Being a diver, rock climber, general ‘lets have a go’ type of person has given me ample opportunity to get some pretty nice shots over the years, as well as plenty of bite marks, stings and scars. Thankfully, despite some broken bones nothing is missing, yet!
I love underwater photography. Getting up close and personal with dangerous critters just adds that little bit of drama to the usual diving experience, especially when pulling an eel’s tail to get it to rear up, prodding a stonefish to get it to spread its fins, or annoying a sea snake to get it to show its fangs gets that perfectly posed shot.
Animals feature large in the ‘close shaves’, including hungry Komodo dragons, but the shoot at the Dubai Aquarium was a cracker. To get some action it seemed a good idea to provoke a shark filled feeding frenzy by waving bait in front of the beasts, and me in the middle. The logic of this plan faded when one of the 3m beasts got in between my face and the camera I was holding and looked intent on munching my face off. Interesting enough but when another swam between my legs taking me for a ride through the tank. It brought much amusement to spectators snapping away from the safety of the other side of the glass! The memory doesn’t half bring back smiles even now.
In hindsight, sitting on the spar of a tiny two-seater light aircraft while getting shots of Eternity Technologies factory in Ras Al Khaimah was probably not the best idea in the world, but it was a nice day to be out in the open and it was, errr, stimulating, especially when we finished the hour long flight with a quick tour of the city and the pilot banked over to help me get a better shot.
Hanging out of a helicopter on a back harness shooting Burj Khalifa while it was being built was interesting too.
Equally so was hand feeding a camel sausages for funny shots. Not sure which was the most dangerous as camels can have a right mean streak if it’s the wrong flavour sausage!
Now, despite advancing years (and an expanding waistline) climbing remains as strong a passion as ever, even if the mobility required for some of the moves are now beyond the scope of fall-damaged bones and other associated wear and tear the years have brought. I’m not sure my life would have been so enjoyable if I’d been born a bit more sensible. I’d certainly have had to suffer less pain, fewer things would have tried to kill me, I’d have had fewer scares, less grey hair and probably even live longer…. but I’d have fewer good pictures to keep me smiling, and fewer amusing anecdotes too.
Looking back at the above times, and the many others, I’m sure I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’m happy with the deal.
Now where did those painkillers go…