Concealed Carry: D-SLRs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ryan1524, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #1
    I love taking photos, but one deterrent is looking like a tourist and having to carry around something cumbersome. If I don't want to look Constantly like a photo nerd, it's just plain too slow to swing my bag around, pull the camera out, etc.

    I want some way to have my camera at the ready and easy to hide immediately after I finished shooting. This is especially applicable for street shooting, urban photography or general walkabouts (scouts).

    Right now I'm thinking the BlackRapid R-Strap under a decently loose/comfy jacket. Or a plain messenger bag (that was never meant to be a camera bag) with some light padding in it (some old foam or clothes).

    There are wallets shaped and configured like gun holsters so people in suits won't have to deal with unsightly bulges. Or specially made knifes or gun carriers that conceal the device while maximizing access. We need these for SLRs.

    What are your carrying methods? Please share. :)
     
  2. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #2
    I use to hide my camera but now I wonder why bother? I carry a 1dsmk2 with a 24-70 attached, and sometimes a flashgun. My photography is primarily street based.

    I'm not doing it for bravado, I'm doing it because I don't want photographers to be seen as something covert, we should be out there in plain sight. Here in the UK, it seems only tourists have their cameras out, everybody else is probably fearful of being labelled as either a terrorist or sexual pervert.

    Plus if you're doing street photography, you definitely shouldn't hide, you're there to watch people, why deny it? I shoot all the time in the street, nobody has ever bothered me.

    Saying all that, when i had an Olympus e420, I did enjoy having it under my jacket, it was so small with a zoom lens, you could really be discrete.
     
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    Dec 30, 2006
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    #3
    Trying to hide the camera would make me feel more intrusive, more like a sniper, than just being 'out in the open'. I shoot pix, smile, engage with people. I feel more comfortable with this as I grow older. I'm not sure why... unless it's having a better understanding of my own motives... :)
     
  4. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #4
    I guess you're right. Especially when you get to the point of carrying a 17-55mm or 70-200. No concealing that. Might as well wear it with pride. I think I'm still a little shy and shadowed by the 'nerd' factor.

    How do you engage people on the streets to model for you? I find people are often averse to having their picture taken, unless they know you're a professional or are taking it for some establishment/institution.
     
  5. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #5
    Actually, around here the "tourists" are the ones with Point and Shoots...

    SLR users wear theirs proudly... :eek:
     
  6. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    Dec 30, 2006
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    #6
    A woman said "no" to me last week, when I asked her if it was OK to include her in a shot. It was a bit of a shock, 'cos 99.9% of people are happy to oblige, provided your intentions are obvious and transparent... and not creepy... :)
     
  7. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #7
    With the boom of cheaper entry level DSLRs, there's a LOT of tourists these days carrying DSLRs. Typically D40 or any of the Rebel configs. I see these a lot on buses carrying tourists in Toronto. :p I'm sure some of them are brilliant shooters who just want a light solution for travel.
     
  8. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    "No escape from Reality..."
  9. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #9
    I also wanna be discrete in order to Not change the environment I'm observing. It's like Schrodringer's Cat experiment. People behave differently once they know they're being watched or recorded. This is very evident in club photography. LOL.
     
  10. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #10
    I certainly worry about this issue, but for different reasons. I spend part of each year in an urban area where a female out on her own with thousands of dollars of gear in plain view is in a very precarious position. I worry about it a lot less when I'm not alone or when I'm in touristy or rural locations, but these situations are not the norm for me. My solution has been to buy a camera backpack that allows me to access the camera and put it away again very quickly, without even removing the backpack (it's from the Lowepro Flipside line). But the security it gives me is of course nominal (especially while the camera is exposed), and I still limit my outings with the camera to places and times that I think are relatively safe. Nonetheless, I can stash the camera quickly, and therefore feel that much better about going out with it.
     
  11. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    Canada GTA
    #11
    You're right. I can't believe I forgot this one point.

    I am currently living in an area that can be precarious. When I'm near campus, it's fine. However, when I want to venture into areas where the subject matter is more interesting, there's a threat of getting robbed.
     
  12. namethisfile macrumors 6502a

    namethisfile

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    Jan 17, 2008
    #12
    http://www.tenba.com/products/Messenger-Small-Bag.aspx

    i use this and it's been great. the straps are comfy and i love the quick-release zipper, so i can pull out my dslr very quickly if i have to. i also like that the bag itself looks fairly inconspicous and can even fit a laptop.
     
  13. bashveank macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    #13
    I use the BlackRapid R-Strap.
    I use it primarily because it's a great way to carry my camera around without neck strain, but it does take the camera away from your chest and put it at your side....
     
  14. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

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    #14
    That does look nice. I normally just stuff different kinds of padding into my huge Chrome bag, but I have to open the flap to extract anything. That zipper's a neat idea.

    I never have my camera around my neck. If it's not by my hip (R-Strap), it's in my hand without a strap, for quick photo sessions.
     
  15. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #15
    I simply said to the youths I would like to photograph them because of a fashion project, I hung around gained their trust and can pretty much photograph whatever I want. Now I've ended up documenting their lives, gaining access to their homes and family, having a website helped there. If you think street photography will make you nervous, try doing it in a strangers house trying to let them feel comfortable that you're there. It started by me saying I was at Uni (which I am) and continue to do so but it isn't always a cert that saying that will work for you, it doesn't as I've found out.

    I am starting a new blog about street fashion in Wales, a website of just street portraits like this photographer here (but I prefer the head to toe portrait): http://xssat.wordpress.com/

    I'm simply going to ask and be upfront about it. I can also use a few portraits I have taken of the youths to get it kick started.

    The more you take pictures and dealing with people the more comfortable you'll get and more confident. You need confidence, people will sense it if you're not approaching them in the correct manner, make them interested as much as you are about whatever you're doing.
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #16
    If yo know the names of shoulder straps you are to much into gear. I use just a plan black strap. I also have a "wrap". That goes over the camera and can be stuffed in a pocket when not over the camera.


    I use these to cover the camera. Kind of a "disappearing bag",
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/119459-REG/Domke_722_15G_15x15_Color_Coded_Protective.html

    Just a shoulder strap and a black or grey wrap and I think you will have what you are looking for.

    Then when I'm done the camera and lenses get wrapped in these and put into a Pelican case. The case is bomb proof
     
  17. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #17
    I am really surprised none has mentioned the G1... just another p+s? I think not!;)

    It would fit easily in a little tiny hip pouch even.

    My camera is a little larger, the Oly E-3 and with a f/2.8 100mm-400mm telephoto lens there is no hiding it. I carry it in my hand at waist height until the right moment, but none are shocked that I am taking photos...
     
  18. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #18
    Well, in an area like the GTA (Queen West, Harbourfront, Nathan Phillips, Yorkville, etc.) I don't care what people think of what I'm wearing or what's hanging off where.
    In some Detroit neighborhoods I'll stick to a compact, concealable solution, although I've taken shots around areas like downtown, the waterfront, Dearborn and Belle Isle and Midtown without worrying about that.

    edit- Forgot to mention a Swissgear backpack that I often carry.
     
  19. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    #19
    Some paparazzi carry their cameras in messenger bags. I'm thinking of getting one as a camera bag is a bit obvious. It would also allow me to carry a laptop or other stuff if need be.
     
  20. Ryan1524 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #20
    Heh, the R-strap is the only one that I know the name of - and it's because I own one. I never wore my camera around my neck, I just find it awkward and uncomfortable. It's always on my shoulder or wrapped around my wrist. Eventually someone recommended me the R-Strap.
     
  21. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    #21
    I know how you feel. When i went traveling to mexico, i didn't want to flaunt my camera gear. So i bought a canvas messenger bag off of ebay (search "Jack Bauer Bag"). I went down to walmart and bought a soft cooler the size of a six pack and cut the lid off. Then I took an old foam camping mat and glued panels inside the cooler to form divided sections. when i go out I put my camera in the modified cooler and put it in the bag. Looks like I'm just carrying around a simple messenger bag... especially because I have plenty of room left in there to carry a book, a netbook, etc.. all while carrying an XSi, 18-55mm, 50mm, 24-105, charger spare flash cards, external hard drive, etc..

    very handy, very versatile, and cost less than $20! Bonus!
     
  22. Boxer757 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    #22
    Interesting thread. Personally, I am normally not concerned with carrying my camera out in the open. I do like to shoot in more precarious areas due to the subject matter being much more interesting. However I live in Texas and have a CHL so I don't feel uncomfortable carrying around $1000's worth of equipment with me. I have not yet been able to use my SLR over-seas or in states that do not allow the carry of firearms so I'm not sure how I would handle that issue. You all have given some great options though!

    I do suffer from feeling like a bit of a "peeping tom" however when I am out shooting in public. I don't usually shoot people but invariably they will wind up in my shots. I'm curious, is it legal to photgraph people as long as you are in a public forum? I don't use the photos for financial gain, so I am not capitalizing on their image, it is just an avid hobby of mine. I've had people give me funny looks but I have never been confronted and I'd like to know where I stand in that situation as far as the law is concerned...
     
  23. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Camp Snoopy
    #23
    I have a Crumpler bag. They bear more resemblance to a normal bag than they do a camera bag (thickness of the bag aside).
     
  24. jake.f macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    #24
    Tourists have point and shoot cameras. Photo-nerds have slightly better cameras. Photographers have DSLR's.
     
  25. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #25
    No problem in UK (though some over-zealous police think otherwise... :confused:). Problems start with publication and, particularly, captions. Example: pic of man walking into a pub to illustrate an article on drinking, when the guy was only going in to read the meter.
     

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