National Geographic photographers travel to exotic places and regularly produce some of the most stunning images in the world. For many, it’s an absolute dream job, but creating spectacular imagery isn’t all glamour. A new survey titled “Reality Check” serves as a reminder of the dangers these photographers face on the job.
The list was compiled by The Photo Society, a website run by a group of National Geographic contributing photographers, by speaking with 45 different photographers about the variety of dangerous situations they’ve encountered on assignment for the magazine.
Severe diarrhea, various broken bones and severe insect problems are to be expected, but other hazards that appear on the list are more extreme. Take, for example, finding a viper in your camera bag or being attacked by 9,000 pound elephant seal. The acid dripping cave and the photographer who was “streaming blood while hanging from harness at 1500 feet” also sound terrifying. Each number represents an individual incident, although a single photographer has had 23 of the 29 cases of frostbite.
The survey is dedicated to Wes Skiles, a freelance underwater cave photographer for National Geographic, who died on the job in 2010.
See the entire collection of National Geographic hazards here, reading through the terrifying encounters will really make you appreciate the hard work that goes into crafting such beautiful images.