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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 28 Aug 2012 (Tuesday) 13:14
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Do you consider risk and safety issues before you start shooting?

 
Luckless
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Aug 28, 2012 13:14 |  #1

Topic has been somewhat inspired by the recent tragic death during a trash the dress shoot in Quebec that has been in the news, and the bear mauling a few days ago, but also a few other comments I have seen around the forums in the last few weeks.

Do you consider risks and safety issues as a photographer? Have you tried to prepare yourself to deal with unexpected safety issues and problems that may arise during your work/hobby?

Have you taken first aid training, and/or ensure you have an emergency kit at hand?

How careful are you with things like considering the placement of your flashes and the risks of fire? Does such a thing ever cross your mind?


Things like the popular flour shots carry a risk that a lot of people don't seem to let cross their mind: Loose ground flour is combustible. In a confined space it can even be considered explosive with the right air mixture and ignition source. (I have actually blown open heavy steel doors using flour and an air compressor. Long story, but we were being mostly safe about it and pretended we knew what we were doing.)

Then there are also issues like simply not paying attention to your position in the desire to get the perfect photo. I watched someone down town a few days ago trying to frame a photo of the confederation centre of the arts in Charlottetown back themselves, step by step, right into traffic. I've seen other people nearly walk off cliffs with their eye glued into their viewfinder.

So, what safety issues do you try to think of when shooting, and what kind of issues have you encountered so far?


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LV ­ Moose
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Aug 28, 2012 13:20 |  #2

Luckless wrote in post #14918098 (external link)
... what kind of issues have you encountered so far?

Lost track of a scorpion when I was shooting his buddy, up close and personal with a macro lens. Had a black widow suddenly disappear from my viefinder when I was inches away, at night. That'll freak you out a little.

Does that count?:lol:


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FlyingPhotog
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Aug 28, 2012 13:26 |  #3

I'm hanging out of the back of an airplane with another airplane in close formation.
What could possibly go wrong? ;)

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DC ­ Fan
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Aug 28, 2012 13:41 as a reply to  @ FlyingPhotog's post |  #4

When you develop a habit of photographing moving subjects, first you look for a good angle, then you look for a location where you won't be hit.

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Sometimes the safety decisions have been made for you, but experience, distance and caution are your friends.



  
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Todd ­ Lambert
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Aug 28, 2012 13:46 |  #5

In my case, I am often finding and exploring places at night, for the first time. The best you can hope for is that you don't go through a floor, have something heavy come down on top of you, or worry about stray animals, snakes, and of course irate homeless people.

All of those things, I prepare for, the best that I can, but there's often not much you can do except thing about things and hope for the best.

Where I can make preparations, I do of course, but a lot of it flying by the seat of your pants (sorry, not to be confused with Jay!)




  
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ejenner
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Aug 28, 2012 16:16 |  #6

LV Moose wrote in post #14918120 (external link)
Lost track of a scorpion when I was shooting his buddy, up close and personal with a macro lens. Had a black widow suddenly disappear from my viefinder when I was inches away, at night. That'll freak you out a little.

Does that count?:lol:

LOL, yea, that counts. I just got a macro, but I'm pretty sure i wouldn't get that close to either of those (probably just as much to do with ignorance than anything though, I'll admit).

When I'm out at dusk or dawn I do try to keep an eye out for wildlife. It's always good to check the scene behind you anyway. I also make a habit of never moving while looking through the viewfinder. That's just a recipe for dropping expensive gear.

But I do go out, at night (pre-dawn), but myself, in the mountains. There are definitely risks, but I like to think they are at least calculated and that I am aware of them. I wouldn't suddenly try to photograph a cycle race up close because it's not something I am intimately familiar with.


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joshhuntnm
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Aug 28, 2012 21:15 |  #7

I don't but I should. I nearly fell off a 15 ft porch one time. My son took a pretty bad fall, ruined a camera and glass. Good reminder to be careful.


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Rayman7
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Aug 28, 2012 21:23 |  #8

I work in heavy industry so taking time to spot risks before doing anything is like second nature to me... although with photography its more about what can damage my equipment rather than personal safety!

The articles you mentioned are absolutely tragic, chances are minimal thought was given to safety or what could go wrong.




  
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Laramie
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Aug 28, 2012 23:32 |  #9

It ain't fun if there's NO risk ;)


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WilliamC
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Aug 29, 2012 02:14 |  #10

I regularly apply an age-old methodology that the highly lucrative risk & safety industry don't seem to be aware of these days. It's called "Common Sense".


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Miki ­ G
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Aug 29, 2012 02:41 |  #11

Over the past few years a number of people have been drowned by being hit by freak waves and being swept out to sea whilst standing on rocks, piers & even promenades.
You cannot always prepare for hidden risks, but you should always prepare for the likely ones that you will face.
Common sense is the best thing to bring with you.




  
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KhanhD
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Aug 29, 2012 05:53 |  #12

I shoot Motorsports and the #1 rule is to never turn your back on a fast moving vehicle


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Hippari
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Aug 29, 2012 07:26 |  #13

Shot amateur drifting a few months ago with my 50mm. No safety barriers, just orange cones separating me and 16 year olds barely in control of their cars. After a couple spin outs and understeers I decided I needed a telephoto in my life. lol

That news about the bear mauling just scares the crap out of me. When I read the word "food cache" in that article I thought if I were to ever be interested in doing nature photography I should pack a .45 in the kit. :p


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Aug 29, 2012 07:28 as a reply to  @ KhanhD's post |  #14

There is always the classic case of the photographer who keeps the viewfinder to his eye while zooming with his feet, then steps off the end of a dock, or worse, walks off a cliff. There have been many photographers injured in this manner.

Hippari wrote in post #14921168 (external link)
Shot amateur drifting a few months ago with my 50mm. No safety barriers, just orange cones separating me and 16 year olds barely in control of their cars. After a couple spin outs and understeers I decided I needed a telephoto in my life. lol

That news about the bear mauling just scares the crap out of me. When I read the word "food cache" in that article I thought if I were to ever be interested in doing nature photography I should pack a .45 in the kit. :p

The best weapon for bear country if you must carry a gun is a .44 magnum. Risk takers actully hunt grizzly with .44's. It still isn't a failsafe though, as you have to keep a cool enough head to make the first shot count, since if you miss with the first, you probably wont get another, and even if you do it probably won't hit the bear.


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pssc
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Aug 29, 2012 15:21 as a reply to  @ Preeb's post |  #15

I always try to consider safety and as has been mentioned, common sense goes a long way. Other hobbies are hunting,( 35 years worth) including dangerous game, 4-wheeling and exploring as well as guns. I always have emergency supplies in my rig, which includes first-aid kits, survival gear, retrieval gear and comm's. When I am in Africa, I have Mars and or med jet. I have backpacks that are set up with appropriate gear incase I have to leave my rig. Of course, I always have firearms and flashlights.

Safety issues include checking your footing and that of your tripod. Not being attached to your gear once it is set on the tripod. Having flashlights to check the area for snakes etc and to safely negotiate trails at night. Being prepared to defend yourself from 2 and 4 legged critters with protection of your choice and be qualified to use this protection. In other words to be proficient with your choice of protection. When I shoot the ocean or surfing, check for swells and or wave issues and don't turn your back.

The only close calls I have had were with a skunk- set up next to a marsh at night and had my gear set up on my tripod. I stand very still, due to hunting so long, noticed some movement to my left and turned and lit it up. He turned and up went the tail as I turned tail and ran leaving the camera to fend for itself. The other involved a rhino in Zimbabwe. I hopped off the cruiser to take a picture of a bird and walked about 40 yards. I left my rifle in the cruiser and my partner had gone in a different direction. Not more than 30 yards to my right, a rhino came walking out of the bush trailed by a calf. All ended well, but it was touch and go for a bit.

Cheers, Steve


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Do you consider risk and safety issues before you start shooting?
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