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What's the most dangerous and unusual place you have ever photographed?

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Receptionist: How can I help you?
Jorgen: Is there an ATM nearby?
Receptionist: Yes, there's one on the corner across the street.
Jorgen: Fine, I'd like to go over there and take out some money.
Receptionist: Now right away? We'll get an armed guard to go with you.

Lae, Papua New Guinea, November 2019

The problem with places like that, and I go to quite a lot of them, is that the opportunities to take photos are rather limited unless one spends a lot of time and is well prepared. Unfortunately, taking photos is not my main reason for travelling, at least not at the moment, so there's little time.

There are many keys to survival:
- Always come as a friend and with an open mind.
- Establish contact with locals before going.
- Be humble, try not to look like a rich foreigner.
- Never carry anything of value except the camera, and accept that you may lose it.
- Carry a small camera with a small lens.
- Approach people directly and with a smile.
- Stay in crowded places whenever possible.
- Don't go to places that the locals warn against (I do sometimes though, but not anywhere).
- Understand that most places are relatively civilised but not necessarily safe, even if news media try to paint a dramatic picture of a world in crisis. Yes, there are many weird and dangerous places, but most people even there live rather ordinary lives. They get up in the morning, go to work (if they have), go home, eat dinner, take care of their kids, make love, sleep, etc.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Here from General Santos City, the southernmost city of the Philippines. Apart from the frequent earthquakes, it's considered one of the safe places on Mindanao. I'm not sure if that's because of or in spite of the heavily armed police that can be seen everywhere, and the very frequent military checkpoints, but so far so good.



D810 with 80-200 AF-S
 

dj may

Active member
Please tell us more :)
South Africa - chased by a large alpha male elephant that was asserting his dominance. Once he was satisfied that we were yielding, he stopped. With respect to humans, I drove with nothing in the car, on the seats, because smash and grab is popular. I once took a wrong turn at night and headed towards an informal settlement, after dinner with friends. A friend driving ahead of me saw me turn in his mirror, loaded his gun and was about to come after me. I realized my mistake when the pavement ended after 20 meters and turned around without incident.

Alaska - during springtime in the mountains I was searching for mountain sheep to photograph. As I was crossing a snowfield, the unstable snow collapsed and I slid towards the precipice no more than 30 meters down the slope. Fortunately, I had positioned myself above some alders growing at the edge. As I slid past the alders I gently grabbed them so that I would not uproot them. My fall took about 2-3 seconds total and the guy I was with said that I was moving fast and did not expect me to survive.

Swiss alps - hiking along a ledge with a rock wall on one side and 300 meter drop on the other. I was carrying 15-20 kilos of gear in a pack, which made it more scary. I became very intimate with the rock wall, hugging it as I sidestepped along the ledge. I have avoided routes like this since.
 

Jan

Member
Although the wild life in South Africa should not be underestimated, if you use your common sense it is most probably a safer place compared to photographing in Johannesburg. That said, visiting one of the parks driving through the gated lion area, the backseat window fell into the door. That was a bit of a scary moment but luck was on our side not having a single one noticing it.
 

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
South Africa - chased by a large alpha male elephant that was asserting his dominance. Once he was satisfied that we were yielding, he stopped. With respect to humans, I drove with nothing in the car, on the seats, because smash and grab is popular. I once took a wrong turn at night and headed towards an informal settlement, after dinner with friends. A friend driving ahead of me saw me turn in his mirror, loaded his gun and was about to come after me. I realized my mistake when the pavement ended after 20 meters and turned around without incident.

Alaska - during springtime in the mountains I was searching for mountain sheep to photograph. As I was crossing a snowfield, the unstable snow collapsed and I slid towards the precipice no more than 30 meters down the slope. Fortunately, I had positioned myself above some alders growing at the edge. As I slid past the alders I gently grabbed them so that I would not uproot them. My fall took about 2-3 seconds total and the guy I was with said that I was moving fast and did not expect me to survive.

Swiss alps - hiking along a ledge with a rock wall on one side and 300 meter drop on the other. I was carrying 15-20 kilos of gear in a pack, which made it more scary. I became very intimate with the rock wall, hugging it as I sidestepped along the ledge. I have avoided routes like this since.
Wow! All great stories! Thanks for sharing.
 

Robert Campbell

Active member
I don't think that I was that welcome at an IRA hunger striker's funeral in 1974.View attachment 176563
That was presumably the funeral of Michael Gaughan in 1974.

Hunger strikes have a long history in Ireland, with the most recent being during "The Troubles" in the early 1980s.

There were lots of press photographers around from an early stage; the provincial ones usually covered mundane, everyday events; they suddenly found themselves "war photographers". A recent book describes and illustrates some of their adventures. There is also a film with the same name, though it's not always easy to view.

The late Clive Limkin was at the "Battle of the Bogside", a traditional date for the start of "The Troubles"; he too has a book on the subject.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Well, not particularly unusual nor dangerous, but that's a statement about my risk aversion. What makes this unusual is that the shadows are all pointing TOWARDS the balloon shadow. I love the light tunnel effect. I can't convince myself of the reason for this. The light source being behind us may be enough, or the MUCH larger size of the sun. No doubt I'll come up with a technical and probably wrong explanation. Give me time... Oh, the location is in Provence - dangerous only to one's waistline.

Oh. The shadows are all parallel (the sun being far away), but the tops of the trees are moved outwards from our closer point of view. That explanation may even be right. :unsure:

Untitled by Matthew Grayson, on Flickr

Matt
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Matt, I think is simply angular difference between your angular view from the illumination axis (indicated by the balloon shadow) and that of the sun. You can see around or above the illuminated objects in relation to the sun's projection. Neat effect.
 

neilvan

Member
Had this Black bear walk up behind me in a local park a few years ago. I didn't realize it was there until I heard her snort. I turned around and my inner-photographer took over, I dropped to a knee and snapped off a couple before I started 'talking' to her, she went one direction, I went the other. I've had closer experiences with bears but typically at night (not as much fun!)

Captured with an E-M1/40-150Pro @ 110mm (220mm equiv.) in Coquitlam, BC, Canada



 
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