“What I most like about photography is the moment you can’t anticipate: you have to be constantly watching for it, ready to welcome the unexpected.”
– Martine Franck
It is often true that to get path-breaking photographs, you must adopt unconventional means and go out of the way to achieve it. But, there is a silver line between passion and ruthlessness. Here is a list of things every photographer must ensure to prevent mishaps in the flowery world of photographs.
1) Cover yourself from Exposure
This precaution is not widely applicable in the world today with the advent of digital photography. Earlier, in the era of the negatives where a photographer not only had to worry about the various settings on the shooter but also had to prepare himself mentally and physically to finally develop his work, not only were the photos exposed to suitable lighting but he had to ensure a suitable exposure of himself in the dark room.
The processing materials used to develop the photographs consist of several toxic substances, long exposures to which can cause severe health depreciation. The very fact that it takes one hour of persistence in the dark room, surrounded by compounds of Silver and strong acid-alkaline solutions at temperatures higher than the room temperature might give you a rough idea about the health hazard. Also, disposal and containment are other issues that have to be taken care of.
2) Mind your Posture
Which lens? Which camera body? Shouldn’t always be the kind of questions you ask. Rather, here are a set of Q and A’s which will help you sustain a healthier self in the long run.
Q: What kind of a bag should you choose?
A: There are a variety of camera bags to choose from, and picking the right bag depends as much on what you are shooting and what equipment you use as the way your body is built. Many bags are just too bulky for certain body types. Never overload your bag and the closer it is to your body, the better!
A proper fitting backpack should end near your ribs. The weight should be distributed between your shoulder blades.
When a backpack hangs too low on your back like the one pictured above, you put yourself at risk of injury.
Also, put your bag down when you are not moving. Lifting this weight won’t make you chiseled!
Q: How to hold your camera so that it doesn’t wreck your neck and/or shoulders?
A: Wrapping the camera strap around your wrist and gripping the body with your hand can be a good alternative to hanging the camera around your neck.
Q: Is reaching the site all that has to be done?
A: Definitely a NO!!! You must always stretch yourself before starting off. Always take out time to drink some water. Photography is a very engrossing and happening business and a second missed can lead to a big disappointment at times, but health comes first.
3) Be Aware of Warning Signs
by Tylor B
It’s always better to prepare before you prevent and repair before you repent. To get that outstanding photo there may not be multiple ways at times but to put your life into risk is definitely not the way forward.
Pain or ‘losing range of motion’ are both signs that you are pushing your body too far. “I think it’s really important to check those injuries out and really understand what they are,” says Dr. Karen Erickson, DC. “With a lot of camera injuries, you start to get tendonitis, which is where the tendons get inflamed. Inflamed tendons are more likely ruptured or easily torn.”
4) Watch your Self-ie
The maximum upvotes on social media for our mundane acts does feel enthralling but should sky be always the limit?
Height-related selfie deaths were the most common, closely followed by both water-related and a combination height/water-related incidents. The lesson to be learned here is quite obviously to avoid taking selfies on the edge of sea cliffs if you want to stay alive.
Whether India lies in the top of the HDI rankings or not, there is something in which we have topped the charts and this is not something to be proud of. The vast majority of selfie deaths have occurred in India, with a body count of 76. In Mumbai, the reports of these occurrences led police to sanction 16 "selfie-free zones."
5) Play it safe
Photography isn't a profession about daredevilry and at times death is just a step away. There have been innumerable instances of people trying to defy nature and trusting too much on their instincts that they are blinded by the other side of their intentions. Things can go upside down and the consequences aren't always flowery.
The recent instance of a Russian model trying to get herself clicked from a really tall sky scrapper in Dubai without any harness of protective gear, and later on uploading a video of the same clearly exemplifies to what extent people go to get awed by the masses. A photographer is also seen in the video, trying to cover that shoot with only on hand which is keepig him from falling over 100 storeys down!
It is great to be passionate about something and even greater to stretch your horizons to accomplish that but always remember, the thin line between passion and craze!
Written by Shivam Tiwari for WorldPhotographersClub.com
Cover photo by Alex Wong