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In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each installment concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.
- I get a lot of emails from you guys asking me all sorts of questions, and it's always really cool to find out what it is you're wondering about. The question I get the most, honestly, out of all of the courses I've done, is, "What's that camera strap you're using?" And I think what people are responding to is this camera strap right here, which is not like a normal camera strap because it just hangs across my body and the camera slides up and down. This is a sling, not a strap. This particular sling is the Luma Loop, and I've been using one for years, and it is my favorite camera strap.
However, the Luma Loop was out of production for a while and it just came back into production, so I'm really excited to get to hype it here for you. It's a very simple mechanism. It's just a loop. But on the bottom of the camera is this screw that you attach to the tripod socket on your camera. And as you can see, the strap can slide freely through the loop. Now, this may not seem like that big a deal, the idea of a camera sling. It's difficult to explain why it's so cool until you've tried it.
It just hangs out at my hip or even in the small of my back, and I walk around doing my thing. When I'm ready to take a picture, there is just the camera here. It's like there's a little table following me around with a camera on it. I really, really like it. There are other camera slings out there. I've looked at all of them. I really prefer the Luma Loop to all of the competition because it's so low profile. A lot of the other slings have a tremendous amount of padding and pockets in them for carrying media cards and things like that. The Luma Loop is very, very low key.
One thing to note, if you normally keep a tripod plate on your camera, this can be a bit of a drag because you're having to take this off to get your plate on. There are tripod plates, especially some made by Really Right Stuff, that have a pass-through socket, so the plate goes into the socket on your camera, and there's another socket on it that you can attach the Luma Loop to. If you prefer a regular camera strap, there are some other options besides the one that came with your camera. This is an UPstrap. It's just a basic strap, but it has some features that I really like, the main one being this shoulder pad here.
I don't know why, I don't know if it's the materials, the particular rubber they're using, or all these little grip-py things, but this thing does not slide off your shoulder. I normally carry my camera over my head so that the camera doesn't slide off. But this thing is so grip-py that I can actually just carry it like this. That's great for times when I need to get my camera completely off my body, when I'm tired of pulling it over my head, or when I've got ... I don't want the weight on this shoulder maybe because my arm is getting tired. So the UPstrap is really great. It doesn't slide. It has another cool feature, which is these quick releases on the strap.
So right here, I've just got these normal buckles. I can quickly take this off, and now the strap is off my camera. If I need to mount it on a tripod or something like that, this is really nice because I can get the strap completely out of the way. One feature I'd like to see on the UPstrap that I have seen on other straps, it's something to look out for, if this was male and this was female, I could just hook these together and then I would have a hand strap. I've always wanted that on the UPstrap but haven't seen that yet. Still, if you want just a regular camera strap to replace the one that came with your camera, I really, really recommend this, UPstrap.com. Finally, Luma Labs, the people that make the Luma Loop, also make this other strange thing called a Cinch.
It looks like a normal camera strap. It attaches again to the tripod socket of my camera as well as to the normal strap lanyard thing there, and it also goes ... This always takes me a minute to figure out. It goes over my head like this and for the most part works just like a normal across-the-body strap. I can pick it up, but wait, the strap's too long. The cool thing about this is I can very easily cinch it up with this little slider thing, so I can very, very quickly change the length of it.
For active shooting, I can keep it right here where it's really easy to get to. And then if I find that I'm just ready to go for a walk and I'm not shooting so much, I can lengthen it and put it back behind my body. So this isn't ... I'm not as crazy about this as I am about the Luma Loop, but it still is a nice alternative to a regular camera strap. The advantage that it has over the Luma Loop is when I put the camera right here, it stays here. The Luma Loop, it's always sliding back down. So this is a nice way I can make the strap as long as I want very easily for times when I'm either shooting or not.
So all of these are available online. They are all nice alternatives to the basic camera strap, and I really can't recommend enough the loop harness idea. It's a really free way to work, and I think that's probably why so many people have taken to it when they see me using it. It's just a really flexible way to deal with your camera.
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