OK... I've been around firearms my whole life. This could be in the middle of nowhere or the gun could have been aimed right at a firing range. I don't think the photographer would be stupid and not take safety into consideration. I don't see the need to bust his balls about safety on a cool image.
Of course I'm going to bust his balls. He put creativeness ahead of safety. Just because you're in the middle of nowhere doesn't mean there aren't objects that could cause a ricochet or other accident. If you truly have been around firearms for as long as you say, you should know that.
What I find ironic is you go off about safety and then add that you are going to TRY IT??! Help me out here... You say 1. I don't like the image 2. you were unsafe 3. I'M GOING TO TRY IT.
I left a key point out of my initial post. I would back-lit the subject while he's shooting properly (read: eyes down range). That's what I meant, but didn't convey that in my post. I stand by my decision to call this shot unsafe and there is nothing you, or anyone else, can say to change that.