Walking around with DSLR

#1 Dec 22nd, 2013, 00:43
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#1
How safe is it to walk around in major cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, etc.) with a DSLR camera around your neck? In rural areas?

Also, what is the deal with photographing strangers?
#2 Dec 22nd, 2013, 01:18
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#2
Safe enough, maybe safer than in Philly I have never - in almost three years in India/five trips - felt unsafe or threatened.

The "deal" for me is this: I make eye contact with whom I'm shooting. Raise my camera. Get a thumb's up or thumb's down from my intended subject. I don't 'take' what does not wish to be 'taken.' . . . and then, of course, are those who put out their hands afterwards, for 'a little something' . . . I'm gonna let you work that out
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#3 Dec 22nd, 2013, 01:27
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#3
+1 for darmabum.

Also, 'the deal' is if she pulls her saree on her face, don't push your luck.
#4 Dec 22nd, 2013, 02:32
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#4
I'll add my voice to the choir.

I will however point out that you should expect to be photographed by "strangers" much more than you photograph them, and no one will be asking your permission.
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#5 Dec 22nd, 2013, 02:44
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#5
I have been photographed so few times . . . but then, I think that 'honor' in India is mostly reserved for women.

A point to keep in mind regarding my previous post - I don't do quickie-grab-and-run shots. Not what I'm interested in. I want a relationship (though @ 1/60 second, a brief one ) I want an interaction with the person I'm photographing.

And, some Common Sense Re: your DSLR . . . you do, of course, want to keep it nearby. The same rules as you'd use in Philly . . . Be Smart, but don't obsess.
Last edited by Darmabum; Dec 22nd, 2013 at 02:47.. Reason: additional info
#6 Dec 22nd, 2013, 02:59
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safer than it would be in Chicago. and I love Chicago.
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#7 Dec 22nd, 2013, 03:49
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I also never felt unsafe with my DSLR in large cities or rural areas, touristy places or non-touristy places.

I also caught many people taking pictures of ME, especially in smaller cities. It's an odd feeling so now I know how strangers feel when I take pics of THEM! On my last trip to India I had more than a handful of people ask me to take their picture. They didn't ask for anything in return. Some were from a distance & some were near me. These don't include the many, many other people who, with their own cameras/phones, asked to be in a picture WITH me. If you're traveling with someone & this happens, be sure to have your travel partner take pictures like these with your camera. Some of my favorite photos are those of me with people who wanted to get a shot with me.
#8 Dec 22nd, 2013, 05:05
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredb View Post How safe is it to walk around in major cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, etc.) with a DSLR camera around your neck? In rural areas?
A camera around your neck may be safe enough but shoulder bag snatchers are reported sometimes. They work from motorbikes and have easy pickings on crowded streets. A professional photographer once told me he had gear in a shoulder bag snatched in Delhi. I have read travel blogs where people had lost bags in the street or through windows in buses and trains. They must have been unlucky as windows are often barred.
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#9 Dec 22nd, 2013, 06:23
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Thanks for the replies. Seems like it's not gonna be an issue.
#10 Dec 22nd, 2013, 07:59
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No safety issues for me during 7 years of traveling in India, big city and rural. In the market of Jodpur, people would approach me and tell me to be careful. I thought, "Here it comes, a warning about the camera". But no, they were advising me not to believe the touts.

I, too, always make contact before photographing, but I can only dream about getting a simple thumbs up/down for a response. Usually, it's the head wobble instead, and I'm sorry to say I still misinterpret about half the time.

Pulling the veil doesn't necessarily mean no, but as noted above, it's good to proceed with caution at that point. Especially in Rajasthan, for example, sometimes the veil is pulled just because one of the village men is walking by. Once he passes, everything is casual again.
#11 Dec 22nd, 2013, 08:23
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#11
You might also find it (your camera) is a real conversation starter. You'll probably be told what a good camera it is, and I guarantee you'll be asked how much you paid for it.
#12 Dec 22nd, 2013, 09:28
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#12
DSLR cameras are much more safe in India than women, my camera has never had any problems there ))
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#13 Dec 25th, 2013, 16:48
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#13
The only place in India where I have felt unsafe is Delhi, especially around Connaught Circus. That said, both my wife and I feel slightly less safe in India than we did 20 years ago (or 40 years ago!), but I suspect that's true for Indians as well.

AndyD 8-)
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#14 Jan 5th, 2014, 13:30
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Okay guys, you were right. It's my second day in Bangalore and I've had only good experiences so far walking around with my camera. On the busy main streets most people just ignore me but when I go to the less popular markets and side streets I get a lot of people asking to have their picture taken. A kid about my age came up to me today and talked about how he wanted to be a photographer. Good conversation starter and what not
#15 Jan 5th, 2014, 14:04
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#15
The thread has been moved to the photography forum.

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