No photograph is worth more than your life

austin storm

OF all the weird and wonderful sights I have seen in the past 30 years as a media photographer this image takes the biscuit for outright stupidity.

Without any thought for his family or the people who would have to risk their lives to try and save his, this opportunist climbed up ‘Grannies Teeth’ and slowly edged his way along the wall, not even looking behind or in front but stood looking through his camera at goodness knows what?

It was late in the afternoon and on seeing this man climbing the wall I reached for my telephone but I had zero signal; had he been taken off the wall in to the sea or on to the concrete he would have died right in front of my eyes. I was a mile away with a very long telephoto lens and a growing sense of helplessness had anything happened to this guy.

Would I have photographed him falling off the wall under a large wave? Yes, I would have, if only to shock any future daredevil snapper from repeating the same stupidity. Thankfully, lady-luck was with him that day and he lived to snap another day.

I know what was going through his head, he was after that one ‘sensational’ picture that he has in the back of his mind. We’ve all been there; I was hit and knocked unconscious by a moving roller coaster, it should have killed me but I was lucky and came through it.

Incidents like that put photography into perspective, so from then on I work on the understanding that there isn’t any photograph that’s worth more than your life.

Woodmead Halls

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