Dangers From Being A Photog?

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  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,509Moderator
    I did say a minimum of .308W - heck, if I was going to die anyway, I'd take my chances with a 30-30! I do subscribe to Robert Ruark's motto of 'use enough gun' normally.
    Always learning.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,444Member
    Yes, anything gun is better than no gun and the .308 is a great all around cartridge. Unfortunately, too many of the Brits have no gun because the government thinks they are keeping you safe that way. An old book I read titled Indian Hunts is a collection of Indian hunting stories. One is about an Indian woman who in an emergency killed a Grizzly bear with a 22 rifle she was carrying to dispatch small animals caught in her trap line. She shot it through the eyeball and the bullet entered the brain where it disoriented the bear trying to attack her. Calm lady and great shot to get that bullet into the eye of a bear standing up growling at her. With a .308, if possible, my first choice for a shot would be to try to go through the mouth into the brain stem if the animal was standing up with its mouth open and hope the bullet was tough enough to bust through the bone at the base of the skull. If the Grizzly was running at me like the one that attacked me I would be lucky to get a bullet anywhere in the front of the body and it just may glance off hard bone if it hits near the side. But I surely would shoot with anything I had!
  • Dredden85Dredden85 Posts: 365Member
    Note to self:
    1. Don't go hiking in bear country and encroach bear with Nikon.
    2. Carry enough gun!
    3. Carry more gun if someone else finds that #2 was not enough.
    :D
    D7000, 18-200VRII | 50 1.8G | SB-900
  • Dredden85Dredden85 Posts: 365Member
    @Gitzo- I agree: I will look at them in National Geographic!
    D7000, 18-200VRII | 50 1.8G | SB-900
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    When in areas where the potential for a Grizzly attack is a distinct possibility, the guide needs to be a crack shot with a 458 Winchester Magnum.....show stopper....

    I try not to go to those places...LOL
    Msmoto, mod
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    Try .505 Gibbs.

    The biggest danger for me is buying more gear that I don't actually need...
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • blackfoxblackfox Posts: 48Member
    unfortunately in the u.k we don't have big guns like that available to the general public ,but then we don't have free roaming bears either,my biggest danger is being in a crowded nature reserve and the high blood pressure wee-wee tablets kicking in about a mile or more from the nearest toilets LOL
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    More serious...last night I was at an apartment fire...which pulls out all the stops for the fire department. About 15-20 active units. And, I was able to get behind the lines. I arrived after the fire was under control, but, even then, in an emergency setting the importance of absolute awareness of all the active processes occurring, live hoses, moving units, personnel, is critical. One can be seriously injured if not fully aware of surroundings.
    Msmoto, mod
  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    edited April 2013
    best i can do is ....

    went to someones house to take a pic for an interview. while shooting, I didnt look before i took a step backwards, and stepped on her phone :D

    so watch where you walk!!

    i guess that applies to everything though, not just photo'ing
    Post edited by mikep on
  • GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
    All of which is part of the reason why I never go hiking alone ( or even with some one ) in grizzly bear territory !

    I think about the only way a person would have a half way decent chance of surviving where there are bears around, is to have at least 4 or 5 very well trained dogs with you, plus some very serious "fire power"; not only are bears extremely big and powerful, their senses of hearing and smell are both going to give them about a 10 to 1 advantage over a human; and one dog has no chance against a bear; when a bear see's that he's up against a large group of dogs, he's much less inclined to initiate an attack; also, having dogs with you will make it much less likely to get surprised by a bear. My very BEST "plan" for not getting killed by a grizzly bear is........ to avoid going anyplace within about 500 miles of where grizzly bears are known to live. ( which is also how I avoid being attacked by a shark; I haven't seen a shark yet that could come up on a beach! )

    Donald, I think you and I were both just plain, old "lucky" , in our confrontations with bears; at the end of the day, the thing that gets so many people killed by bears, is their own ignorance; just like the young man Donald was talking about; how many people have I heard who are going to go out in the "wild" to "seek solitude"
    They have absolutely no idea what they are up against; yet they go anyway; to me, that is sheer ignorance.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,444Member
    edited April 2013
    Some environmentalists think of Mother Nature as good, kind and pure. Well, nature is far from benign. Some aspects of nature can kill you real fast and others real slow! But death is a real risk when in the wilderness.

    Another example from my experience: More than 30 years ago I was alone in Seattle for a few days and wanted to take some photos of Mount Rainier with my Nikkormat Ftn and Kodachrome 25 so I rented a car, drove down to Rainier National Park, stayed at the Paradise Inn above tree line for two nights, rented a backpack and crampons and ice ax from a hiking shop there and proceeded all alone to climb a mountain to the south of Rainier so I could get nice photos of Rainier from above tree line. It was very nice to spend a day all alone on that mountain with the sun shining. It seemed very pleasant and benign. There was still a lot of snow on the mountain and I had to cross a very steep snowfield which was so steep that when standing upright my hands touched the ground at shoulder height. I proceeded across kicking footholds in the snow step by step but there wasn't anything but snow for my hands to hold on to. Three times my fool hold collapsed under my weight and I fell off that mountain sliding in the snow avoiding trees as I dug my ice ax into the snow to stop the fall. Finally, I got across to the other side where the snow was less steep. Looking back I think what I had crossed was an avalanche chute because there were far fewer trees on that part of the slope. But I was lucky, didn't start an avalanche, probably because it was too late in the spring and the snow was hard, not powdery. Then I saw the tracks in the snow of a large cat which I thought might be a mountain lion so I proceeded to follow them up and up the mountain (the direction I was going anyway) until they entered a small bushy area standing all alone in the snow. I was now above tree line. From where I was standing I couldn't see tracks coming out of the bushes so I thought the cat may still be there and I would get a chance to see one in the wild which few people ever do. I threw a few stones and snowballs into the bushes but nothing moved so I entered them for a look see. No mountain lion was there. I found tracks coming out behind the bushes on the other side and going over to the other side of the mountain. I elected not to follow them any more but to walk the huge snow drift on the ridgeline following it up the mountain. It curved in a large arch. When I had walked on that snow ridgeline for about 200 yards I looked back and saw my tracks were on the top of a huge snow cornice. A cornice is made when snow drifts to make a lip, sort of like a breaking wave frozen. I could see my footprints. I could see the snow was about 4 feet thick where I had been walking and I could see there was about 2,000 of air directly below the cornice on which I had been walking! For over 100 yards I had been walking on four feet of hard snow with nothing but about 2 thousand feet of air beneith the snow. Needless to say I moved off the cornice and proceeded to the top about 10 feet to the left of where I had been walking because there was earth under the snow there! When I got to the top I took my photos of Mt Rainier to the North. I removed my crampons and proceeded to ski down the steep slope using my ice ax to slow me down so I could stay upright. It was a tight balance having to swat and dig that ice ax into the hard crusted snow to keep a reasonable speed downhill and so I could have some directional ability to swerve around trees to avoid crashing into them. It was a great day, full of wonderful memories, and very pleasant. But far from benign. My life could have ended three times. I could have smashed my head into a tree falling down the avalanche chute, a mountain lion could have leaped out of the bushes at me, or the snow cornice I was walking on could have collapsed. Yet, none did occur that day.

    If you ever go to Mt. Rainier I would recommend this hike for great photos of Rainier. Rainier is 14,410 feet high. You go there to see it but then realize you cannot get good photos of it from being on the mountain yourself. The mountain I climbed to the south is Pinnacle Peak. It is 6,560 feet tall and when you get above tree line you have nice views of Rainier just across the valley to the North. Reflection Lake lies in the valley between Pinnacle Peak and Mt Raineir. But you will get better reflections of Rainier from down near the lake than from up on top of Pinnacle Peak. The sun will be to the south (behind you) and west (your left) because you will probably not get to the top until sometime in the afternoon. I highly recommend the climb. Just start early, allow a full day and be more cautious than I was. Perhaps others on NR have climbed Pinnacle Peak?

    You can view Pinnacle Peak on Google Earth.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,317Member
    Y'know Don; I think somebody upstairs really likes you. :)
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,444Member
    edited April 2013
    Or once did! I won't be trying those things again; although I am not afraid of dying.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • GitzoGitzo Posts: 174Member
    edited April 2013
    Donald........you forgot to tell us.....how did the pictures of Mt. Rainier turn out ? Were they good enough to risk losing your life for ?
    Post edited by Gitzo on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,444Member
    edited April 2013
    The photos were great but not worth the risk I took to get them; none are. I only mentioned my experience with the bear and the mountain because someone started this thread and it brought back those memories from 30 years ago. I didn't know I was going to be taking any serious risk when I started up that mountain but I did realize climbing a snow covered mountain all alone in early spring is not risk free. You can get nice reflections of Mt. Rainier in the lake right off the road and some decent shots from half way up Pinnacle Peak when you can find an open area in the forest. I don't see that day as taking risk for a photo. I would never do that. The photos were not important. I remember I just thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the way up and down the mountain except for the few moments of fear when I had to get myself stopped with my ice ax and avoid trees while falling down the avalanche chute, a bit of anxiety when I threw rocks into the bushes and didn't know what may come out and the few moments of sheer terror when I realized I had been walking on a snow cornice for about 100 yards. Looking back at my tracks on that cornice really put a lump in my throat! If you look up the south slope of Pinnacle Peak on Google Earth you will know what I mean. But the rest of the day was just great! It would make a great day climb even without a camera. But istsure must be safer to do in late fall after the snow has melted. I don't know if all the snow fully melts on the north slope of Pinnacle Peak but surely almost all must melt and provide a much safer journey up and back down.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Nothing life or death like Donald, but covering protests with a 20mm pancake lens meant getting close & personal with the riot police:


    G20 Protests, Toronto -- Panasonic GF1

    If you listen closely you can hear me getting whacked by a police baton :D

    Still that's less scary than the first time I visited Tiananmen square (some years after the massacre) -- when the Chinese military decided to clear the area during a security sweep. Lots of pushing, shoving & broken camera gear. (I managed to get away with just a smashed UV filter).

    In the picture below, everyone's casually avoiding tear-gas at another riot last year, in Santiago de Chile:

    image
    Santiago, Chile -- Canon S95

    The only "danger" was that I forgot my passport at the hotel. Had I got detained with the rioters, it would've been an unpleasant experience while the authorities sort things out.

    But the most actual danger I've been was actually taking this picture of the Aurora Borealis:

    image
    Bowl of Fire -- Nikon D200

    This was taken near Yellowknife, NWT (just 250mi from the Arctic Circle). I had driven an SUV onto the frozen Great Slave Lake in the middle of the night. Miles from the shore, well into the lake, there was hardly any light. As I walked in the dark on the frozen lake (carrying my camera and a tripod), I slipped and banged my head on the ice.

    What a stupid thing to do! Had I been incapacitated, no one would've found me (or even looked for me) for days.

    Last year I would have gladly volunteered to cover Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. Now, I'm not so sure... I have a lil' baby niece I love to hang out with. :)
  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    edited April 2013
    "I had driven an SUV onto the frozen Great Slave Lake"

    haha ..... rather you than me

    its a great picture though, i hope i can see it and get some one day soon

    ** edit ** they actually have ice roads on lakes ?! i didnt know that
    Post edited by mikep on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Yeah that far north it gets so cold during the winter that the lakes get frozen solid -- enough to support fully loaded 40-ton 18-wheelers. The ice roads around Yellowknife was featured in the 1st season of the reality TV show "Ice Road Truckers" (History Channel).

    Falling through is not the usual danger. It's the bitter cold (-40 deg.F/C), fierce winds, the rough slippery terrain and the sheer remoteness. In the middle of the night, taking long exposure shots, the camera's battery also drains very fast.
  • PeterPhamWesleyPeterPhamWesley Posts: 19Member
    Hi everyone.

    Donaldejose, Please don't take this the wrong way or anything, but walking within 40 yards of a grizzly bear - and then slowly walking even closer sounds truly dangerous. I'm glad you are ok, but there was one year when I went to Yellowstone NP and several people were killed in one week from grizzly bear attack just outside of a place called Cooke City (1 mile outside YNP). Whenever you read the papers the rangers give you as you enter YNP, there is always a minimal distance of at least 100 yards for animals such as bears or wolves or lions.

    If I may ask, did you have any bear spray with you when that incident you describe happen?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,444Member
    edited April 2013
    Yes, I was young and foolish at the time. I had no bear spray. In fact, this occurred 30 years ago before you could even buy bear pepper spray. At that time the Craighead brothers were tagging grizzly bears in Yellowstone and they would jump into their vehicle to get aways from an attack. That was the only defense you had since the park did not allow you to carry a gun.

    Another quick story. About a three weeks after the incident on the Chilkoot Trail I was camping at Wonder Lake in Mt. McKinley National Park (it is the end of the road and there are great views of McKinley from there). Another person also camping there came up the trail leading from the river where there were a lot of bushes and blueberry plants. The land was tundra, no trees to climb (there are some trees at lower altitude as you enter the park but none at the higher altitude of Wonder Lake, just 6 to 8 foot bushes). He said there was a grizzly eating blueberries down that trail by the river and I should go down to get some pictures. I had not yet seen a grizzly in the park and wanted a picture but I was not going to go down into the bushes looking for one after my last incident! I didn't go. Didn't get any photos of that bear. On the bus ride back from Wonder Lake campground I saw a number of grizzlies and did get some shots of them from the bus. Live and learn; but your are correct most people don't live so they cannot learn from the experience that killed them. A black bear is more like a dog in that they bite and leave but usually don't kill. A grizzly has a different attitude. They are far more powerful and have huge claws. They tend to kill and sometimes eat you.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • PeterPhamWesleyPeterPhamWesley Posts: 19Member
    edited April 2013
    Speaking of grizzly bears, yesterday I just managed to get some really nice shots from a reasonable range.

    Only problem was the bear was super skinny so it looks a little bit strange ;-)
    Post edited by PeterPhamWesley on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    edited April 2013
    This weekend...photographer on the outside of a corner of a one mile speedway... with cars headed directly toward the camera at 160-180 mph. The fence opening appeared to be about a foot high by a foot wide....Big enough for a wheel easily at those speeds...

    Oh, photo of D300s user on D400 thread...
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,509Moderator
    We probably all saw the image of Alan McNish having his big accident at the LeMans 24hr in 2011? His car seemed to hover in the air above a photog while it shattered then fell mercifully just missing everybody (very) near to the accident. Incredible.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Yes, in motorsports there are several areas which credentialed photogs can access......but have very high risk. I think the issue today is the extremely high speeds even into slow corners, and in the event of mechanical failure the vehicle can be moving well over 100 mph into a gravel trap or surface area not sufficient to slow the vehicle as in the McNish event above. Most of us who are not actively in the press corps cannot access these areas and are in fact safer in capturing images.
    Msmoto, mod
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