It’s a shot in a million … better make that two million, three million and counting.
That’s the number of times a photograph that was taken Wednesday night of a frozen American Falls has been viewed by people around the world.
The photo, taken by Niagara Falls resident Tim Williams, went viral after it was posted on the CBS Pittsburgh Facebook page.
As of Friday evening, the photo had been viewed more than three million times and was shared on social media sites more than 60,000 times.
How it all came about is that Williams is friends on Twitter with another man who shares the same name, a news anchor from Pittsburgh.
“It’s just been unreal,” said Williams, who cannot believe the number of people who have viewed his photo, a night shot of the frozen falls with coloured lights shining on it.
Tim Williams, the news anchor, asked Tim Williams, the Niagara Falls resident, to send him a photo of Niagara Falls covered in ice.
“On Wednesday night, my wife, Trish, and I went down to the falls and I spent about half an hour shooting the falls. I did nothing to the photo, just took it from the camera and sent it off,” he explained. “He tweeted the photo out and it just exploded.”
The photo was also shown on Pittsburgh CBS television station KDKA.
“It has just taken off,” said Williams, 39, who enjoys photography as a hobby and would like to explore it as a business some day.
“I just set up my tripod and started to shoot,” said Williams, who used a Nikon D7100 camera. “I sent him two pictures that night. The one that’s been getting all the hits is the shot with the coloured lights on the falls. On Thursday morning, I went back and took some more photos during the day and those should also be up later.”
Williams joked it would be great if he could get one dollar every time his photo was viewed.
For Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati, who uses any opportunity available to promote his city, this is the kind of publicity money can’t buy.
“That’s just incredible,” Diodati said. “Sometimes it’s just something that is random and unintentional and you can’t really plan for it. This is a classic example of that and recently I’ve been seeing frozen photos of the American Falls all over Facebook.”
While Niagara Falls gets millions of visitors every year, he said most people arrive in the summer and they don’t get to see this other side of our city.
“We’ve had some of the coldest weather here and it has created some of the coolest artwork from one of the natural wonders of the world,” said Diodati.
“It’s just so unpredictable and you can only see it in the winter,” he added. “I love it. Anything that causes the world to say Niagara Falls, we win. This is a huge random victory.”