John Grindrud: In today’s world, selfies come with travel

As we’re about to shift the calendar page to the month when traditional travel becomes more frequent, I have a question for you. When was the last time you took a trip that didn’t include taking selfies? My guess, no matter your age, it’s been a long time.

With the improvement in the quality of today’s mobile photography, the one item that has been mandatory for almost all travelers, the camera no longer finds its way into many bags. Now, that phone that we always carry with us, you know, the phones we can’t seem to stop clicking on, is ready to take the right picture at the right angle that will amaze and amaze everyone, especially those who have all those Twitter followers and Facebook friends.

When Mrs. Jane and I decide to go out and check out parts of our world very different from where we call home, I’m the one who pushes that little white button from time to time to capture a moment. While most of what I shoot is landscapes in nature (I am, as Jane will tell you, a sucker for crashing waves and fall trees in gold and crimson), I think we should appear casual, not for social media postings, mind you, But just to think of those days when our Ohio life seemed pretty ordinary.

Thanks to the wonders of the tech world we live in, my photos are automatically uploaded to the iPad to create a much bigger picture. Gone are the days when I would run to Meijer to develop images unless there was an occasional photo I wanted to frame for that girl from Montezuma.

Now, when it comes to selfies, of course, it’s often a successful or incorrect proposition as far as whether my face and Jane are aligned and positioned correctly. If you were thinking that one of these selfie sticks would be a purchase I would think, well, I wouldn’t, unless it came with someone who would! As for asking other fellow residents to take pictures of Jane and mine, well, I have one rule. Unless someone asks me to take a picture of him or her first, thus giving me a chance to play the reciprocity card, I’m pretty much not imposing on others’ private moments.

Now, the box I always check when it comes to any photography efforts during my travels, whether it’s landscapes or selfies with a gal, is the safe box. We have been fortunate enough to see some amazing natural beauty over the years, often from iconic sites from far above.

In places like the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland, the southern edge of the Grand Canyon and many of the views off State Route 1 off the Pacific coast of Northern California and many others, I’ve seen fellow travelers very close to the edge of gigantic drops several hundred feet high to take a picture. Anyone who has experienced at such heights knows that in addition to height, there are often sudden and strong gusts of wind.

In our advanced photo-taking times, there were many who took that step too far to get that really great shot. The Journal of Family and Primary Care Medicine did its own study and found that 259 deaths that occurred between 2011 and 2017 were attributed to people who died while trying to take an ill-advised photograph.

At Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon overlooking the serpentine bends of the Colorado River below, there were two selfie-related deaths in 2018 just months apart.

In a 2019 article for The Irish Post, author Aidan Lonergan wrote about a student at Trinity College Dublin who fell to his death in the Cliffs of Moher while trying to take a selfie 700 feet above the waves that crashed on the rocky coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It tragically did not respect the elevation and typical winds of over 30 mph that accompany the splendor of what to see. And of course, in Ireland almost everything travelers see may come with some rain.

When Jane and I were there, we saw and heard the words on the memorial on the cliffs trail that read “In memory of those who lost their lives on the Cliffs of Moher” in both English and Irish and enjoyed our moments admiring what lay safely beneath us.

Yes, the traditional travel season is just around the corner, and there are plenty of natural wonders to imbibe, especially in the national parks. Some come with my strong recommendations, such as Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Yosemite, but with the great prospects that exist for taking visuals to store in memory banks, there is also a potential risk for those who can’t conceive of the idea. fragility of life.

When Jane and I were there, we saw and heard the words on the memorial on the cliffs trail that read “In memory of those who lost their lives on the Cliffs of Moher” in both English and Irish and enjoyed our moments admiring what lay safely beneath us.

John Grindrud is a regular columnist for The Lima News, a freelance writer and editor, and the author of two books. reach it in [email protected]

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