Landscape & Outdoor Photography | Fearing the Worst




Landscape photogrphy can cause anxiety and there are many things that could go wrong. We are often alone in the wilderness, away from people and that can be a scary thought. What if we get sick? What if we fall? What if we get attacked? Well, I talk about this. Enjoy.

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Comments 36

  1. About fear Last weekend i was out shooting the milky way. All alone in the dark. When i was almost at location i heard some noise out of the bushes. I knew there where cows in the area. So that noise got a source really fast. When is locked my bike i heard a really terrifying screaming. I think it was a stone-marten. Didn't hear it after that one time.

    About people attacks: well you always have a tripod, you could use as a weapon 😉

  2. Unfortunately Table Mountain (Cape Town) doesn't lie in the middle of a civilized society. I consider it far too dangerous to hike there by myself, as a woman. It's a pity because I have some great ideas in mind. But I agree with @CharleneNagel, if I hiked with someone, I would feel rushed taking photos.

  3. Thanks so much for this Thomas, really helpful and insightful. Made me realise how risk averse I am when I'm out on my own, and how much it has held me back. Psychology and Photography – what's not to like! Also very interesting to read the comments below and try to relate to other people's experiences in other countries.

  4. Great advice. The more a person follows it, the more they'll feel comfortable. Another tool is noise. If you're in the sticks silently working your way upwind to catch some wildlife shots, you might surprise a carnivore; so as you said, be mindful. On the other hand, if you're searching landscapes, you can be a little noisy, it will clear out snakes and other hazardous critters. No need to be obnoxious. I whistle and clomp a bit. I swear, it's not 'cause I'm clumsy.

  5. Great video Tom. Some really useful and valuable advice for everyone. I guess at the end of the day common sense should prevail, if you are going into something that doesn't feel right it probably isn't. Don't let pride and machoness get in the way tell people where you are going and when you expect to be back, and finally KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS, don't go barreling into a situation that you have not prepared for. Looking forward to your next video.?????

  6. Whether it's a note on your car or any other method, the biggest thing you can do to protect yourself is to let some people close to you know where you're going, and importantly, your expected return date. That way, your potential rescuers know when to act. Of course, if you can afford one of those emergency locator beacons that work with satellites, that could be life-save too. It's sooooo gratifying to be "out in it", and it's the preparation steps that will help keep you comfortable and safe.

  7. There is a GPS Emergency system that you can use. It tracks you using GPS and has an emergency call button if you need it. It is a service you pay for but it is worth it. I was introduced to this by a cyclist who is traveling the US. He has an additional feature in that he uses it to update his followers on his progress.

  8. Yet another great video,
    Is there any chance you could do a whats in your bag for one of your wild camp trips having recently the video by Brendan van Son with your self, I like many am curious as to what you actually take and how you pack it, along with camea kit…

  9. I head out to the Mourne Mountains (Northern Ireland) quite regularly. My wife kept asking me if i felt vulnerable at night, in case there are any nutters out on the mountains at night. I took her with me on my last trip to the Mournes. She experienced the absolute darkness that not having street lighting lets you have, and she realised that the darkness is actually quite reassuring. You have no way of walking in the mountains without a torch, so if anyone is heading towards you, you can most definitely see and hear them coming. Saying that, I've never once had any incidents while I've been out on my own, and I totally love the solitude. My best way of explaining it is, it fills my soul when I'm in the mountains taking photographs.

  10. I recently discovered your channel whilst searching for landscape photography techniques. I must first and foremost congratulate you on the fantastic, entertaining, inspiring and informative content you are bringing to the world. Secondly your photography is "absolutely stunning"!!

  11. Hi Tom, nice video. I would like to add to it, hopefully viewers reading this find it useful. In South Africa, where I live, we have quite a few fears. I agree with all your points and here is my advice:
    1- For remote areas, one can buy GPS devices like SPOT Gen3 and send OK or NOT ok messages to family. It is at a press of a button (and waterproof as well). Sends a message to the family saying you are ok and sends the location. I haven't tried these but am thinking of.

    2- In your medical aid kit, always keep medicine for injections for allergy attacks. Other than that, I keep adrenaline injections. We are not qualified doctors, but it needs some basic training to help yourself in case of emergency. (my wife is a doctor so she has guided me in the past)

    3- We have baboons and game in nature reserves. Always be on guard. Never interact, feed or go near them. Respect wildlife. Baboons are crazy!!! they can attack for food avoid them if you can and never leave food unattended or in a way that they can smell it from far. Also learn how to deal with the animals in that area e.g. if a buffalo comes, don't run.. lie down. If a lion comes… well, you should be there in the first place. Elephants are protective, don't mess with them and stay away as soon as you see them. I have a baboon attack video on my channel… they took all my breakfast and left me with 1 tuna can for 21km.

    4- One can get mugged quite easily in certain parts of the world. Have your items insured and if someone comes, don't resist. I am always on guard, quite a few togs I know have been mugged in certain areas and normally people don't go alone their to shoot. I even take my SD card out sometimes and hide it in my socks or you know, underwear!

    fear must never hold you back, it stops from moving forward. Thanks for the video.

    regards
    Muji

  12. I am currently suffering from the instant illness fear after collapsing & falling unconscious while perfectly contentedly enjoying a cup of tea a couple of months ago. I haven't had a proper landscape trip alone since, but if I was to drop dead unexpectedly, I'd rather I was doing something, than watching daytime TV. I wouldn't recommend telling social media where you're going. Keep quiet (apart from family) and then if there is an axe murderer in a remote location at 3am, it's incredibly bad luck, not the fact that he's stalking you. Also, maybe if you are leaving details in car, put them in an ICE (in case of emergency) envelope, so any optimistic axe murderers can't immediately see which direction you went, and car thieves can't guess how far away you are. Finally, I once got charged by a deer (I think, couldn't see) in the dark and now i don't do nights anymore. Any tips?

  13. MOST of the bad guys are in the city. There's more opportunity there for them. Do bad guys take vacations? Not really. But do bad guys wind up in an area where you are camping? Yes, it could happen. The real baddies could be on the run. Now, this is where the "campground" gets to be like the city. I don't like public campgrounds because, one, it's the first place criminals on the run might head for, and two, because people can just get goofy there. In reverse order. Enough of that.
    Getting hurt while on your own is very dangerous. But, you will probably figure out a way to crawl or call to help. It's tough to really be screwed these days.
    Sometimes a disaster is just what the doctor ordered. Nothing gets the adrenaline and endomorfins going than total blind panic(hopefully for just a few moments). I looked to the heavens once and said, "I could use a little help here", in a kind of pleading voice. I'm not a big believer, but it was miraculous how the raw materials I needed presented themselves. I still made it to the camp and my friends. It turned out to be a memorable day.
    I live in the U.S., we all carry guns, but I did run into a black bear and my puny little .380 did not give me much confidence. But then I'm not carrying around a .357 everywhere I go hiking.

  14. So I'm going to share a little story.

    I like to take adventures on my dualsport motorcycle (which is also a great hazzard) to take pictures, sometimes alone, sometimes with others. This time I was alone, and I was doing this really short 30 minute hike to a hotspring in Pemberton, British Columbia. No one was around but me, and I turned a corner and almost walked into a black bear with two baby cubs (maybe 10 feat away at most). We looked each other in the eyes, and immediately sprinted away from eachother in opposite directions. Coming across bears is common in BC and not dangerous, but getting that close to a mom that wants to protect her cubs, is very dangerous. Ever since I've been too scared to do any solo hiking. And when i ride to places on my bike and camp by myself, I'm constantly paranoid. Due to another incident, I bought a Garmin inreach that way I can call for help if I need. However in the event of a sudden animal attack (cougars are more of a issue than bears) it won't save my a** at all. I keep multiple knives on me at any given time when exploring, but I'm still constantly worried about animals when I'm off in the outdoors. To add to this story, i was on a run around my house a few weeks ago, and a hour or so after I got back, there was a cougar spotting in the same park I ran… I was running with both headphones on…. In my defence, its a somwhat urban but also rural area around the park.

    In conclusion, I don't know of a way that can protect me from animals, getting a firearm is not practical for my application I find, and bear spray is not really a good idea by my book (a different story).

    Be careful of the beasts who own the wilderness.

  15. Good topic. Good advice. Have hiked 100s of KM in the Canadian wilderness, Have barely had close calls… But planning is everything. Plan for the worst and it will never happen. AND carry a PLB!.

  16. Awesome video as always Thomas. Love your style and way of doing things. You have given me a lot of inspiration and new way of seeing things and refreshed my love for photography.
    Thank you !!

  17. Delorme products, now a part of Garmin, that use the Iridium network. Guaranteed access to radio networks everywhere on the planet. They have built in GPS etc so you simply subscribe to a package that allows you a predetermined number of signal transmissions per day etc. Base agreement is three updates a day. One GPS based message to the contingency party you left your trip details with. One to your social channel of choice, as they are able to integrate to your social media and then a third in backup. Simples. https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/#subscriptions

  18. You touched on it Tom, but I want to add the necessity of identifying risks ahead of time. The scariest experience I ever had was out on the beach near Southport. I'd gone out there in daylight and decided to stay to get some long exposures, but I didn't anticipate how dark it'd get and how fast the tide comes in. With nobody else around, in the pitch-black, all I had to orientate myself was the sound of the waves. I knew that the dunes and the car-park beyond were in exactly the opposite direction. I had a crappy torch which lit up about two feet in front of me but I failed to plan properly. I was very lucky to beat the tide, climb and dunes and get back to the car park in one piece. I won't be making that mistake again.

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