I took the above picture at Isle of Wight in Scotland way back in 2003. I had just bought my first digital camera and this was my first trip after I got that toy in my hand. I was looking at the cliffs and such clear blue waters for the first time in my life. I was excited to say the least. To take this picture I lied down on my stomach on a slanting rock. One small slip and I would have been history. The reason that lived to tell the tale can only be attributed to my good luck and some divine forces of nature that did not give me that slight push.
10 years later i.e. last year in Jaisalmer on a media trip, I saw a young travel blogger stand out of the window of a moving car to take a picture. A little wiser by now, I asked the young lady to not do so. I got a ‘This is my passion and I can do anything for it’ look. It would have taken a small mechanical click on the door to make her history, as the car was moving at a good speed on those near empty roads.
Last month, on a crowded beach in Goa I saw lifeguards struggling to keep the crowds off the rough sea after it was turning dark. There were family tries to pose with those huge waves – that perfect click with a wave right above their heads. Well, this kind of a picture takes quite a few takes and quite some time. Lifeguards cleared a part of beach and moves ahead and people would just ignore them and go back to clicking pictures and playing with the waters. This was just a day after 3 people were rescued on the same beach.
This month we heard about the sad incident of 24 students of Hyderabad losing their lives when the water from the dam on Beas River was released. Guess what the students entered into the restricted area to click pictures – and unfortunately they did become history.
If you see the common thread in all these is taking an extreme risk to take a picture.Is a perfect picture worth risking our lives for?
Should we be willing to break the rules and sometimes law for a good picture?
Do we realize that most pictures are soon forgotten these days after they are taken and shared?
Would we rather not live than may be loved for our pictures?
So, next time you walk that one step, one meter or one mile towards that risk to click a picture –stop and think – Is your life really worth that picture?