How to Keep Your Camera Safe When Travelling
This post on how to keep your camera safe when travelling is guest submission.
Keeping your camera gear safe while you travel is something that should concern any photographer, amateur to pro. There are too many horror stories of people who have had their gear stolen while on the road. Monetary losses can add up fast, but probably the worst loss, most will agree, are the memories in the form of photos that are lost as well.
While the only way to guarantee that your camera will never be stolen is to leave it at home, that’s not a helpful solution at all. With that in mind, here are a few tips for how you can enjoy travelling with your camera while minimizing the risks.
Don’t travel will all of your camera gear. Select which camera and gear to take based on where you’ll be travelling and the type of photography you plan to do. For example, if you plan to take lots of landscape shots from a distance, there’s no need to carry along a macro lens.
Not to mention, the last thing you want to do is be stuck with carrying around a lot of heavy, bulky camera equipment. Decide on one or two lenses — your back will thank you later.
Don’t let yourself be a target
Many photographers will go to great lengths to try to hide the fact that they are carrying a nice camera around with them. They will black out the name brand with electrical tape and remove any reference to a brand name on their camera bag. Some will even try to make the bag look weathered and dirty, or not use a camera bag at all and opt for a regular bag to make it more difficult for thieves.
You can certainly do all of that if it makes you feel more comfortable. But most thefts are committed by opportunists. That means that someone notices that you aren’t paying attention and uses the opportunity to snatch your camera. It’s a tendency that we all have when we travel or take photos to only pay attention to what is happening in the shot we’ve framed.
Deal with distractions
A distracted target is exactly what a thief wants. You can avoid this by always being aware of your surroundings. While you are framing a shot, use your peripheral vision to make sure there isn’t someone coming your way. It goes without saying that you should never drop your camera bag on the ground and walk away from it. Even a step or two is enough distance to give a thief a head start.
Enlist the help of your travel companions
Make sure you alert your family to your concerns so they can be an extra set of eyes for you. While you’re looking at them through the camera, they can survey the area behind you.
If you’re vacationing with your family, you’ll probably want to be in some of the pictures, too. Be careful who you ask to take your photo, though. Popular tourist spots can be a draw for all kinds of con artists. If someone approaches you and offers to take your photo, be wary. The best option is to trade with another family that is also wanting to get a family photo.
Change your memory cards often
It may be tempting to buy the biggest memory card in the store on the premise that you won’t have to worry about running out of memory while on the road. But if your card gets stolen, there go all your photos. It’s best to have more than one card and switch them out occasionally. Hide memory cards in a money belt when not in use — just don’t store it with your camera equipment or it will defeat the purpose of having more than one.
Will Norquay is a frequent business traveler who shares his experiences and thoughts writing for Stayz. Stayz is Australia’s No. 1 holiday rental website.
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