Be a Hero: Self-Shoots at the Edge of the Abyss

  • Winfried Gerling


A tendency has developed in recent times toward a close connection of the (photo) apparatus and the body. The GoPro, the “world’s most versatile camera,” as stated in the developer’s self-description, is often worn attached to the body, is held at a moderate distance from the body by means of a selfie stick, or is firmly mounted on helmets and sporting equipment. Regarding these cameras, a whole array of practices and technologies has evolved that strongly promote “self-shooting.” Thus, a new genre of the self-image has arisen: images of skaters, surfers, fliers, fallers, and the fallen, all capturing themselves in all circumstances up until death; it seems that the camera itself creates the risk to fall. This chapter focuses on the relationship of aesthetics, body, and apparatus that can be traced back to early examples of “falling photographers” and that is nowadays so impressively exemplified by the GoPro technique and its usage. Additionally, the text deals with the general leveling of the difference between the moving image (video) and the still image (photography) within the digital realm, specifically via the unification of both, technologies and practices, in one apparatus—like the GoPro.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Winfried Gerling
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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