To selfie?, or not to selfie?


In a week where there has been immense coverage coming to light that selfies cause more death these days than shark attacks, it staggers belief that visitors dont second guess risking it all.

The trip to the Mornington Peninsula started with being told about a group of amateur photographers are heading out to photograph some of the most beautiful coastline in Victoria. Sounds innocent enough right?

But it was the reports that this group was heading to Pulpit Rock for astro photography that concerned me, I have been to Pulpit Rock several times and I know how dangerous this place is in daylight. See previous blog

I did some basic checking such as sunset time, twilight time, cloud coverage, weather and the all important swell and tide charts and forecasts. They are venturing out at high tide (after 8.13pm) with swells around 1.41m. Crazy for anyone let alone those with no experience and in the dark.

The reef and rock ledge near Pulpit Rock is notorious. Ive seen a photographer swept off the ledge, luckily he was ok. But its through not knowing the area or the tides/swell.

I was able to document groups of visitors climbing the fragile cliffs, walking past signage of unstable cliffs and clear evidence of recent slippage. I watched them slip down off the banks trying to get down and back to the boardwalks.

It got dark pretty quickly, not much ambient light, a wedding couple standing out on a cliff having wedding photos, with the lighthouse in the background, clambering trying to get down safely, especially the bride in heels.

I decided I didn’t want to use flash, with so many other photographers around taking images from the safety of the boardwalks. I passed members of the group on the way back down to the rock ledge. As I passed them, I gave them a warning that it was high tide and to be careful if they were heading down to the reef.

On the way back up, I stopped for 5 minutes and took a shot from the boardwalk. I was safe, and with great views of the lighthouse and the stars above. I wasn’t really prepared for astrophotography, after all I was there to document the others. But I took an image to prove… You dont have to risk it all to get that special photo. You can find compositions in perfectly safe locations.

©Watson_D - Cape Schanck Lighthouse, taken from the boardwalk 06/10/2018

©Watson_D - Cape Schanck Lighthouse, taken from the boardwalk 06/10/2018