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On The Edge – Frenchman Coulee – Old Vantage Hwy – Quincy, WA

On occasion I find myself perched in precarious places when pursing a photograph.

One time, while taking handheld shots, I needed to get my camera beyond the edge of a canyon wall that went straight down some 400 feet. My solution to keep from plunging to my death was to wedge my legs into the spaces between the rocks and then lean out into space. While not a terrifying experience it was disconcerting to think that if anything went wrong I was mere seconds from being dead.

Being in precarious places is not limited to a physical location. A while ago I set up for a shot in the middle of the night, while alone, with thousands of dollars in gear with me in a park full of drunk, homeless men. Again, this wasn’t a terribly terrifying experience but was I keenly aware that I was rather defenseless against being robbed, raped, or murdered.

Such behavior can clearly be deemed foolish, a point of view I can’t adequately refute. After all, am I not simply taking a few photographs that, at best, will have minimal and temporal impact?

Still, I find myself compelled by silent urges to do these things. Or maybe what I experience is a refusal to be intimidated by life. My cost reward calculator finds profit in living with calculation that life need not fear death.

Such matters are irrationally rational.

Copyright 2015 – Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved