How Snapping A Sunset Photo Led To The Tragic Death Of A California Man

Photography is a fascinating, multifaceted discipline. Photographs can tell us a lot about history, as well as our present way of life. For some, it's a casual hobby, mostly employed on special occasions or at family gatherings. For heavy social media users, the content tends to differ widely.

In this brave new world of ubiquitous smartphones, instant cameras have become a real rarity. This has only meant that more photographs are taken than ever. In May 2016, Google celebrated the first anniversary of Google Photos by unleashing some remarkable statistics on us: In that year, 24 billion "selfie" labels were used, and 200 million peoples' content appeared on the service each month. Taking a selfie can also result in death.

From casual selfie-takers to professional photographers at the most glamorous events, the art of snapping a photograph is familiar to billions around the world. As seen with selfies, some go to great, deadly lengths to get that special photograph, and in one tragic incident, a man in California was killed in his attempt to capture that most wonderful of subjects: a sunset.

A glorious California sunset

Sunsets have always been favorite subjects for photographers of all levels, and it's plain to see why. They're stunningly beautiful; they vary wildly depending on the time of day, year, location, and angle; and they just capture the imagination. It's a remarkable sight that we're privileged to see — depending on where we live, of course — on a daily basis.

As Visit Norway reports, the Scandinavian nation is one exception to this rule. The angle of the planet's rotation means that there is no sunset in the region of the Arctic Circle for quite some time during the summer. Over in California, this is not the case. In February 2014, per CBS Los Angeles, a glorious sunset was visible in Tustin in the Golden State. An eager photographer, determined to get some shots of it, was sadly killed after climbing a tree to get an optimal view.

David Strohm Jr., the outlet reports, took his photographs in his family's backyard. While in his lofty position, he had the great misfortune of touching an active power line.

A deadly danger

Per CBS Los Angeles, David Strohm Jr.'s body wasn't found by his parents until the next morning. Horribly, they had been searching for him when he didn't return. Power was momentarily deactivated while officials approached his body. The Orange County Register added that this had to be done with the utmost care because Strohm was still positioned against the power line. The Orange County Fire Authority's Captain Steve Concialdi said, according to the outlet, that Strohm made a habit of climbing this particular tree. Its thick leaves may have obscured the deadly danger. Southern California Edison reportedly launched an investigation into how the lines caused his death.

Our bodies are effective conductors of electricity, after all. This is why, per St John Ambulance, it's vital to take precautions when treating somebody who has been electrocuted. The outlet advises to try to put wood between a person and the source of electricity. If that's not feasible, use rope in order to remove the individual.

This, The Orange County Register reports, was how Strohm was brought down from the tree. A terrible loss of a young man that a local described fondly.