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Taking pictures in dangerous places

Taking Pictures in Dangerous Places

I recently received a private message on facebook about taking pictures while in dangerous places. The sender said that she had seen accidents firsthand and that she felt that taking pictures detracted from the full attention that we should be placing on riding. I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve seen firsthand what can happen if a rider is inattentive (Remember my accident last August!)

However, I’m still going to take as many photos of awe inspiring areas as I can. My job is to try to inspire horse and mule owners to escape the arena and take the trail less traveled. A glorious photo can help get more people out onto the trails and into horse camps, much better than any words that I could write.

That being said after having my own traumatic riding event I have become much more careful about when and where I take my pics. If I don’t feel it’s safe I don’t grab the camera.

Here’s a few of the things that think about BEFORE pressing the shutter button.

  • Know the area – Scout out the area beforehand if you can. The more familiar you are with a location, the less likely it is than an accident will occur.
  • Know when to stop – No photo is worth putting your life in danger. If the atmosphere of a ride becomes too intense, put the camera down and concentrate on the ride.
  • Be alert – Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for trouble and take appropriate actions to prevent it.
  • Don’t go alone – Go with at least one friend and be ready to contact 911 or emergency contacts.

If you’re going to take pics while riding you’ve got to make sure you and your animal are ready and able. Unique photographs will often come from the path less traveled, which means, you’re going to be doing some serious riding.  I searched for 5 years before I found a beast that I was willing to trust with my life to get those shots and I still found myself in the ER after becoming complacent one time too many. I hope that no one else should ever go through what I did. It wasn’t pleasant. Don’t sacrifice safety for a unique perspective.

Since I’ve been able to resume riding I’ve taken a lot fewer photos and and I do a lot of dismounting.  I’m not about to place myself in any undue dangerous for the sake of an image.