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Thread: The Travelling Photographer

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    The Travelling Photographer

    I am planning on travelling to the US in a couple of months and was wondering if anyone who has had experience travelling with camera gear can give me some good advice or tips.
    Some places I'll be going to are San Francisco, Niagara Falls, New York, Boston, LA and San Diego
    Some concerns I have are walking everywhere with my camera bag on my back. Not sure I would feel comfortable leaving my bag anywhere hotel rooms included. The issue with having a camera bag on my back will make me look like a tourist which could make me a target for locals who may try to take my bag...etc
    There are obviously lots of places I will want to take photos from, so being able to get to these places safely is also something I feel I need to consider, not sure how safe public transport is or if I might be better off getting a cab to some places. I'm sure during the day will be a lot safer than night, but I'll be looking at just before sunrise and sunset times most of the time.
    D810, D7100 & D3200, Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 VC, Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 VC, Nikkor 45mm PC-E 2.8, Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 II, Tokina 100m 2.8 macro & Tokina 300mm 2.8 Pro

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I know it's not the US, but I have travelled in Europe, the UK a number of times with my backpack full of gear with no issue whatsoever. I think the best thing is to be vigilant and not do anything silly that draws attention to yourself too much. I always took my camera bag with me if I couldn't lock it in the hotel safe and it never left my sight whatever I was doing.

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    I can imagine you don't feel safe with a lot of gear packed in a backpack, looking like a tourist. But hey, chances are the local crooks will smell a tourist from miles away anyway .

    You could, of course, choose a bag that's less prone to cutting open in the subway. Crumpler pops to mind, they make some excellent messenger-style camera bags that fit in urban environments. They also have some sling styled bags that are not screaming "tourist with expensive camera here!" and may be easier to carry all day long.

    Personally, I have often left (part of) my gear in a hotel room, locked inside a hardshell suitcase that usually carries clothing.

    If you want to go to deserted places in the early morning or evening, rent a car (assuming budget is not a problem).
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    I travelled to the US of A last year and had my backpack full of camera gear. The place is full of tourists from many countries and Las Vegas is just tourists everywhere. I did not feel unsafe but then I am very confident in myself.(15 years in police force) I saw more beggars that I really felt for, than worry about my own safety. Our group 2 girls and I walked around at night to restaurants and used public transport. We did not go to NY or east coast. Nearly all our hotel rooms had safes. Always check with the hotel desk about areas you wish to visit. Another option is to call the local police for advice as I am sure they would be only too happy to help. I have done that in Australia when not in my home town. Enjoy your holiday. cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian.

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    Thanks for tips guys. I was feeling quite confident about the trip and especially walking around San Francisco, the problem was I found a site mentioning the homeless and how to deal with people who ask for money...etc There were some scary stories which got me thinking I need to be careful and not care free. I'm always careful with money and cards overseas, but this will be my first as a photographer, so there is the extra concern with looking after my gear. I've never really had any issues before and hopefully everything will go well this trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bricat View Post
    I travelled to the US of A last year and had my backpack full of camera gear. The place is full of tourists from many countries and Las Vegas is just tourists everywhere. I did not feel unsafe but then I am very confident in myself.
    For most "touristy" places you are right. Las Vegas, NY, San Francisco all where no problem at all. But in L.A. I felt *very* unsafe in some places near to the hotel (when not in a car!) and I almost got robbed in Salt Lake City, Utah of all places. I was fetching money from an ATM in the early evening when a creepy guy stepped up behind me. At that moment, the whoop-whoop from a B&W sounded and the guy suddenly ran as hell...

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    We are a couple of days away from flying back home after 8 mths of US(LA, Boston, New York, San Fransisco, Vegas, Philadelphia, you name it, etc), Canada, Mexico, Ireland and most of Europe including Spain, Croatia, etc. We have only once had a homeless guy give us crap due to me having my camera. Most places, as mentioned above, are full of tourists. I think it is mainly the careless people that get done. Just be vigilant and keep your gear close. I usually had my SLR with the strap across my chest. If we were in a dodgy looking area I would have the camera to my front. I locked some of my gear inside my suitcase and we always put the Do not disturb sign on the door.
    Cheers, Travis

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    I'm not going to be the tourist photographer with the camera around my neck. I'll be mainly doing landscape/seascape photography with my tripod. My camera will always be in my bag apart from when I'm using it. Maybe I walk around with my tripod out, it has a trigger grip and can look like a sawn off shot gun

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