How Far Would You Go?

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I was researching freelance photography and came across an article about a young French photographer who was killed in Africa back in May. This young lady had just finished school and set out to document the conflict between Christian fighters and the Muslim rebellion. Her body was found in a car by peacekeepers. This was just one of many stories like this that I came across that made me ponder the question, “How Far Would You Go?”.

I admire the courage of any photographer that has the drive and passion to get the shot, especially those photographers that believe in the cause.  I do understand that the photographers to whom I am referring are paid professionals with the freelance photographers being paid on a picture by picture basis. Thus, this being your sole source of income can significantly add to your drive to get the shot and even more so for the freelancer. As an amateur I cannot truly relate to what these guys endure, but there are situations where amateurs take risks that can prove fatal. Below are links to such incidents. The titles speak for themselves.

2 Photographers Struck by Train

Amateur photographer fell to death from Mount Snowdon 

Body of student who died taking photos identified

This list goes on, but you get the picture (sorry for the pun). Below are pictures I have taken where the danger level was elevated a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing my situation with the professional photographers mentioned above. At least for the most part, I don’t have to worry about dodging bullets. These are just some illustrations on how far I am willing to go as an amateur.

 

Heights

Narrows of the Harpeth in Kingston Springs, Tennessee
Narrows of the Harpeth in Kingston Springs, Tennessee – My heart was pounding when I got to the top. I started sweating more that usual. I had to calm down before setting up my tripod.

 

Highway 96 looking Northwest as seen from the Natchez Trace Bridge in Franklin Tennessee
Highway 96 looking Northwest as seen from the Natchez Trace Bridge in Franklin Tennessee – I got increasingly nervous as I approached the middle. This bridge is a magnet for suicides. I got my frame and quickly got off the bridge.

 

Wild Animals

Bobcat at Williamsport Lakes in Maury County
Bobcat at Williamsport Lakes in Maury County – I ran across this big cat walking back to my truck. I interrupted its breakfast as it was about to pounce a rabbit.

 

Snake at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County, Tennessee
Snake at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County, Tennessee

 

Bad Weather

I stayed out almost a little too long as this thunderstorm approached.
I stayed out almost a little too long as this thunderstorm approached.

 

Snowy Day at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County, Tennessee - I had to be careful as there were some hazardous areas along the roadway.
Snowy Day at Montgomery Bell State Park in Dickson County, Tennessee – I had to be careful as there were some hazardous areas along the roadway.

 

Hiking Alone

Trail near Garrison Creek along the Natchez Trace Parkway
Trail near Garrison Creek along the Natchez Trace Parkway

On the surface, going hiking does not seem too dangerous. I guess it all depends on where you hike and how remote the location. You hear about people going missing all the time. My wife always tells me to let her know where I end up when I venture out so she knows where to send the recovery team to find my body, lol. I usually turn my phone GPS on to assist with this. One of my fears is that one day I am going to happen upon someone’s marijuana crop. That will probably not turn out too well, especially with a camera around my neck. This is about as risky as it gets for me. I don’t like heights, but will risk getting the shot if the danger level is reasonable. I love to hike, but have not ventured out too far from civilization. I stay away from heavily grown areas as I am not fond of snakes or anything that can eat me. I have not ran into a bear yet, but I have heard stories around my area. I do take photographs on or near railroad tracks and along roadways, but I am very cautious and never had any near misses. I would love to hear about your dangerous outings or near misses and just your general view on this topic.

 

 Keep Shooting and Keep Safe!

 

-Travis

 

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