“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
~William G. T. Shedd
Hi folks, this is Andy McFarlane, curator of Michigan in Pictures with a message so we’re all clear on what this blog is, and what it isn’t.
A little background: On Saturday I was not going to be a computer so I pre-scheduled a photo on Thursday, something I do fairly often. The photo was of some people jumping off the South Haven Pier, and coincidentally, someone fell (or jumped) off the pier late Friday night. They weren’t found, and the search has been called off as there’s no report of a missing person and it appears they may have gotten out of the water undetected.
While I did Saturday things not involving a computer, quite a large discussion unfolded on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook page, centering on the illegality of jumping off that pier (something I didn’t know about) and the irresponsibility of sharing photos of people doing dangerous things. After a quick scan of the comments and messages I’d received, I decided to delete the entire post from Facebook and Michigan in Pictures because I was told that people were still processing grief and that I was being insensitive. That appears to not be the case, and I’m sorry that I didn’t have more time to figure out the whole story.
I guess we can have some of the discussion here (and on the Facebook post). You may recall a couple of years ago when there was a minor uproar over a photo my girlfriend took on the ice. I think that what I wrote then is still applicable, and I hope that all my readers can accept my policy for this blog because at the end of the day, it’s how it’s going to be:
I post pictures all the time where the photographers have taken calculated risks to see, photograph and experience things that you cannot see and photograph without an element of risk. I allow my son to surf in conditions that can be very dangerous, let my daughter climb trees high enough to probably kill her if she fell, and have hiked on trails where one slip meant death.
I suppose I should post disclaimers of “don’t be an idiot” with all photos of risky environments, but I think I will continue to assume that my readers will assess risks on their own, and I will continue to experience and share Michigan as I choose.
…Please understand that Michigan in Pictures is a place where I share amazing pictures that are shared with me. I’m not doing this as a public service to educate people on how to stay alive and safe. I do it for love of Michigan and to share the cool experiences it offers. I trust that my readers will exercise appropriate caution as they enjoy Michigan, and I’m 1000% sure that if folks get out and wisely play a little closer to the edge, they’ll have a happier and longer life.
Caveat emptor will remain the policy of Michigan in Pictures, which I will again remind readers is my personal blog, not paid for by anyone and offered with the sole hope that you can find pictures and places that help you enjoy and appreciate Michigan more.