Jump to content

Recommended Posts

On 26/07/2020 at 15:07, Sally R said:

 

Someone else I know really recommends the ThinkTank bags for security because they don't really look like camera bags. I actually turn my Lowepro sling bag round so the label is facing inwards, just so it is a bit less obvious it is carrying a camera. But the ThinkTank ones I've seen are definitely less like a camera bag and less conspicuous.

 

All bags and backpacks look like camera bags. It's the shape.

A bit like all animals can recognize a human figure unless he/she is extremely well camouflaged. And it's not camo color but blurring the contour that does it.

For men this might work. 😂

For women this may be a good starting point.

 

It seems that the basic question Blinking Eye is asking is how to be discreet and that means how to hide your gear.

That won't work if you want to take any picture at all.

 

If I'm taking pictures I have my camera in my hand at all time. For security of my camera I always have the neck strap wound around my hand and wrist, so that I can let go of the grip and still not drop it. In tight situations a big camera can be safer than a small one. BTDT but no t shirt.

If you want to be inconspicuous use a phone. Or my favorite: dress in hi vis workwear.

 

My go to bag is a Lowepro Nova AW (All Weather) with the rain cover.

(but I also have a Tenba bag and Billingham bags. Plus lots of cases: a watertight  Calumet ; an indestructible KMP; the Sinar and several brilliant super lightweight French sailor's cases)

I use the smallest Lowepro bag that will carry everything I want to bring. (I have sizes 2-5).

For a shoulder strap I use a long strap in a loop that goes through both rings. One side of the loop goes over my left shoulder and the other on my right shoulder. This way the weight is distributed and the bag keeps level and steady while I move. I add a hip belt as well. If I clip that open, the bag swings in front of me in one simple move. Just in case.

Because people will try to steal stuff in some countries/cities/neighborhoods/situations. (If you want to totally relax go to Japan with your gear; if you're an adrenaline junky, go to Madrid.)

 

wim

 

Edited by wiskerke
link
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget about bags, The real tool is a BUSH JACKET...

 

They are getting really hard to find.

 

For years, I have worn my cameras over my shoulder and under a 3/4 length Bush Jacket.

Protects them from the elements and crowds.

 

One thing people should keep in mind: Hiding cameras and then pulling them out can be

dangerous.  I've seen a still photographer shot by security police after they surprised police

by pulling out a Black camera body with a 80-200 f2.8 lens out.  In my opinion it is best when

working in a conflict zone to make it obvious that you are carrying a camera.

 

I also NEVER cross camera straps over my head, there are times when loosing a camera

is better than loosing your head or body.

 

Chuck

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

All bags and backpacks look like camera bags. It's the shape.

A bit like all animals can recognize a human figure unless he/she is extremely well camouflaged. And it's not camo color but blurring the contour that does it.

For men this might work. 😂

For women this may be a good starting point.

 

It seems that the basic question Blinking Eye is asking is how to be discreet and that means how to hide your gear.

That won't work if you want to take any picture at all.

 

 

 

My go to bag is a Lowepro Nova AW (All Weather) with the rain cover.

(but I also have a Tenba bag and Billingham bags. Plus lots of cases: a watertight  Calumet ; an indestructible KMP; the Sinar and several brilliant super lightweight French sailor's cases)

I use the smallest Lowepro bag that will carry everything I want to bring. (I have sizes 2-5).

For a shoulder strap I use a long strap in a loop that goes through both rings. One side of the loop goes over my left shoulder and the other on my right shoulder. This way the weight is distributed and the bag keeps level and steady while I move. I add a hip belt as well. If I clip that open, the bag swings in front of me in one simple move. Just in case.

Because people will try to steal stuff in some countries/cities/neighborhoods/situations. (If you want to totally relax go to Japan with your gear; if you're an adrenaline junky, go to Madrid.)

 

wim

 

 

I used a Nova AW bag for years when I was travelling around Latin America. It served me well in all kinds of weather. The main drawback was that it was very boxy looking. I once had a security guard come running after me in an airport shouting that I wasn't allowed to take a beer cooler onto the plane. 😎

Edited by John Mitchell
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Forget about bags, The real tool is a BUSH JACKET...

 

They are getting really hard to find.

 

 

One thing people should keep in mind: Hiding cameras and then pulling them out can be

dangerous.  I've seen a still photographer shot by security police after they surprised police

by pulling out a Black camera body with a 80-200 f2.8 lens out.  In my opinion it is best when

working in a conflict zone to make it obvious that you are carrying a camera.

 

 

Chuck


I remember reading in one of the photo mags some years ago that there was a guy shot (and killed?) by police in Scotland I think (could have been London) because he was carrying a tripod and some concerned citizen rang 999 saying there was a man carrying a rifle. They shot first and asked questions later it seems. Then there was the person who had to sacrifice their blower a few years ago because airport security said it looked like a grenade. 

 

Edited by MDM
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MDM said:

I remember reading in one of the photo mags some years ago that there was a guy shot (and killed?) by police in Scotland I think (could have been London) because he was carrying a tripod

Possibly this then:

https://fstoppers.com/legal/photographer-who-was-shot-deputy-who-mistook-tripod-rifle-had-been-warned-about-238889

 

Googling 'man shot carrying' in the UK comes up with the suggestion of 'table leg'. That incident was in London in 1999 but the hapless individual was Scottish and carrying a table leg wrapped in polythene, it has to be said that he was a known armed robber apparently.

 

I'm going have to think more carefully about where i take my monopod.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MDM said:


I remember reading in one of the photo mags some years ago that there was a guy shot (and killed?) by police in Scotland I think (could have been London) because he was carrying a tripod and some concerned citizen rang 999 saying there was a man carrying a rifle. They shot first and asked questions later it seems. Then there was the person who had to sacrifice their blower a few years ago because airport security said it looked like a grenade. 

 

 

Wow, that's a cautionary tale. I was once subjected to a rather long interrogation at a land border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua when a bag inspector unearthed a monopod in my suitcase. He no doubt thought it was a weapon. My Spanish is passable, but there was no way I could explain how it was used. I thought he was going to demand a propina ("tip") or confiscate the monopod. However, after passing it around to his fellow guards, he shrugged and waved the crazy gringo through.

Edited by John Mitchell
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

Possibly this then:

https://fstoppers.com/legal/photographer-who-was-shot-deputy-who-mistook-tripod-rifle-had-been-warned-about-238889

 

Googling 'man shot carrying' in the UK comes up with the suggestion of 'table leg'. That incident was in London in 1999 but the hapless individual was Scottish and carrying a table leg wrapped in polythene, it has to be said that he was a known armed robber apparently.

 

I'm going have to think more carefully about where i take my monopod.


Ok. I am not sleeping enough but 1999 sounds about right. I knew there was something related to Scotland and London. My brain is a bit fragmented right now. I do think there was something else around then with a tripod or monopod but who knows? 😀

 

23 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Wow, that's a cautionary tale. I was once subjected to a rather long interrogation at a land border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua when a bag inspector unearthed a monopod in my suitcase. He no doubt thought it was a weapon. My Spanish is passable, but there was no way I could explain how it was used. I thought he was going to demand a propina ("tip") or confiscate the monopod. However, after passing it around to his fellow guards, he shrugged and waved the crazy gringo through.


Si señor. I never argue with the police and especially not the Spanish (speaking) police. 😀

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Thinktank Urban disquise bag. I am wearing that bag in my forum picture. The horizontal bag in this video.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsc6FF0pmbc

 

I wear it with the strap on my left shoulder and then across my chest, holding the bag under my right arm, at my waist.

 

When walking around shooting I have the camera on my neck on a neck strap long enough so when I open the top zipper on the bag the camera nestles inside the bag out of sight, but is also around my neck ready for instant action. Nestling in the bag supports the camera so it takes the camera weight off my neck.

 

I like to work out of a loosely packed bag so the bag contains a facing downward 5Ds, with a 70-200 F4 attached and also a couple of other lenses. The rest of the pockets contain all the other equipment like cable release etc.

 

When flying and not shooting I pack the same small bag tightly so it also contains the camera stuff but also the travel stuff like passport, reading material, tickets itinery, food, water bottle etc. It fits under the seat.

 

I also have a much large version of the same thinktank bag that will hold all of my equipment including a 400mm F5.6.

 

I have a very cheap consumer roll on case sized to international standards that I have gutted. This will contain the large bag fully packed and the smaller bag slipped over the towing handle. Or it will accept the smaller bag inside, along with my clothing and other personal effects.

 

The bags look like standard luggage and do not look like camera bags. So great for safely rolling into a hotel from a car. The thinktank bags wear like iron, so are like new after 8 years of daily use.

 

Highly recommend anything from Thinktank

 

https://www.thinktankphoto.com
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy cow. I'm on a deadline so haven't had time to read this but thrilled by so many responses!!! My how I love the passion in this forum. Thanks for the study material. xoxo

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Forget about bags, The real tool is a BUSH JACKET...

 

They are getting really hard to find.

 

For years, I have worn my cameras over my shoulder and under a 3/4 length Bush Jacket.

Protects them from the elements and crowds.

 

One thing people should keep in mind: Hiding cameras and then pulling them out can be

dangerous.  I've seen a still photographer shot by security police after they surprised police

by pulling out a Black camera body with a 80-200 f2.8 lens out.  In my opinion it is best when

working in a conflict zone to make it obvious that you are carrying a camera.

 

I also NEVER cross camera straps over my head, there are times when loosing a camera

is better than loosing your head or body.

 

Chuck

 

 

If someone notices you taking photos, they know you have a camera and wherever you hide it isn't secret anymore.   Be careful about having someone follow you home. 

 

I like wrist straps, and mine are not particularly fancy.    I can hold the camera slightly out of sight, under a jacket or behind my back.   The real trick is to look for people looking at you with a fixed gaze that will remind you of cats looking at mice.

 

I feel safer if a number of people are on the street.  Even in dodgy neighborhoods, most people are honest and often will come to your aid if it doesn't put them in danger, too.   

 

When I go out during festivals or in the mercado, one camera, one lens, and often one cocker spaniel with ten percent terrier who weighs around 40 pounds.   Saw a gringa professional photographer in Leon who'd hired two Nicaraguan photographers or photo assistants to be with her and her big cameras.   If you habitually go into dodgy neighborhoods, consider teaming up with another photographer. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Wow, that's a cautionary tale. I was once subjected to a rather long interrogation at a land border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua when a bag inspector unearthed a monopod in my suitcase. He no doubt thought it was a weapon. My Spanish is passable, but there was no way I could explain how it was used. I thought he was going to demand a propina ("tip") or confiscate the monopod. However, after passing it around to his fellow guards, he shrugged and waved the crazy gringo through.

 

Customs agents also appear to find Billingham fasteners irresistible.  When I got my Billingham in Nicaragua, all the fasteners had been undone, and going through customs exiting Mexico, the inspector had me undo all the fasteners and explain two items I was carrying. 

 

I'd show anyone who had trouble with a monopod how it attached to a camera.

Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, MizBrown said:

 

I'd show anyone who had trouble with a monopod how it attached to a camera.

 

I of course thought of that, but doing so would would have brought attention to my camera bag, which he hadn't bothered to explore. I hate it when inspectors start hauling lenses and camera bodies out and fiddling with them. Potentially losing a monopod is much better than having a clumsy guard drop a lens.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a variety of bags and use the one that is appropriate for the circumstances.  I have my main large bag for my shoots when I need everything with me.  But if just walking around, I use messenger style bag for just a few camera items.  I also have backpacks for some situations.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Additional to my last post in this thread. If I'm photographing a typical march / demonstration, usually in London, my shoulder bag will be over my left shoulder and resting on my right side. A D750 with 24-70 Tamron G2 over my left shoulder or in my hands, and my D750 with Nikon 70-300 over my right shoulder. My 24-70 requires pushing a button to release its lens hood, so I never loose it when brushing up against people or obstructions, not so the 70-300. I often apply a small piece of electrical PVC insulation tape to stop it getting knocked off. Luckily last time it got knocked off when it wasn't taped a marcher picked it up and caught me up to give it back.

 

Generally England is fairly safe and secure unless photographing a far right protest. Many years back I was out in London photographing from dusk to sunrise during June and had 3 youths eying up my camera and starting to encircle me, and commenting what a nice camera I had. I had to pre-empt any theft attempt by swinging the tripod at the biggest threat and advanced on him. They backed off with lots of mouthing, I was lucky they were chancers.

Edited by sb photos
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Camera Sony mirrorless A6500 carried by strap. In summer I use a multi pocket gilet to carry lenses while walking. In winter I use a small bag whose manfacturer's name has long since disappeared. Less is more in my view. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 25/07/2020 at 21:10, The Blinking Eye said:

Been meaning to ask this for a while. May seem rudimentary, but I would like to see/hear how people carry their cameras around? In a camera bag? Which one? On a strap around your neck? How do you manage for it to be safe and discreet and yet quickly available for a shot? And not heavy or bulky. I walk everywhere, often in dicey urban areas.

 

I use a two phased approach when it comes to traveling with photo gear.

 

Phase 1, Getting to the destination I use a ThinkTank Airport International roller bag that holds two Fujifilm X-T3 camera bodies with various lenses and accessories. A roller bag is very easy to pull through an airport or to travel with in general as I don't have to carry the weight but rather roll it.

 

Phase 2, At the destination the roller bag and extra gear stay at my accommodations. Walking around I use a small fanny pack (facing forward) for filters, extra batteries and SD cards and just have both cameras on my shoulders. My normal carry is a 10-24mm and a 55-200mm. No camera bag or backpack.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Forget about bags, The real tool is a BUSH JACKET...

 

They are getting really hard to find.

 

For years, I have worn my cameras over my shoulder and under a 3/4 length Bush Jacket.

Protects them from the elements and crowds.

 

One thing people should keep in mind: Hiding cameras and then pulling them out can be

dangerous.  I've seen a still photographer shot by security police after they surprised police

by pulling out a Black camera body with a 80-200 f2.8 lens out.  In my opinion it is best when

working in a conflict zone to make it obvious that you are carrying a camera.

 

I also NEVER cross camera straps over my head, there are times when loosing a camera

is better than loosing your head or body.

 

Chuck

 

Ah, those great bush or safari jackets. I used to have a dozen of them. 

I was snapping away in Berlin once, up on the hill with the little museum. Down below I spotted  the actor, Hardy Krüger walking his dog. I called down to him and asked where he got the safari jacket he wore in The Wild Geese. He told me the name of a shop in Nairobi, Kenya, not Berlin. Where did those great, useful jackets go? 

 

And I agree, Chuck—it’s best to be open and obvious using a camera in a danger zone.

 

Wim, your list of gear reminds me that I’m lucky to be retired now and just shooting editorial stock for Alamy. I have a pain in my shoulder from reading your list.

 

 

Edited by Ed Rooney
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, MDM said:


 Then there was the person who had to sacrifice their blower a few years ago because airport security said it looked like a grenade. 

 

 

We were warned by our travel company about carrying a blower in hand luggage. It has to go in the checked bag.

 

6 hours ago, sb photos said:

 My 24-70 requires pushing a button to release its lens hood, so I never loose it when brushing up against people or obstructions, not so the 70-300. I often apply a small piece of electrical PVC insulation tape to stop it getting knocked off. Luckily last time it got knocked off when it wasn't taped a marcher picked it up and caught me up to give it back.

 

 

I knocked a lens hood off when I was on an elephant in India. We were photographing tigers and, fortunately, none were near so the mahout retrieved it for me. Unfortunately, the elephant had stepped on it. I kept it as a souvenir.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my 5d with 28-300 around my neck most of the time when travelling . It is heavy so I tend to hold it like you do a baby in a sort of cradling position. I usually have it in a rucksack when not round my neck but have just bought a new bag by Crumpler which I am really pleased with. It is super light and they have a large range of different styles. My kit fits in without being dismantled too and it doesnt look like a camera bag.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

Have you ever seen this, Paulette?

 

 

 

Yes. I even saw it before I went on my tiger trip. I don't know why I wasn't really afraid of the tigers... The mahout was even having the elephant do something that made the tigers snarl. There was one time in Africa when a lioness made eye contact with me (she only had one eye) and that made my heart beat faster. Honestly, in the tiger reserve we were in open jeeps so probably safer to be on an elephant.

 

Paulette

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Wim, your list of gear reminds me that I’m lucky to be retired now and just shooting editorial stock for Alamy. I have a pain in my shoulder from reading your list.

 

Haha!

 

https://previews.dropbox.com/p/thumb/AA1uSswLdFe_MbC3niULyWNpQt9VwETKYwb99JDdbUwgq0CdLzn4bjz9eMVxf3jFLhFX4u9l9qyG4xhfApEG6e4SR16bHDTD9G9oWQUodhbUk3Lz9TjpiOtGURYB_avk74n2mb9VcThSmVYU_z_UH1QzZjfQoqtz9BYYVw7Cqsoim1DmridvMbK6oNIUkoeFTyrgtK1M-MmG3QRbpvpLaitQC_l7hyFcybMZb85gtJuoaJ7BjHJSEcv1TlQAl3K2IfmDba0Ut6MdlFXRbu9p-sHafpkfroF7iQlZBtaV89mtHHgod6acAIizSDv7sUzdjNv6wRzjiqCDcr83R9YjqztwkZxJHNJld1IbBpW-chwbnw/p.jpeg?fv_content=true&size_mode=5

 

20 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I used a Nova AW bag for years when I was travelling around Latin America. It served me well in all kinds of weather. The main drawback was that it was very boxy looking. I once had a security guard come running after me in an airport shouting that I wasn't allowed to take a beer cooler onto the plane. 😎

 

Yep it does look like a beer cooler. Not sure if a beer cooler would be allowed in Madrid Airport.

Here's a full size version, but the sling is not much clearer than in this thumbnail.

Like Bill I stuff the bag with the binoculars; back up RX100; passport; phone; keys; change and so on.

 

wim

 

edit: the full size image shows the Zing pouch for the RX100 that's in use. Empty, because there's a friendly person taking my portrait with it.

Small Zing pouch here.

The back up RX100 is in this Zing pouch.
 

Edited by wiskerke
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jackietraveller said:

 and it doesnt look like a camera bag.

 

Other than to another photographer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.