How far would you go to obtain a perfect photo? Would you climb atop a rock, stand under a cascading waterfall, perch on the edge of an over-hang or stand precariously inches away from the edge of a sharp drop in height? From any one of these choices a fatal fall could be the result. Then certainly you would have gone too far for the perfect shot.
Recently, I read two separate reports of travelers/hikers who accidentally fell over the edge of a waterfall to their death. Read of incidences here and here. On both occasions they were swept away by the strong undertow and drowned. At this point, it is irrelevant to debate the why’s and how’s of the accidents that caused their early demise. What I really want to highlight are safety measures that could be practiced when we travel.
Because I have done it and have also seen others take the risk for a “wow” photo, it behooves me to underscore the need for safety practices when selecting the location which you might think gives the best view or background. First, look around and assess the immediate surroundings. A quick scan can tell you whether it is a good idea to proceed with your photo exercise. It might not always be necessary or top-of-mind to scope out the surroundings for the perfect picture, nevertheless, in the great outdoors, it is imperative that vacationers take note and exhibit due caution and common sense when choosing the best spot or angle for their photo “snap-of-the-year.”
Occasionally, on trips one may see a dare-devil sightseer seeking picturesque spots that could be potentially dangerous. With just a slip of the foot, a strong gust of wind, a misjudged step on loose gravel, losing your balance, suddenly realizing that you don’t like heights, or feeling the first effects of vertigo are all real possibilities to an accident waiting to happen. Careless decisions and spur-of-the-moment actions like closing your eyes for the pose could lead to unwanted troubles for the tourist, and put in harm’s way those who may attempt to save them. Always pose for your shot a safe distance away from the edge and keep your eyes open.
At Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Philippines, for example, I witnessed swimmers constantly daring to venture pass the cordoned-off area just to bob beneath the forceful, pounding cascade, only to be called back to safety by the life-guard’s piercing whistle blow. Another danger that could prove treacherous is stepping into the murky shallows without a guide. Extreme caution should be displayed. A slip on a mossy rock can be your undoing. The Grand Canyon in Arizona is another place where I’ve seen visitors push the limits to take their best pictures. Moreover, enough cannot be said concerning safety protocol and precautions. Many accidents can be avoided if careful consideration and clear warnings are heeded. In the end it is not worth losing your life or endangering the lives of others for a photo.
Community Peeps and fellow bloggers, what has been your experience on the subject matter? Have you ever pushed the limit for a picture perfect? Please share your thoughts. It may help to convince someone to be more cautious. Do you agree?
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