Dangers From Being A Photog?

blandbland Posts: 812Member
edited January 2013 in Fun & Weird

Obviously, none of them photogs ever played golf. lol My guess the photog who got whacked at the end will never shoot from the pit again. lol

What dangers have you had from taking pictures?

A lot of the racing I shoot gets dangerous at times but the biggest constant dangers I have had are from the drunk fans and etc. The one scariest situation was two gang members coming after me while shooting in the inner city. Once I got to my truck they still came after me with their car but I was able to get away from them once I turned off on an expressway. That's the last time I'll ever shoot in the inner city in that type of situation.
Post edited by bland on


  • YetibuddhaYetibuddha Posts: 388Member
    Simply put, stumbling and falling. Once, I fell in the snow off trail (while cross country skiing) as I took a photo. Deep soft snow, could simply not get up by myself. After about half an hour, a skier came along and helped me out. Felt stupid about it. Now I can appreciate how easy it is to get in trouble in a simple situation. By the way, the photo wasn't very good.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,494Member
    For me, potentially dangerous situations include climbing over rough terrain to reach a good spot for a shot, or being out alone in the woods, where bears are present.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • friedmudfriedmud Posts: 14Member
    Besides being out in the wilderness alone (except for the bears!)... the most danger I've felt was near the water in Seattle.

    I was photographing the sunset on the downtown buildings and there were quite a few homeless around. I had my camera on my tripod when two of them came up to me. One was trying to distract me by telling me to look at various things while the other was standing behind me. My wife was also standing a few feet away, so I mostly ignored the guys, kept my hands on my gear and got the shot. I then moved over by my wife while I put my. Tripod away and then walked away. I was breathing pretty hard by the time we moved on....

    BTW, the shot is just ok. I was trying to frame the moon in the shot, but ended up getting a little too much foreground distraction in the frame. You can see it (along with a few shots of my wife in the dying light that are better shots) here:


    Man those photos are old... I would shoot them quite a bit differently these days :-). Oh well... Live and learn!
  • MentatmarkMentatmark Posts: 1Member
    Dangers I have seen have been from arrest while shooting direct action protests with subsequent arrests of thee people I was with at these protests and violence from counter protesters.


    The coal miners in West Virginia take that seriously, and the police have been the enforcers of Big Coal from the beginning.

  • SteelySteely Posts: 1Member
    I was shooting a promo on top of a multi-story car park a few years ago. I took a step back and managed to fall of the edge of a ramp. Only a one story drop, but it hurt! Fortunately, my camera fared better than me!
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    This is sort of a renewal of an old thread on the old forum. But, very important.

    The video was a no brainer..I was waiting and think the special effects of the shattered front element or filter was very nice. These folks all fall into the TDTCIOOTR category....too dumb to come in out of the rain.....
    I suspect the most dangerous physically was about 40+ years ago we wanted a shot from a building top. So, as I leaned out over the edge of a building about seven stories up to shoot down toward the building, I was being held by the waist of my blue jeans, and someone holding my legs down. Shot this with both Nikon and Hasselblad held at arms length as I usually did in unusual venues.

    I am afraid of heights...yet, with a camera in hand, this seems to almost fully disappear. Without the camera, I had trouble getting close to the edge of the building.

    Interesting how now I wold do this with a monopod, but I did not even have one... maybe they were not invented yet... LOL
    I also shot in an oven to set the dye in Ban-Lon shirt fabric for REX Knitting in the 1960's. I think the air in the oven was about 140°F, the walls , floor are above 160°F. Camera on tripod, but if I slipped and fell...not good.

    Oh, in searching a location for a shot for a feed company we were in the boot-leg liquor area of North Carolina...on back mountain roads.....looking for an old house. Darn funny who a rifle shot overhead gets one's attention. I know some of you know exactly what I mean. One tends to go back the way one came from when shot at.
    Msmoto, mod
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    Simply put backing into stuff and being uneducated. Out on the field I have learned to always keep what is behind of me clear or at least be aware of it... While I an not the most uneducated I have heard stories of photogs getting hit by trains or burned just because they didnt know what they were dealing with...
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    I was shooting a promo on top of a multi-story car park a few years ago. I took a step back and managed to fall of the edge of a ramp. Only a one story drop, but it hurt! Fortunately, my camera fared better than me!
    Zoom lenses can save lives !! zoom with your lens not with your feet !

    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited January 2013
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    If you have a wife it may become you had a wife....

  • GhostRider117GhostRider117 Posts: 29Member
    I found that my bank account was at risk of severe weight loss.
  • mirtosmirtos Posts: 16Member
    Not a single person mentioned angry bride? :)
  • GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
    Why do I always find threads 3 months after everyone else has posted on them ? Lest there be yet another "late" looker.........about the biggest "thrill" I've ever had while trying to take pictures.........about 50 years ago, my first wife and I were in the Smokey Mountains, in Tennessee; we saw a bunch of people at a picnic area trying to take pictures of a couple of black bears; I think there were maybe 3 or 4 bears, and they were all busy raiding some trash cans; most of the black bears you see in the Smokies are fairly small, but this group had a very big male bear; again, the bears in the Smokies are quite used to people, and usually they don't bother people; this big male bear must have been seeing tourists for the first time; all the people trying to take his picture were maybe 20 feet away from him; I had some dinky little film camera, which probably would have made a big bear 20 ft away look like a little bear, so I'm going to get 10 feet away; I did manage to get quite close, then just as I'm about to snap the picture, the bear suddenly "lunged" right at me; even though I was concentrating on getting the picture, I was also thinking about, "what if" the bear starts after me.......which is exactly what happened! So I made a very hasty retreat.

    First of all, black bears can run as fast as a race horse, for a short distance; a person has no possibility of "out running" a bear; and don't even think about climbing a tree ! The things can climb trees almost as good as squirrels can; The only thing that saved my "day" was, the bear stopped when he saw I was in "retreat"; two or three weeks later when I had the film developed, much to my surprise, just as I started to run, I had snapped the shutter first ! I was completely unaware of the camera when I realized the bear was coming after me; Even though the picture was quite "blurry", you could clearly see that the bear was within just a few feet of me when he stopped. My very best advice about "bear photography"......look at in in National Geographic ! DO NOT get close to bears; any kind of bears; they are incredibly quick, they're completely unpredictable, and 95% of the time, their only thought is to tear you to pieces, which they can do in a second. If you're going down the road in a car and you see a bear, DO NOT stop.....speed up ! get a mile between you and that bear.
  • crizmancrizman Posts: 27Member
    Approx 20 yrs ago, I was up in Maine taking shots on a cliff wall(called the precepice-spelling??) The ledge was 18-24" wide. I dropped my Nikon polarizer & bent down & caught it mid air & immediately stood back up and pinned myself to the cliff wall. My wife (girlfriend at the time) witnessed this asking "What were you thinking?" I replied I was'nt thinking, I just did'nt want to lose my filter! It was only a 100-200 foot drop or so. Now I know-let the filter go! Nowdays the danger aspect is a bad back from carrying a heavy camera bag!
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,742Member
    The most dangerous situation I encountered while photographing was being attacked by a grizzly bear while backpacking over the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska. I realised they move so fast a person could not run fast enough to get away or climb a tree fast enough and there is no car to jump into for protection. When you see them walking around you just don't realize how fast they can move when they attack. By the time I had taken just two steps back the bear had covered half the distance between us. There was no escape.
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    Well those polarizers are expensive lol
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Don't leave it there Donald - are you writing from beyond the grave?
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,742Member
    I am lucky to still be here. I was slowly walking up on a grizzly bear with a Nikkormat Ftn and a mild telephoto lens (don't remember exactly, maybe a 70-210 zoom?) trying to get a decent photo of him (or her) eating berries in a forest. He (or she) saw me and stood up to look at me then got down and proceeded to eat more berries. After the bear seemed calm and ignored me for a while I took one or two steps forward until he (or she) looked at me again. Then I stopped and waited until the bear ignored me for a while. Then I took another slow step or two forward until the bear looked at me again. I repeated this process many times as I have done with deer and many wild animals (but not grizzly bears). Wild animals have a comfort distance. When you reach it they move away from you to increase that comfort distance. Different species and different individuals require different distances to feel you are not a threat to them. Well, I found out grizzly bears are not quite like deer. Prey species always (or almost always) flee. The grizzly bear is not a prey species so it doesn't have the instinct to always flee. Rather, it tends to attack when the comfort distance is exceeded. All of a sudden it ran right towards me with no warning. I had expected some indication or display telling me to keep my distance but instead of standing up to look at me and making any noise it just attacked. It is like they have a hair trigger and you cannot really predict by their behavior when that hair trigger will go off.

    Years later I was with a ranger in Yellowstone National Park. We had just captured a grizzly bear during the night time and he was in a large trap (big metal cage thing on wheels with a door of bars that slams such when the bear touches the food at the other end). The grizzly bear was sitting at one end of the cage and started moving his head side to side. The ranger said "here is comes" and BANG that bear smashed his (or her) head hard against the door of that trap as he lunged for us. It happened so fast you could hardly see it. The ranger and I stood still but a person standing beside me leaped backwards about three feet when the bear lunged even though they knew it couldn't get through the metal bars. The ranger saw that head weaving and knew it was a sign of a pending attack. I thought the animal just looked drunk or disorientated. The Alaska grizzly didn't wave it's head back and forth before it attacked so I wouldn't rely upon head weaving as a sign preceding an attack. The animals are unpredictable. Just stay away from them. Maybe a 400mm or 600mm is a minimum lens for photographing wild grizzly bears?
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    "All of a sudden it ran right towards me with no warning. I had expected some indication or display telling me to keep my distance but instead of standing up to look at me and making any noise it just attacked."

    So how come your name isn't donaldjose (deceased)? They normally totally shred people!
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,742Member
    Reasonable question. They don't always shred people (I personally have met two survivors of serious grizzly bear maulings) although you are correct that their power is overwhelming and you have no chance to fight them off. About five years after my own experience I found myself defending the National Park Service in lawsuits filed by people (or their heirs) who had been attacked or killed by grizzly bears so I learned a lot about bear attacks. Sometimes they kill you, sometimes they eat you, and sometimes they just chew and claw you for a while and then leave if you can force yourself to remain quiet and not make a sound. One guy I know kept moaning and every time he did the beat came back to bite him some more. Finally, he was able to keep quiet (must be hard, I admit) and the bear left so other people could come to his aid.

    In my case I was two days into a backpacking trip up the Chilkoot Trail and about 50 yards from an adolescent grizzly bear weighing, I would estimate, 300 or 400 pounds. I had narrowed that gap between us to about 40 yards when it attacked me. In the time it took for me to take two steps back the bear had covered 20 yards running full speed right at me. I was astonished at its speed and realized there was no escape. And then it climbed a tree halfway between where I was standing and were it was when it started the attack! This particular animal must have had conflicting instincts. Young bears are taught by their mothers to climb trees to get away from danger while the mother goes to attack that danger. As a bear gets older its instincts change from climbing to attacking. My particular bear looked like an adult but must have been an older adolescent who still had a bit of that tree climbing instinct left. It attacked and then instinct changed and it climbed. It was up about 20 feet in a tree watching me as I slowly backed away from the attack area. There was no mother bear around and cubs stay with their mothers for at least two or three years so my bear must have been 3 or 4 years old. Eventually, the bear came down from the tree but stayed in the area while I nervously slept in a tent all night long. It could have killed me anytime it wanted to do so and even if it just chewed me up a bit and left I would have died before I could walk for two days to get back to civilization for any help. That is the last time I tried to slowly walk up on a grizzly bear to get better photos of it.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Well, that gets my vote for the 'Dangers From Being A Photog' award for luckiest person still taking pics!
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,742Member
    edited March 2013
    One case I worked on 30 years ago involved a young man who took his Bible and backpacked into a remote area of Glacier National Park for a week's solitude with God and nature. When he didn't return in a week the Rangers hiked in to check on him. He had been attacked by a Grizzly Bear and mostly eaten. They only found enough of him left to fill part of one grocery bag which they brought back to send to his relatives along with his bloody Bible. He had a film camera and when the film was developed there were some photos of a Grizzly Bear. That could have been me.

    Grizzly Bears are difficult animals to manage. Either you kill them all off or you are going to have to accept that they will kill a person every few years. The National Park Service debated the issue and felt they should let the bears live and people will have to take a risk when they hike in bear country.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    I would try not to have anything less than .308 Winchester on my back.
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,742Member
    edited March 2013
    I have a number of .308 Winchester rifles. I fear they will only make an enraged adult Grizzly mad and he will still kill you before he dies days later. People I have known who have killed Grizzly Bears charging at them say you will need a .338 Winchester Magnum to stop them or, better yet, a .375 Holland and Holland (the minimum for dangerous game in many African countries). One guy I know put three shots from a .338 Weatherby Magnum into a Grizzly in Alaska before it fell dead only a few feet in front of him. That bear was determined to kill him before it died!
    Post edited by donaldejose on
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