John Grindrod: In today’s world, with travel comes selfies – The Lima News

As we’re about to turn the calendar page to the month when traditionally travel becomes more frequent, I have a question for you. When was the last time you took a trip without taking selfies? I guess no matter how old you are, it’s been a long time.

With the improved photographic quality of today’s cell phones, the one item that was mandatory for almost every traveler, a camera, no longer ends up in too many bags. Now that phone that we always have with us, you know, the ones we absolutely can’t stop typing on, is ready to take the right shot at the right angle that will stun and amaze everyone, especially those who have everything those Twitter followers and Facebook friends.

When Lady Jane and I decide to go out and see parts of our world quite different from where we call home, it’s me who hits that little white button every once in a while to capture a moment. While most of what I photograph is landscape in nature (I am, as Jane will tell you, a sucker for crashing waves and autumnal trees dripping gold and purple), I think we should do an occasional appearance, not for social media posting, but just for our own reflection on those days when our lives in Ohio seem a bit mundane.

Thanks to the wonders of the technological world we live in, my photos automatically load onto the iPad to create a much larger image. Gone are the days of running to Meijer to get pictures developed unless there was an occasional one I’d like to frame for that girl from Montezuma.

Now, when it comes to selfies, of course, it’s often a hit and miss guess as to whether Jane’s face and my face are properly aligned and centered. If you think one of these selfie sticks would be a purchase I would consider, well, I wouldn’t unless it came with someone to wear it! As for asking other housemates to capture Jane and my image, well, I have a rule. Unless someone asks me to take a picture of him or her first, thus allowing me to play the reciprocity card, I hardly impose special moments on others.

Now, one box I always check when it comes to photographic endeavors on my travels, whether it’s straight landscapes or selfies with my girlfriend, is the safety box. We’ve been lucky enough to see some pretty stunning natural beauty over the years, often from far-off vantage points.

In places like the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland’s County Clare, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and many viewpoints on State Route 1 high above the Pacific Coast of Northern California and so many others, I’ve seen my fellow travelers so close to the edge of steep, hundreds-foot falls to capture an image. Anyone who has had experiences at such heights knows that in addition to altitude, there will often be sudden, strong gusts of wind.

In our advanced photo-taking age, there have been several who have gone a step too far to get that really great shot. The Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care conducted its own study and found that 259 deaths occurred between 2011 and 2017, attributed to people who perished while trying to take a recklessly conceptualized photo.

At Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, which is the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon overlooking the meandering bends of the Colorado River far below, there were two selfie-related deaths in 2018 within months of each other.

In 2019, in an article for The Irish Post, author Aidan Lonergan wrote about a student from Trinity College Dublin who died on the Cliffs of Moher while trying to take a selfie some 700ft above. above waves crashing against the rocky Atlantic coast. It tragically failed to respect altitude and the typical 30+ mph gusts that come with the magnificence of what can be seen. And, of course, in Ireland, just about anything travelers see can come with a little rain.

When Jane and I were there we both saw and listened to the words on the memorial on the cliff path which reads: ‘In memory of those who lost their lives at the Cliffs of Moher’ in English and Irish and enjoyed our moments admiring what lay safely below us.

Yes, the season for traditional travel is upon us, and there is so much natural wonder to soak up, especially in the national parks. Some come with my strong recommendations, like Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Yosemite, but with the gorgeous views that are there for the visual catch to be stored in memory banks, there’s also potential danger for those who can’t. simply not conceptualize the fragility of life.

When Jane and I were there we both saw and listened to the words on the memorial on the cliff path which reads: ‘In memory of those who lost their lives at the Cliffs of Moher’ in English and Irish and enjoyed our moments admiring what lay safely below us.

John Grindrod is a regular columnist for The Lima News, freelance writer and editor, and author of two books. Join it at [email protected]


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