Friday, July 23

A Reminder for this Saturday's Photowalk

I got up this morning and I got this link from Pipho.

10 Sure Fire Tips to Stop Your Photo 
Gears from Being Stolen

10 Sure Fire Tips to Stop Your Photo Gears from Being Stolen
by Raphael Chieza

Whenever you go out to take photos, whether it's to a foreign country to even around the 
block, there are a few useful tips that you should always keep in mind to avoid losing your 

1) Don't take everything. Less equipment = Less conspicuous

This may be obvious to some but there are always those who are worried that they may 
need a lens which they did not bring with them. Be clear on what you want to shoot at 
the location  you are going and try to limit to what you are most likely going to need. Not 
only will you  become less of a target for theft, you would also be travelling lighter. If the 
worse case happens,  then by carrying less weight around, you will have a higher chance of 
legging it without any loss.

2) Leave that Sigma 200-500mm at home!

Let's be honest here. Even if you are JUST taking one lens with you, if you are going to carry 
a lens that attract lots of attention like the Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 EX DG then you better be 
shooting at a fairly safe location. With something that looks like a bazooka, you will also have 
a great chance of being mistaken for a terrorist when composing (I'll refrain from saying 
"shoot" here) iconic buildings…

3) Low key camera bag which does not shout camera equipment

Sure, LowePro bags are great and I have a few but when I travel, they stay at home. I always 

get a worn looking backpack which has good padding (built-in or improvised) so that I can't 
be spotted as carrying camera gear from a mile off. Thieves and crooks nowadays are wise to
expensive brands so carrying branded bags or expensive looking stuff is no doubt going to 
get you some unwanted attention.

4) Keep your camera in your bag when not shooting

It never surprises me to see many people carry their expensive camera and lens around their 

neck and walk about as if it's the more natural thing to do. Sure, you can get at your camera 
quicker but you are also actively advertising yourself either. If you are shooting candids then 
this will also warn off your subjects before you can get your camera into position. I try to 
have a bag which I can get easy access to my camera so that I can pull it out easily. Of 
course, I also make sure that I am the ONLY one who can do that so that others won't 
make off with it in a heartbeat.

5) Avoid dangerous, high crime rate areas

This pointer is true whether you are carrying cameras or not. There will always be places 

which you should try to avoid. If you have to go then find out as much as possible from 
those who are familiar with the area before you head over. If you can't avoid trouble, 
you can at least mitigate it as much as possible and limit your loss by what you take with you.

6) Don't act like a victim / tourist

If you walk around looking like a victim and jump at every sound or shadow, you are also

going to get unwanted attention. There is a fine line between being cautious and advertising 
your vulnerability. I always find that by being careful and confidently fading in with the 
crowd is the best way to avoid problems. You should of course dress like the crowd as 
well… leave that Hawaiian shirt at home, please!

7) Don't trust others with your equipment

Sometimes, you may want to get someone to watch over your bag or even ask someone 

to take a photo for you. You may get away with it but if you are going to keep doing it, then 
expect that you will loose your camera eventually. Even if they are honest, there is no 
guarantee that they won't drop it or damage it by mistake. Play it safe!

8) Don't leave it unattended 

Even if you think you've managed to con everyone into thinking you are carrying around your 
dirty laundry instead of some snazzy camera equipment, you should still not leave it unattended 
at any time. Thinking that your bag under the restaurant table is safe while you are chatting to 
friends or if you go to the toilet for a few moments? WRONG! When leaving the camera 
under a table, I tend to have the straps wrapped around my leg so that if the bag so much 
as moves, I am aware!

9) Don't take security for granted… boot, hotel rooms, table top at a coffee shop

If people see your camera, there is no guarantee that it will be entirely safe. Hotel rooms 

are a notorious place for losing things when left in plain site. Even your boot can be broken 
into if people see you loading expensive stuff into it. The worse is the camera on the table top 
situation. It doesn't matter if it's in a restaurant or a cafĂ©. It's very easy for someone to just 
grab it and run, especially if it is on ground level or worse, in an outdoor open terrace. You've
been warned!

10) Paint it Pink Magenta

Finally, there is of course the option of painting it Pink Magenta! No thief in their right mind 
will steal it now… Don't believe me? Ask Kai! Honestly though, camouflaging your camera 
is a good idea but it does not have to be so extreme. Blackening the red ring on an L lens will
make it look like a cheaper lens and thus draw less attention. You can also black tape the 
brand and model of your camera. Finally, don't use the branded neck strap. You may be a 
fan boy but I am sure you can live without the branded strap for a trip or two.

That's all folks! Good Luck and Good Shooting!

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