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Thread: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

  1. #1
    darekk's Avatar
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    Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...ly-bear-alaska
    Hiker killed by bear in Alaska after photographing grizzly bear up-close
    Environment news, comment and analysis | guardian.co.uk
    ... mauled and killed him in the first fatal attack in the park's history
    I had heard also, that it is not good to climb to nests of egrets or raptors without eyeglasses and/or helmet. Because chicks of first ones can peck out an eye, raptors can knock claws into head or back.
    Last edited by darekk; 26th August 2012 at 03:26 PM.

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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    I have two photos which I quite like but could have resulted in serious harm to me ....short tailed bobcat in CO and an angry old bull seal in NZ.... in the later case because the camera gives me a one second review of the shot taken I was a second late in realising that he was chasing me. [Photos on my blog ... currently using borrowed laptop so cannot post here ... "the Naive Tourist"]

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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    A friend of mine, while filming Grizzly Bears for Walt Disney Films, got between a sow and her cub. He just made it back to his jeep (which fortunately had a metal cab) before she got there. However, his keys were in the front pocket of his jeans and it took him time to get them out. The bear opened the Jeep cover like a can of sardines while he was struggling to get the keys out and into the ignition. Luckily, he was able to start the jeep and drive away unharmed except for a ruined jeep cab. He showed me pictures of the cab and it looked like someone had worked it over with a fire axe!

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    I was shooting / videoing an elephant in the Palmwag Concession in Namibia late last year when it decided to give chase.



    My wife (wisely) got in the truck while I was still standing nearby with the camera. My wife told me to get back in the truck several times; you might be able to hear me saying "yes dear" a few times. After throwing the camera in the back seat of the truck, I had to quickly try to reverse down the dirt track we had followed to get to the herd. We did make it; after stalling the truck at least once. Yes; my adrenaline was up for sure!

    We found out later from the locals that the elephant was not angry, but rather putting on a macho show for the females in the herd. This is probably the first time in my life I did something that foolish and have the video to prove it!

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    darekk's Avatar
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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    In such a case even vehicle is not safe ...
    Animals consider a vehicle as something much more neutral than humans, even red one. I shot couple of pictures of elk (european moose), one of a wolf, ruffs (Philomachus pugnax) through a window of a car in the past. But when got out, elks used to fall into panic and escape.
    However small animals don't look well when photographed through a window, from above, because camera typically should be situated on the same level as a head of a photographed animal (or small child for example). What is not a case in the film above. Maybe special hole in a door of a vehicle near floor would be good. Later I tried to take pictures of roofs through open door keeping camera as low as possible.
    Last edited by darekk; 26th August 2012 at 05:47 PM.

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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    Herons and egrets really are dangerous -- they are lightning fast and they aim for the eyes if you get too close. A friend of mine knew a heron researcher who lost an eye that way.

    Turkey vultures vomit on you if you get too close to their nest, and when you think about what turkey vultures eat I think you'd be wise to avoid that situation.

    I helped a guy with a research project on nesting terns, and we had to wear pith helmets and old clothes because the terns would dive-bomb us constantly, hitting our helmets with their bills and showering us with excrement.

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    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    I hate to speak ill of the dead, however eight seconds; let alone eight minutes, within 50 metres of a grizzly is pushing your luck well past the point of breaking. I am simply amazed he was able to be within that distance for as long as he was. It would be interesting to know if he continued to close the gap between himself and the bear; trying for the perfect shot. Even if he hadn't, I suspect the bear's tolerance was finally pushed to the limit and it charged and gave him a couple of "warning" swats. As Richard pointed out, a grizzly is a very powerful animal, capable of moving one tonne boulders to get marmots. He really should have done the sensible thing and cleared out immediately.

    But then I have seen people do some very silly things with wild animals to get pictures . On two occasions I have seen people get out of their car and walk across a road to photograph female grizzlies with cubs in the ditch. And several years ago I was cycling in the Canadian Rockies when a herd of elk crossed the road during the breeding season . This fellow walked up to within ten metres of a visibly agitated bull elk who was trying to herd his cows across a road while fending off two smaller males. The bull even tossed his antlers at the guy and he still kept filming.

    Being out in nature has it's risks. You don't have to go looking for danger and you definitely shouldn't push the inhabitants past their breaking point. Some of them will kill you with no more effort then you would crush a mosquito that is irritating you and for the same reasons.

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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    Yep, nature always has to be treated with utmost respect. Many tourists get killed by wild animals in Africa. It is mostly disregard of clear warnings to stay in your car.
    A tourist was killed some time ago in a Lion Park near Johannesburg. He actually got out of his car to get a picture of a Lion, inside an enclosed area where Lions are kept. How dumb can you be?

    Animals usually have a clear way of warning you before they will attack. An Elephant for example will flap it’s ears, lift it’s trunk and kick up dust with its front feet, then you know – beeeg trouble. If a lioness looks straight at you and you can see the concentration in her eyes then goes into a crouching position, if you are Ussain Bolt you might try and out sprint her, she will be on your back within a few meters. Much beter to stand your ground and face her, she could just turn around after a mock charge (what a shot).

    Always beter to do a little research on animals you wish to photograph before going out there and do something stupid. Well, you could also slip on a loose rock or lose your balance with all the kit you carry and fall off a cliff.

    The bottom line is, always have respect for nature and never take chances, your life should be worth more than a good photograph.

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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    And, the Denali park rangers are really clear about keeping clear of all sorts of wild animals in their park. The question my park friends are asking, "Didn't this guy even READ the rules about keeping clear?" and the second question, "What part of learning park safety is unclear?"

    I'm sorry that this dude was stupid enough to be killed, but the rules are there for an exceptionally good reason. Getting to be the first person to be killed by an animal in whose territory he was trespassing, is NOT an exceptionally good reason! ;~(

    virginia

  10. #10

    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    We found out later from the locals that the elephant was not angry, but rather putting on a macho show for the females in the herd.
    Trust me, you don't want to meet an angry one.... I know from experience.
    Mine was in Etosha national park (also Namibia). An lone bull elephant was by the side of the road when I stopped to take a photo. Didn't realise until it turned around and walked into the road that it was in musth - which the guide books say is often a really bad thing. By the time I realised what was happening it was already in the road blocking our way and advancing towards us. I had to reverse down the gravel road with the elephant no more than 5 or 6 meters from the car. All I could see was its enormous feet which were far too close to the front of the car. Luckily it turned out to just be a "mock charge" and he ended it by throwing dirt all over the car with his trunk, before turning to walk off.

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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    Quote Originally Posted by dan marchant View Post
    . Didn't realise until it turned around and walked into the road that it was in musth - which the guide books say is often a really bad thing.
    Yes Dan, that is when they are like a frustrated grumpy old man. Stay far away! You were lucky it was a "mock charge" warning you to stay out of its "personal space". Did you go for a bath afterwards?

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    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    And every animal will react different I guess, so should you run away or stay put?
    Look at this link for a grizzly bear charging a group of tourists. Apparently not moving was the best thing to do in this situation.

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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    I remember, many years ago, coming across this scene: Husband and Wife on a narrow highway in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan encounter a Black Bear; Mr decides he wants that perfect snapshot of local wildlife and thinks it is a good idea for his wife to hand feed the bear a hotdog. Mr is a little slow in composition, so Mrs is pulling hotdog away at last moment. Bear was only well behaved one there

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    darekk's Avatar
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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Hosking
    Hosking was attacked by a tawny owl during a photo shoot, resulting in the loss of his left eye.
    I think that Włodzimierz Puchalski
    https://www.google.pl/search?num=20&...PIXgtQaSoYHwBg
    mentioned something about such dangers in one of his books, but I am not sure.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Nature Photography sometimes can be dangerous ...

    Quote Originally Posted by dan marchant View Post
    Trust me, you don't want to meet an angry one.... I know from experience.
    Mine was in Etosha national park (also Namibia). An lone bull elephant was by the side of the road when I stopped to take a photo. Didn't realise until it turned around and walked into the road that it was in musth - which the guide books say is often a really bad thing. By the time I realised what was happening it was already in the road blocking our way and advancing towards us. I had to reverse down the gravel road with the elephant no more than 5 or 6 meters from the car. All I could see was its enormous feet which were far too close to the front of the car. Luckily it turned out to just be a "mock charge" and he ended it by throwing dirt all over the car with his trunk, before turning to walk off.

    It sounds like your experience was a lot more scary than ours. I tend to be quite cautious near large wildlife (having encountered bear more than a few times). The closest elephants were 100-200m away when we stopped and we got so engrossed shooting stills and videos that we didn't really notice that the large make kept moving closer. I should have paid more attention to him, rather than the other ones in the herd.
    He never got closer than 40-50m to us, but had my hasty retreat gone wrong, I could have easily been in a situation like yours,

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