would carry bear spray.  The photographer must not have felt threatened if he hung around to take more pictures of it. 

  • Patrick Ahles

    Oh come on. If I was running from a bear I would grab my gear, I would not be carrying it as if I intended to set it up for my next shot. Why are the legs still folded outward? Why is it standing up and not down on the ground? Where is the brush pile? I only see a trunk lying on the ground. Which is quite easy to step over. If these pictures are the evidence for what happened to his gear, it must be quite easy to fool LensRental…

  • Jared Monkman

    you face off a bear with a camera, and then tell us how many smart moves you make

  • Tom

     A 2 year old bear will kill you just the same as a full grown one will. Completely irrelevant. How many bears he’s photographed is also irrelevant. Do you honestly think that when dealing with a grizzly of any stage of maturity that you are ever “Safe?” Even men displaying no fear, carrying bear spray have been taken down by 2 year old grizzlies. That stomp could have been the photographers chest cavity caving in. Have you ever known someone who had to personally spray a grizzly? I have. The grizzly walked right through it. If there wasn’t a nearby truck my dad would probably have died 20 years earlier than he did. Finally, it’s also clear that the lens the photographer still had was sufficiently long to capture the event at a safe distance. It looks as if the images have been cropped as well, so the photographer was probably farther away than you conceptualize. When are people going to realize that a) contrary to popular belief, animal psychology isn’t cut and dry and there’s still a massive amount we don’t know, and b) grizzlies and, say, black bears have vastly different behaviors based on their respective psychologies. You’re far better off writing off your fear when encountering a black bear than you are with the alternative…

  • David

    Great idea; weigh yourself down unnecessarily while trying to flee a chasing bear.  I’d love to partner with you for a Yellowstone shoot.  If any bears decide to chase us, I’ll hightail it empty-handed while you’re grabbing the gear.  After all, I don’t need to outrun the bear – just you.

  • jm596978


  • Rajesh Ullas

    Hai anna kollam aroppichoo e… Pani.

  • Joe

    He photoshopped that bear in. He really just got drunk and fell over with the camera.

  • mp

    Grizzies are different than black bears… So not sure what I would do in this situation… Running is probably just an invitation to the bear to play with his/her food.

    What I did do up on Vancouver island when a mother and 3 cubs (black bears) came over to see who was under a dark cloth (4×5 view camera on a tripod) was not move and stay under the dark cloth with the camera and tripod between me and them. They literally sat on a stump and watched me for maybe 5 minutes. I could not reach the film holders (in a small ice chest) just 5 feet away. So I have no picture… but it did make the day exciting… I thought that moving or suddenly appearing from under the dark cloth or running for the car (maybe 50 feet away) would just get me hurt…. and she was 150 to 180 pounds….

  • Guest

    Apparently Polar bears prefer Nikon.

    www (dot) fotocommunity (dot) de/pc/pc/cat/10358/display/29147204

  • Chang

    Apparently Polar bears prefer Nikon.

    www (dot)fotocommunity (dot) de/pc/pc/cat/10358/display/29147204

    Different camera, different bear.