As a photographer I‘m always trying to find a different angle to photograph from so I can make the image unique, and so I eschew the idea of photographing a landmark from a viewing platform.

Bri and I had done a short hike in to a waterfall, and had ended up standing on top of a viewing platform with a group of tourists. This wasn‘t what I‘d come for, so we climbed down a few hundred feet of steep and muddy forrest under the redwood canopy to reach a deep pool under the waterfall where I could shoot from. My camera was cinched up with my Blackrapid strap, my backpack clipped tightly around my waist, everything loose tucked away and safely attached, at least I thought so.


One of the photos I was trying to get was looking up out of the water with an underwater housing, so i was leaning off of a rock over the deep water trying to stay dry when I hear the dreaded sound “kerplunk“ and see the car keys drifting down into the depths. This was my only set, and we were far from cell service.

Between a guy and his girlfriend, there is no such thing as drawing straws, so I stripped down fully naked and dove into the water. There on top of a boulder, I saw a shimmer and to my astonishment found the keys. They were in the only place I believe it would have been possible to have actually found them. Had they gone an inch in either direction they would have slid off into the cracks between the rocks and have been lost forever. Lucky doesn‘t cut it.


I climbed out, and stood naked on the rock trying to absorb some heat from the sun, when behind me, I heard voices. It was at this point that I remembered the viewing platform. I looked up to see a group of tourists taking photos, only this time, not of the waterfall.

Please enjoy this video from the Access Road Trip. The campaign was to educate and inspire everyone to get outside!


Please check out Ben Horton’s photography here and be sure to follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


FOOTNOTES: Photos and Story by: Ben Horton