Recently I read a post by a well-known photographer who listed reasons why photography can be a risk. I agree on creative choices made, being vulnerable to criticism or some of the day-to-day course of actions, but he missed the real-life risks many photographers take while shooting in remote locations of animals that really can pose a threat. Many nature photographers take extreme risks with weather, location, or animals encountered. Maybe this was not his point, but I thought it worth a mention.
I don’t mean to belittle putting your work out there for accolade from camera club judges and instead getting biting criticism, but there really is no comparison to actual physical risk. Face a polar bear on the sea ice or lion on the savanna and then we are talking risk. No judge would intimidate me if I got those shots and lived to tell!
Now and again you do run across animals that pose a threat on occasion.
I was talking to a few professional photographers in Pennsylvania about this very subject recently.
In my home state, I have grown rather complacent when traipsing around the mountains and woodlands. I go about my business forgetting that where I grew up, there are actually creatures that can pose a threat.
Where I live now, these animals would be very rare. Eastern Rattlesnakes, Copperheads, and Water Moccasins are found in PA and I often forget that until I am in a place where they might be hiding. The panic hits me where the logs and rock outcroppings no longer perk my photographic interest.
In PA I have run across black bears on occasion, and once I startled a bear cub. Now that was very scary since I had no idea where mom was located.
Riding my horse in the woods one time, I came across a mountain lion in a tree, and had my horse not sensed it in time, I may have been a kitty snack.
Another time I came across a mountain lion that was apparently hit by a car just lying on the side of the road. I quickly left that scene since it may have only been stunned. That or a great trick to snag some dinner.
In PA I can’t tell you how many coyotes and skunks I encountered. Sure a skunk won’t eat you, but it sure can make life miserable for a while.
I guess if your specialty is macro photography, you don’t often think about bodily risk.
In WNY, we just don’t run across that kind of creature. In this post, I have mostly docile critters I ran across this past year.
While photographing eagles recently, I never thought it could be dangerous, but was told of one eagle that attacked several people, putting one photographer in the hospital.
That’s his finger the eagle is chewing on below! Just kidding.
Speaking of risk, I think physical risk should certainly be listed. Not just the fear of a frail wounded ego.
On GWGT – The Nikon D750 in Crop Mode.