Camera Totage

by Fire Girl Jess on March 6, 2013

A seaplane takes off from Budd Bay, near Olympia, Washington.

A seaplane takes off from Budd Bay, near Olympia, Washington.

Alternately, this post could be titled: Is It Worth the Hassle of Toting a Camera Around?

Many photographers save the gear for shoots – for those times when they know they will need to capture images, or maybe when they know they are going some place where the odds of photographic material are high.  They worry about the weather – is it wet out?  Could my gear get wet if I take it out today?

Others tote their cameras around everywhere.  To the market.  To the restaurant.  On walks.  Newspaper staff do it because news pops up when you least expect it, but some amateurs like to carry gear around so they are always prepared.  Great shots can happen when you least expect it.

This has its downsides, however.  Wear and tear on camera gear, primarily.  Somehow, someway, camera gear will get banged around a bit.  It’s inevitable.  Anything that is being used will get beat up a bit.

And, if you walk around with three thousand dollars worth of camera gear around your neck in certain areas, said gear can make a rather delicious-looking target for petty thieves.  If you’re into daily carry – or any kind of carry in high-risk environments – try to go incognito.  Invest in a camera bag that doesn’t scream “I’m carrying expensive gear!”  Cover the camera with your jacket.  Blend in.

Bottom line – don’t draw attention to yourself.

To each their own.  In this age of iPhone-dom, the ability to capture a reasonable digital image is rather portable, and provides the opportunity to capture images on the move without the wear-and-tear of daily camera carry.

But image quality suffers.  It’s hard to acquire the needed resolution for an image appearing in print off a mobile phone camera.  Possible, but challenging.

What about you?  Does the camera go everywhere with you, or does it only emerge from the Pelican case for special occasions?

Tags: Techniques

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sinjin Eberle March 6, 2013 at 15:53

Unfortunately, I am rather satisfied with my iPhone camera totage, which has meant leaving even my little point and shoot Canon in the drawer unless I really think there will be opportunities. Now, having said that, I am not a professional photog either, and have no reason in most situations to carry around my DSLR. Road trip? For sure it goes, but heading out to the market or a jaunt to the pub does not make me want to lug that thing around.

I guess if one is shooting at the level of Instagram and Facebook (me), the iPhone is perfect, and always improving. When I want stuff to load into Lightroom and hopefully print or publish, I better have my SLR or I am hosed.


Admin March 6, 2013 at 18:10

It’s a dangerous thing, Sinjin. I find myself using the iPhone for quite a bit of mobile reporting; it’s easy to take notes / record and is much less intimidating for subjects than shoving a big DSLR in their face.

Great tool, and I’ve seen some stellar pieces come out of hostile zones shot on camera phones – in those situations makes sense it would be safer to shoot on a phone instead of a flashy DLSR.

Get the Yeti broken in yet? 😉


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