It’s been a while…

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a blog piece.  A lot has happened this summer and fall.  Back in April I added a D5, and then a D500, to go along with my D810 cameras.  I made extended trips to Iceland, the Galapagos, Spitsbergen, Brazil, and southern Utah.  On the home front, at the beginning of summer we contracted a major house remodeling project which still isn’t quite finished.

And then there was the accident.  Several months ago, while driving home, I was slowing for a traffic light with three or four cars in front of me.  Just as I was almost stopped, the truck in back of me failed to brake and, while still going about 35mph, smashed into my vehicle.  This shoved me into the SUV directly in front of me.  My vehicle, a full-sized Chevy 4×4 pickup with a popup camper on the back, was totaled, smashed both front and rear.  The guy who hit me had been talking on his cell phone, totally distracted.  I’m all OK now, but it has been quite an experience, one which I definitely do not want to repeat.

UPDATE November 25:   I certainly appreciate all the comments and concerns.  Yes, I’ve totally recovered now, at least as good as I’m going to be at my age.  Plus I have a new truck and repaired camper.  So…if you see a white Chevy extended cab 4×4 pickup with a Four Wheel Camper popup in the back and a geezer at the wheel, stop and say “hello.” Again, my thanks to everyone.


  1. Earl Robicheaux November 12, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

    Hi John:

    Really sorry to hear about your accident and trust you are on the mend. Also hope you were/are able to replace your truck and camper without too much trouble. Looking forward to seeing you out again leading workshops.

    Best. Earl

  2. Kari Niemeläinen November 12, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

    Cell phones and driving dont mix. Same as looking out for interesting sights.
    Cars are replacable, humans are not.

  3. Dennis Kowalewski November 13, 2016 at 5:47 am #

    Hi, John,

    Sorry to hear about your accident and glad you are ok. I do hope the guy on the cell phone was ticketed and/or arrested. I too have almost been hit by people driving and talking on their cell phone and drifting out of their lane. Also, glad to hear you visited some many places over the summer. Am looking forward to see some of your new photos posted.

  4. Wayne Lea November 13, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    Glad you’re well and still out there photographing and inspiring. Would love for you to do again some of your one or two day seminars like you used to! I can’t afford the big trips. A Texas seminar would be great.

  5. al hart November 14, 2016 at 8:32 am #

    There’s no such thing as outdoor photography without John Shaw, so take every precaution to insulate yourself against the cell phone drivers.

    -al h

  6. Greg P. November 14, 2016 at 9:46 am #


    I am so sorry to learn that you got rear-ended. I know how you feel because I got rear-ended myself last month in October. You can be the most perfect driver, but you will still get into accidents, because of these other drivers that are doing everything except driving a car at the time of the accident.

    My accident is no where as bad as yours, as I only had to get the bumper assembly replaced, however even though it was the other person’s fault, and their insurance paid for it, it is still a maximum-sized hassle dealing with the insurance, and taking time off from work to get repair estimates and arranging for alternate transportation.

    And then there’s the toll on the body that these accidents take. Accidents let one know how fragile our bodies are…even though I was just slightly run into, my body is feeling that slight and sudden impact, but it got better after a week.

    I hope your back (or whatever body part is ailing) gets better soon and you are back into tip-top shape, and we see you soon with tripod and camera in hand out in the field enjoying the beauty of nature!

    Greg P.

  7. Jim Britt November 14, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    After admiring your work for many years, I have been looking forward to finally meeting and learning from you in Death Valley in January. Glad to hear you’re okay. So take care of yourself!

    Jim B

  8. Michael Parow November 15, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    Hello, John. Sorry for the accident, but glad you’re healing. I was curious to know what you think of the D500, or is that a subject for a future Blog Post? Thanks. –mike

  9. Domenico November 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    John, I’m really glad that the best Nature photographer in the world is now ok after that accident!!


  10. Bob Lueckel November 15, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    Welcome back, John. You’ve certainly been missed.

    Bob L.

  11. Patrick McMillan November 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    I’m glad the DA wasn’t going 45 MPH. I had begun to wonder if End of an Era had some hidden meaning. After 20+ years I still learn from you; I’m not ready for that era to end. Welcome back.

  12. Joe T November 17, 2016 at 6:32 am #

    John, Glad to hear you are okay now after the accident. I nearly got broadsided (or killed) when a driver ran a red light at an intersection while talking on her cell phone and going over 50 miles an hour. A moment of pause before entering the intersection saved me.

    I certainly miss your informative blog. Take care.

  13. Satish Menon November 18, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

    We’ve missed you. Welcome back!

  14. George Theodore November 19, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

    Wow – glad you’re OK. Got T-boned myself six years ago – not fun.

  15. Andrew McLachlan November 20, 2016 at 6:28 am #

    Glad you are OK…scary stuff for sure…can’t wait to see some new imagery from my favorite nature photographer!!!

  16. Duncan Speight November 22, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

    Glad you’ve recovered, and are back at it. Like Michael above, I would be interested in your thoughts on the D500 as replacement for my aging D300

  17. Juan Vindas Alfaro November 25, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    Wow, I knew something was wrong as it took you so long to write something here on your blog. I am a not a Nikon shooter but I really enjoy your style of photography and relaxed way of writting.
    I am very happy to read that you are doing fine and that you were not injured. Stay safe.