About Randy Thieben

Randy Thieben can be found with his camera under just about any working conditions, and has witnessed such extremes as the threats of volcanic eruption and of dangerous animals in the wild. An exceptional photographer and cameraman, Randy Thieben remains cool under pressure, and shares his tips for dealing with extreme weather and dangerous surroundings.

The bottom line, when dealing with the threat of a dangerous situation, is that no news story is worth a human life. Hazardous conditions are always taken into consideration, and ultimately, the journalist makes the decision to participate or to withdraw. Camera operators are highly trained to get the best possible position for their photos and footage, and in their training they must also consider their safety.

A photographer or journalist should inform someone if they choose to change their position in precarious working conditions. It is paramount that someone is made aware of the photographer’s whereabouts at all times, and moving alone can be perilous.

Photographers must also consider how to dress and remain relaxed when confronted with a live threat. Whether the threat is an armed person or a wild animal, remaining calm and acting in a non-threatening manner is crucial.

Whether the weather is mild or extreme, the importance of appropriate working equipment must not be underestimated. Equipment includes work accessories (such as extra batteries) and also suitable clothing and emergency food and water supplies if necessary.

Finally, knowing when to raise the white flag and take a step back can be the difference between life and death. The thrill of extreme weather conditions or the threat of danger can be exhilarating, but a human life takes priority every time.

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