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Carrying the camera

From: Photography 101

Video: Carrying the camera

Let's take a look at the camera and a standard camera strap. As you can see here I've got my camera with just a plain old normal strap on it. There's a few different ways that we can go about carrying this. Let's start with the wrong way. You ever seen this before? I call this the tourist hold. This is not the way to carry your camera. There's a lot of problems with this. For one, it's just really uncomfortable. The weight of the camera on your neck after a long day of shooting, is going to get very, very tiring. As you're walking, it's going to be bouncing against you and that's terribly uncomfortable and overall, you look like a tourist and let's face it, no one wants to look like a tourist.

Carrying the camera

Let's take a look at the camera and a standard camera strap. As you can see here I've got my camera with just a plain old normal strap on it. There's a few different ways that we can go about carrying this. Let's start with the wrong way. You ever seen this before? I call this the tourist hold. This is not the way to carry your camera. There's a lot of problems with this. For one, it's just really uncomfortable. The weight of the camera on your neck after a long day of shooting, is going to get very, very tiring. As you're walking, it's going to be bouncing against you and that's terribly uncomfortable and overall, you look like a tourist and let's face it, no one wants to look like a tourist.

So, let's get it off the neck. And instead let's talk about putting it over the shoulder. Now if I put it like this, I'm half-way there. But I still have something wrong. Notice while it's over my shoulder that the lens is currently pointing out. And as I'm walking around I can inadvertently bump this into a person or a wall or anything else. So this isn't safe. Now what I can do though, is simply turn this around the other direction, so that the lens is pointing down towards the ground. Now, I've got a couple advantages here. First of all, the lens is no longer pointing out, I can't bump into anything. Second, the lens pointing down means that the lens is protected. The actual glass element is kept safe.

It's not going to bump into anything or get scratched by anything. And finally, you'll notice that when I'm ready to shoot, the grip is right here ready to go. I can just reach down, grab it, pick up the camera, and shoot. So it makes it a lot easier and a lot more accessible, if you carry it this way. Now there's a couple of things to notice about your camera strap. Some straps will have two sides to them, they'll have the rubberized side, and then they'll have a slippery side here, a smooth side. The rubberized slide is clearly there so that it doesn't easily fall off of your arm.

And that's great. However if you're shooting up and down a lot, you may find that it gets caught on your clothing. So what you can do is simply flip it over, to the smooth side, now it's a bit easier to get up. However, you'll notice also can fall of your arm a little bit more easily. So you have to be a little bit careful with that. What I find when I'm out shooting, is that I constantly am switching it back and forth, to keep it wherever I want it. I'm going to walk around for a few minutes without shooting, I'll keep it rubber side down. If I'm going to be shooting a lot, I'll flip it over, and I'll just be aware of it and constantly pulling it back up. It just depends on what your comfort level is.

Now there's another thing that we can do with the strap like this. If we make the strap a little bit longer here, you might be able to put this over your shoulders bandolier style. So let me make this strap as long as it goes, and now, if I flip it over my body like so, you'll see that I have it really, really secure. There's a lot of advantages to this. First of all, noone can take this from me. It's really difficult for someone to steal the camera from me. So if I'm in an area where I'm not feeling quite safe about my gear, this is a great way to carry it. If the strap is long enough, and if you want to carry it like this, I encourage you when you're buying a strap to test it out.

If it's long enough you can actually shoot this way as well. Now it may turn out that it's not quite long enough to always shoot this way. You'll notice if I go horizontal with this one, it does twist over a bit. It gets a little bit inconvenient. And if that's the case, just carry it this way when your not shooting. And then when your ready to shoot. Flip it back over. And when your done. Put it back into place. That way the camera is protected. Also, when your wearing it like this. If you have a big coat on. If your in a cold weather area or out in the rain. Having it like this will completely protect the camera, you can easily pull your coat aside pull out the camera and shoot.

Now this is just one type of strap. (audio playing) There is another strap that works really, really well if you like shooting with this kind of bandelier style. (audio playing) And that's a strap like this here, this particular one is made by a company called BlackRapid. I'll start by just putting the strap on, and you notice here at the bottom of the strap there's a hook. It slides along the strap itself. if you grab another camera here, you'll notice that this camera has a bolt in the bottom with a little eye hook in it. This attaches to the strap in a kind of a quick release fashion.

We can lock that on and then spin this to lock it into place. And now this cannot fall off. It can't fall off my shoulder. And the strap keeps the camera always ready to go. You'll notice that it slides on along the strap, meaning that the strap itself isn't sliding along my body. So it's really safe and really comfortable. Also you'll notice there's a little clip on here, so if I wanted to store it down here, can clip it into place. Now as I'm walking around this isn't going to slide up the strap. Finally another advantage of these straps are the pockets. You'll see you have room for, for example, your cell phone. And this particular model, even has an extra pocket that flips over, and I have room for things like, memory cards, wallet, money, whatever you need to store in there.

So this is definitely taking it up to the next level. I like to call this your first class strap. It's a little bit more expensive, of course, but if you're out shooting all the time, it's definitely worth it.

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Photography 101

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Joseph Linaschke
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