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Author Topic: De-Pimp my camera  (Read 5101 times)
sundstei
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« on: June 28, 2007, 04:56:10 PM »
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I am doing a lot of shooting lately in areas where i want my MFDB setup to look as "simple" as possible in order to avoid attention from people thinking that the value of my camera could be worth the chance of dumping me (lifeless) in some ditch.  

Any experiences with good camouflage?  A shiny box with a large LCD has a tendency to attract more attention than my Pentax 6x7.... so maybe something to cover it in some way?

I used to carry my Canon in a shopping-mall plastic bag a couple of times.
Nice way to hide large white lenses...

Any suggestions are welcomed with open arms

Svein Erik
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 04:57:36 PM by sundstei » Logged
hcubell
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 05:22:47 PM »
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I am doing a lot of shooting lately in areas where i want my MFDB setup to look as "simple" as possible in order to avoid attention from people thinking that the value of my camera could be worth the chance of dumping me (lifeless) in some ditch.  

Any experiences with good camouflage?  A shiny box with a large LCD has a tendency to attract more attention than my Pentax 6x7.... so maybe something to cover it in some way?

I used to carry my Canon in a shopping-mall plastic bag a couple of times.
Nice way to hide large white lenses...

Any suggestions are welcomed with open arms

Svein Erik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125482\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Grey duct tape all over the camera body and lens. Works like a charm!
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sundstei
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 05:29:46 PM »
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Grey duct tape all over the camera body and lens. Works like a charm!
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Problem is also that i need to cover the big Aptus 75 screen in some way..  and i dont want to stick too much duct tape on it

Maybe i will get one of the Leaf covers and spray paint it black.

Some kind of Neoprene "sock" that could cover the cam + back would be sexy.

Like the "Camera condom" :
[a href=\"http://www.skydanceheadgear.com/images/cameracondom.jpg]http://www.skydanceheadgear.com/images/cameracondom.jpg[/url]
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 05:35:59 PM by sundstei » Logged
Don Libby
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 06:36:25 PM »
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Okay, if it were me and I was shooting in an area that I felt threaten I would as a large friend or hire one to go with me.  Another set of eyes that aren't glued to the viewfinder can come in hand - also won't hurt if friend looks like a line-backer.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 06:36:48 PM by Iron Creek » Logged

AndreNapier
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 07:50:29 PM »
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Svein,

Small and very dry friend named Gienadij generaly works much better is post comunism countries than the bigest linebacker. They are not there to scare people, they are with you to make sure that people as scared. When I shoot there I always hire one for about a $100/day. There is plenty of them around since they all lost jobs for KGB.

http://andrenapier.com
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Terence h
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2007, 02:05:05 AM »
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I am doing a lot of shooting lately in areas where i want my MFDB setup to look as "simple" as possible in order to avoid attention from people thinking that the value of my camera could be worth the chance of dumping me (lifeless) in some ditch.  

Any experiences with good camouflage?  A shiny box with a large LCD has a tendency to attract more attention than my Pentax 6x7.... so maybe something to cover it in some way?

I used to carry my Canon in a shopping-mall plastic bag a couple of times.
Nice way to hide large white lenses...

Any suggestions are welcomed with open arms

Svein Erik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125482\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I live in South Africa and have a Aptus 65 that i would like use to take photograph some urban landscapes.
I am at present getting an all risks insurance quote before i head out , my old Hasselblad 500 body will help , but i am going to be dealing with some people who would kill you for the change in your pocket , so for me i am going to have a driver with the car running and allocate about 2 minutes per image before moving on to the next scene.
I must also find an ugly bag to cover my shiny new yellow Pelican case , that thing certainly says expensive stuff inside please come steal me.

If i am going to spending some time in a location i will either use my 35mm digital so i can work really fast and if it is stolen i can easily replace it.
I have hired a guard in the past when i have worked in really bad hot spots , but i also think the trick is to keep moving.
I must say shooting on location is the only time i would consider shooting film again , it would certainly take the pressure off , until of course you had to have scanning done.

And of course there are a lot of places in South Africa you would not consider going to at all ,
let alone taking a camera with you.

I often think about all the photographs that i would like to take but i would probably have to deprive my family of my life to get them.

That said South Africa is a great country to visit , just consult with people on the ground before
risking your body and cameras.

Cheers best of luck
Terence Hogben
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Terence Hogben. Durban. South Africa. http://www.terencehogben.co.za
nik
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2007, 07:32:35 AM »
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In addition to what Terence said, you should also apply the "simple" look to yourself. People tend to notice YOU first, and then start to look at your stuff. The scruffier the better. I got quite a few tips on this by reading the American Travel writer, Paul Theroux, especially from his travels in Africa.


-Nik


Quote
I am doing a lot of shooting lately in areas where i want my MFDB setup to look as "simple" as possible in order to avoid attention from people thinking that the value of my camera could be worth the chance of dumping me (lifeless) in some ditch.  

Any experiences with good camouflage?  A shiny box with a large LCD has a tendency to attract more attention than my Pentax 6x7.... so maybe something to cover it in some way?

I used to carry my Canon in a shopping-mall plastic bag a couple of times.
Nice way to hide large white lenses...

Any suggestions are welcomed with open arms

Svein Erik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125482\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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NBP
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2007, 03:01:44 AM »
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I too am finding myself very conscious of the size of my MFDB/RZ camera when out & about on my own.
Experiences range from the just interested to openly hostile.

I had 2 quite scary looking kids in Brooklyn watching me for a while & then one of them came over to ask what TV station I was filming for    followed by a pleasant 10 minuite exchange about why I was photographing an old run down basketball court.

Wheras last month in Brixton in London - an area I've lived in for over 10 years, I got threatened with a tire iron & told to f**k off about 10 times within 2 hours just photographing peopleless urban landscapes - I totally blame the British Govt's obbsession with CCTV and surveilence in general for this attitude.
I finally (and not to my credit) snapped when a builder passing me in his van stopped, got out and came back to aggessively ask me 'what the f**k' I thought I was doing? I told him not so politely that It was none of his f**king buisness and to piss off & leave me alone.
It was a thougherly depressing afternoon  
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 03:06:38 AM by NBP » Logged
narikin
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2007, 09:54:56 AM »
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I've traveled throughout the US inner cities for the past few years with a Contax P45  (now +) and 1Ds2. yes I have insurance, but no, I don't want any trouble.

I look scruffy always. once when I was sitting on the kerbside in a run down area, someone stopped their car and tried to give me money as a homeless individual. the camera under my jacket was worth more than their car, but it was hard to explain that. kind people abound. The other tack is to put on an orange hi visibility vest, then everyone assumes you are from the city or some utility co. works well.

only time I got physically in trouble was when I took a picture of an unoccupied car, from afar, in a parking lot in LA suburb. the owner turned up and went ape, god knows why. tried to throttle me with the camera strap, till I deleted the picture. people are weird.

my Contax has the name taped over, of course, and I use a bag that doesn't look like a camera bag. amazes me that Tamrac, Loewe etc make bags that scream PRO PHOTOGRAPHER at the world, when its not what we want 90% of the time.

the best camera I had for this kind of work was a Plaubel Makina, it folded up to a small paperback book, despite being 6x7 MF, and you could put it over your shoulder, then put your jacket on, walk down the street and nobody had a clue you had anything. swing it out from under your arm, pop the lens forward, take a picture, and back again. just great.

I hate these big, unwieldy mf DSLR's, but there's not  a lot of choice in digital these days.
Alpa 12TC maybe, its kind of got a homemade look, and if they sold an accurate rangefinder, I'd probably switch.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 10:24:04 AM by narikin » Logged
sundstei
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2007, 10:22:43 AM »
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my Contax has the name taped over, of course, and I use a bag that doesn't look like a camera bag. amazes me that Tamrac, Loewe etc make bags that scream PRO PHOTOGRAPHER at the world, when its not what we want 90% of the time.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125928\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Good point... i bought a new bag once, and had to beat it up and dirty it down in sand for an hour to get it to look "normal" for my use. Amatures love to show of their newest bags and cameras. Professionals just want to be left alone

With so many bags in traditional camouflage colors for wildlife photography.. why is there no "urban camouflage" for travel/urban photography?

I usually photograph dressed in normal clothes, plastic bag for my camera (from local grocery shop) and look like any other guy on the street. People even ask me for directions in local language


And things are just getting worse thanks to the manufacturers. WHITE lenses.. what the h*** is that about? I cant see a single place in the world it would be an advantage to have a white lens (except the arctic).

Hasselblad and Sinar/Leaf/F&H are not making things better.. the H1 looks out of place most places.. and the Hy6 looks 10 times worse. Cant we all just agree that everything should be nice and black? (i am not getting into the fact that i would be ashamed holding the Hy6 in front of a client..no matter how nice a camera it is). And why are so many backs in different colors? BLACK please

Ok.... need to get my heart medicine now
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sundstei
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2007, 10:27:01 AM »
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Small and very dry friend named Gienadij generaly works much better is post comunism countries than the bigest linebacker. They are not there to scare people, they are with you to make sure that people as scared. When I shoot there I always hire one for about a $100/day. There is plenty of them around since they all lost jobs for KGB.

http://andrenapier.com
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125510\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Czesc Andre

Mine is called Marcin and works for 400zl/day (including driving). But he is over 50, so not sure how well he would do if we got into real trouble

Svein Erik
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Don Libby
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2007, 01:28:47 PM »
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I think showing a little respect and maybe throw in a dash of humor will go along ways.  Then again there's nothing like being prepared, its better to have and not need than wish to hell you had when you needed it the most.

I remember a time when my wife and I were out in the middle of nowhere when this couple came up on the scene.  I was too busy with my head in the view finder to really track their movements.  Thankfully my wife was there and kept an over watch while it took me the couple minutes I needed.  No trouble at all but it was nice to have another set of eyes around to watch your back.  Did they really pose a problem?  Not really but it was nice to have another person around.  And yes she could have taken them!

I do a lot of photography way out and beyond civilization and I do worry about safety from the two-legged snakes.  If I'm alone I have some sort of protection if I'm with someone else its nice to have that extra set of eyes.

Bottom line is do whatever you feel makes you safer, including a good insurance policy.

Just my 2 cents worth ......
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snickgrr
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2007, 06:48:14 PM »
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Just got done with a shoot today, a freebie for an organization that I do volunteer work for.  Through a fairly complicated process I was permitted access to a State Prison here in California, it is the one prison in the state that houses the death row inmates.  I was to do inmate portraits out in the yard and had brought the Mamiya/Aptus 75 with a bag of lenses.  With me was the head of the volunteer group along with a prison official but on the drive back I thought of this thread and how I became so wrapped up in what I was doing that I paid no attention to my equipment I wasn't using and how easily it could have disappeared.  Now I know that my two people were hopefully watching my back but it wouldv'e only taken a moment for a swipe.
Of course what would they do with some lenses, flash cards, batteries etc?
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