Don't go there!. You have heard this phrase many times as you grew up and probably on a few occasions as you got older.
This project involves recording images that will make an audience think about danger or inhospitable places, locations, ideas, ideals and situations which are best to stay clear off.
The images should not be that difficult to imagine or find, but you should nonetheless research the topic, talk to others, browse through literature and see what sorts of images are representational of fear, danger, and generally things to keep away from.
Generally, you won't need to do any digital editing except for maybe darkening some shades of color to make the image "darker" and crop parts of the finished product. Just keep in mind that the images must be clear in their representational value so look for any subject which clearly speaks of danger or at least caution.
The most difficult part of the entire project is to combine several contradictions into one image. Your photographs must be poignant or stark enough to make an audience stand back, clear enough in their representational value to make your audience think, yet pleasing enough to make your audience admire them. All rolled into one at the same time. This is the challenge.
It's not just taking photographs of any subject that seems dangerous or ill advised. You must exercise your creativity and practice your artistry if you want to pull the project off. And do not forget that your images must also be technically sound if they are to be used by any commercial entity such as a photographic stock house or photography publication.
Don't overlook any potential scene if it appeals to you from the point of view of the theme and the project and do not focus on one type of subject such as just city scenes.
Nature is full of dangerous places which are best seen with caution such as huge tides or waves, tornadoes, precipitous cliffs, shark infested waters and locations with poisonous snakes and such.
Take advantage of what it has to offer and record various images form various angles. Be also attentive to the available light and make any adjustments at the scene if at all possible as this will save you time in front of the computer.
Pay attention when the scene that will be used in this theme appears beautiful at first but upon closer examination reveals its dangers.
And just like a beautiful scene, there are situations that can occur during daylight which at first appear normal but reveal themselves as potentially dangerous when approached closer or view from a different angle such as the presence of the police or a rowdy crowd.
Be especially vigilant when recording images at sporting events when the home team has just lost the big game.
Often these types of scenes work better than those images which are clearly stark from the start.
Of special mention is to be sensible and use common sense when photographing any of these scenes and put safety first.
Even more so if the scene involves people who may not be in the best disposition to have their photos taken, sorts of being at the wrong place at the wrong time moment.
Remember that this project does not have to involve taking risks. Most photographs can be carefully planned. However, some will present themselves as having the potential of being hazardous.
- Safety First: Photographing Dangerous Subjects | Wyman Meinzer
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