Taking photos can be hazardous to your health. Take this example here. I had to traverse some widely spaced wet rocks in the middle of the brook to set up my tripod to take the long exposure on top of a rock barely big enough for me to stand on. If you think about it, one bad move could do me in. Worse, it could do my camera in. True, I have insurance on my camera gear in case something happens, but it sure would ruin my day and put me out of shooting commission for a while. Strangely, I found it easier to get back to the trail on the shore than it was to get out there.
Most of the time, I’ll be OK. I’ve taken spills, fallen over, bopped my camera, you name it. Fortunately, Sony and Minolta gear is pretty robust. No shot is worth getting hurt, though. Double check all of your surroundings and if you’re not comfortable with it, back out. After all, what’s the point of a nice picture if you’re too bandaged up in the hospital to look at it?
Your tripod can be an effective tool for probing unfamiliar areas. Use the extended legs like a hiking stick to give you better leverage against rocks or in brooks. Areas with limited footing are helped greatly with a stabilizer like a hiking stick, and a tripod’s an excellent fill-in. Don’t forget to wear tough boots that offer lots of traction. If you find yourself in water a lot, waterproof boots and pants could save you a lot of rock-walking grief by simply walking across the water. Just make sure not to dunk your camera in the drink.