Young photographer falls 300 feet into canyon while taking a photo
A photographer fell to his death at Moon Overlook near Torrey, Utah, after he lost his footing trying to get a better composition. The tragedy happened on January 19th, close to Capitol Reef National Park, where the scenery is exceptional but dangerous.
Jonathan Fielding was just 19 years old when he died. According to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, he lost his footing on shaky ground, which then caused him to fall over the canyon edge.
Fielding’s obituary says that the photographer “was on a photo shoot with friends in the beautiful Utah wilderness where he loved to be” and that they “take some comfort knowing that he was doing what he loved at the time of the accident.”
Jonathan’s sister Rebecca told ABC 4 that she would like to honour her brother by spreading awareness about hiking safety.
So many people take risks, so many people just want that perfect shot, that perfect view, but it is not worth anyone’s life,” she says. “I don’t think a lot of people realize just how dangerous those areas are, it is just so easy to just slip and fall.”
Indeed, this tragedy just adds to the statistics of people who are literally dying to capture the perfect photograph. According to researchers in Australia, the number of selfie-related deaths has now become so large that it constitutes a public health problem.
The study revealed nearly 400 reported incidents globally. 77 occurred in the United States alone, with India and Russia not far behind.
While we can all make mistakes while we are out taking photographs, it really is important that we understand our limits. Just one wrong move can be the end, and taking a selfie seems to be even riskier than a normal photo.
“No view is worth your life,” says Rebecca. “No view is worth the suffering that your family and friends will go through. No view is worth the risk that rescuers face when trying to save people and recover bodies.”
DIYP offers our sincerest condolences to Jonathan’s family and friends.
Image credit: Joel Bradford
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe