Least of my problems
I'm over 300 lbs, sport a long white beard and have a wall eye that makes people look over their left sholder when I address them. The name on my equipment (most of which was made in the first half of the last century and has very subtle labeling) is the least of my problems when I want to be inconspicuous. Just hang it out there and shoot. The people around you will get used to it.
Just try and be inconspicuous with this piece of Soviet kit: The fabulous Red FED!!!
Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!
Tip the tourists instead...
I always cringe when I see some weekend tourist in Montreal's Old Port carrying around his latest CaNiPeOMino with a huge, broad, labeled strap. I don't know why this irritates me so much, perhaps it's because I find that it's way over a reasonable display of branding than should be.
Their uncertain but willful gaze that seems to ask "I do stand out, do I?" may also be the other reason why I would like to crush their beautiful useless equipement on their faces as well.
Wow... this is almost disturbing:
"Oh no, I am taking pictures, don't bother me! Don't even talk to the photog, mere mortal! I don't even want to take the time to tell you I am busy, you need to know that I can't be bothered just by looking at me! Look, there is clearly a piece of tape where it used to say Nikon that now says 'F*ck Off!'"
WHAT A BUNCH OF POMPOUS SNOBS!!! This is a poor man's version of little starlets whining about the burden of celebrity...
Film photography is in trouble, be it as a hobby, or as a proffession. We should WELCOME the chance to talk to people to raise awareness of what we do, educate, maybe get some new blood!
And no, Nikon or Canon mean nothing to most people - but an F1N with all the appendages or an F6 usually with a lens that costs as much as my car - face it, no one cares what it says on that outfit, it will attract attention no matter what.
Or what, are we ashamed of our photographic inclinations? If you are concerned with theft - leave it in safe locations and non-concspicous bags. Otherwise, just enjoy, and tell as many people as you can what you're doing and why ots so great!
The whole black tape on camera thing was originally done to cut the reflections from chrome so that the camera wasn't so obvious. My reading says this was a way to minimize any photo-Heisenberg type effect, mostly in street shooting; i.e. an observed event is not changed so much when the subject doesn't know you have a camera (regardless of brand). It would also make sense to me for a war correspondent to have a flat finish, non-reflective camera. This black taping was often done on "professional" gear, like Leicas and Nikons, it got noticed, and led eventually to black bodies being considered "professional" by people who think that the name and color of the gear confers some sort of status.
I know some people now tape over names and red dots to help prevent theft of brands that thieves consider desirable. Maybe that helps. I doubt there are enough observations to prove any effect. I don't worry about this either way, and I don't assume someone with a particular brand of camera is necessarily a pro photographer or a professional consumer of status conferring equipment. Nor do I assume that someone with a "low-status" brand is a bad photographer, or that someone with a taped camera is a presumptuous snob or poseur.
I have had a number people approach me because of the brand (many) or type (SLR, TLR, 4x5 field, MF rangefinder, 35mm rangefinder) of camera I was using, often when I didn't want to be interrupted and the scene or light was changing and I was close to losing my shot. If it happened consistently, I'd probably do what I could to prevent it, including taping a camera name. But I've also met some very nice and interesting people this way, and even gotten things like a free place to stay in Paris for a week.
I don't think there's any point in drawing any conclusions about camera tapers or their motivations. It obviously works for some people, and others don't care. Anyone more obsessed with how hardware looks or what name is on it, taped over or not, than with the output is missing the point anyway.
BTW, does anyone know if Hermes makes a good durable flat black tape?
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I ahve two blacked cameras, both digi Canons. The SLR is blacked because they made the $#%^!! stupid thing in silver plastic with broad curves -- it picks up a broad highlight in EVERY direction, like a ball. So I taped it with gaffer tape, and then realized that the GRIP was much better with the gaffer surface, so I taped a lot more, including parts that don't show, just for the better hand surface.
The other camera I taped in an emergency after accidentally tossing it across a parking lot. The tape holds on the front bezel and lens ring, so I decided I may as well do the whole camera in black "band aids"
Oh, and my TLRs are taped, at least the shiny bits. Foorgot about those. Thinking about doing the G2...
I was taught early to tape over the name 'cuz a smart thief will follow a Brand rather than a Bobo. (I never did ask what constitutes a smart thief) Made me feel safer anyway. Besides, unlike car insurance, it cost nothing and could prevent accidents! Wasn't until I was doing a little product shoot in a studio and had to wrap the silver legs of my Slik 700Dx (now, if I just said tripod would everyone have been as happy?) that I began to truly appreciate that extra bit of reflection control.
In an age when many folks feel the pressing need to have another guys (Tommy) name plastered to their buttocks, or a big check mark on their chest (Nike) it comes as no surprise that you'll see Canon emblems glued to Quantaray bags and lest ye be not taken seriously, a white Nikon hat should be as good as a press pass (at the local "Y" swim meet maybe?).
Ah, to be around 500 years from now when they unearth these mummified camera bodies and try to figure out what preservative qualities gaffer tape may have had
The other camera I taped in an emergency after accidentally tossing it across a parking lot. - bjorke
Lol... I forgot to ask, sounds like it could be a funny story so I'll bite.
How did you come to "Accidentally" toss your camera across the parking lot???
The Darkroom Studios ~ Brad Walker
27 North Centre Street ~ Merchantville, NJ 08109
"Film Ain't Dead Yet!"
I find the more retro the camera the less trouble
If I was shooting with a Nikon F5 or 6, there would be issues but since the average age of my cameras are the same age as me (36) I don't have that problem, people are then interested in the young guy playing with old cameras.
"Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
It was under a coat on the front seat, and the strap was entangled. I quickly pulled out the coat and watched the camera go sailing by....
Originally Posted by thedarkroomstudios