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  1. #11
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Tori, you might be able to get a refund on that tax when you leave the Italy or Croatia. The worry I have with shipping ahead of time is how do I know it wasn't x-rayed along the way with a bunch of other cargo? I'd rather deal with the TSA in person to know where my film has been, and as others have said, it's all in one big plastic bag, out of the boxes. The only problem I ever had was with one particularly clumsy (and dare I say, dumb) agent who dropped one roll into a small trash can. She retrieved it, then swabbed it, and all these bells and whistles went off. Then I had to submit to this whole body feel up (had already been scanned), and everything I had, purse, camera gear, everything had to be swabbed. Another agent insisted I must have gotten some tiny amount of cream or makeup on the roll of film... that can sometimes set these things off... and I'm like, riiight... it had nothing to do with falling in that trash can?? Idiots.

  2. #12

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    Yes Suzanne, you are so right. In retrospect, it wasn't my smartest move to send ahead but I was thinking of what a PIA it would be to go through 4 different airports (each way) and deal with hand checking at each of them. Live and learn - I will be carrying all of it home in my carry on!!!

  3. #13

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    I had a false positive once when my Nikon 35mm was scanned. I did not get felt up but did get ID/ticket verified and EVERYTHING in my camera bag swabbed. The TSA supervisor asked questions about where the gear had been but never made any accusations or assertions about anything. They offered no explanation for why the event happened other than "these things sometime happen". The TSA handled my camera gear very carefully and asked when they weren't sure. They insisted on re-packing my bag and did so EXACTLY in accrordance with my direction. The total delay for all of this was 15 minutes. I found the event to be a very minor inconvenience, at most.

  4. #14
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Shipping it ahead works great if it's not international... otherwise, you're boned.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    I had a false positive once when my Nikon 35mm was scanned. I did not get felt up but did get ID/ticket verified and EVERYTHING in my camera bag swabbed. The TSA supervisor asked questions about where the gear had been but never made any accusations or assertions about anything. They offered no explanation for why the event happened other than "these things sometime happen". The TSA handled my camera gear very carefully and asked when they weren't sure. They insisted on re-packing my bag and did so EXACTLY in accrordance with my direction. The total delay for all of this was 15 minutes. I found the event to be a very minor inconvenience, at most.
    Last year we did a Melb, Aus/SF (via NZ)/LV/NY/Orlando/Hawaii trip and I asked for hand inspections at all security points except leaving Aus (I forgot to and in-transit through NZ didn't have the option so it had to go through the scanner) and all were fine & professional (guy at NY even knew what a Mamiya was.. he's had one years ago!) except at Oahu when leaving for home. After asking for a hand inspection of my film (& one film back that still had film in it) both my wife and I were selected to go through the full body scanner. Our 2 boys (9 & 12 at the time) were left to stand in the queue to pick up their carry-on's by themselves. Ours were just left on the pickup area (which included our passports/wallets/computer and cameras. I think the boys grabbed them and ferried them to the exit of the body scanner area, not sure cause the 'lady' doing the hand inspection was waving to come over to her. She wanted to put the film back through the scanner but I explained it had film in it so she called decided the machine had detected something and called security over to frisk me (and put my shoes that had already been through the scanner back through again). This had to be done a little way away so while that was happening, I watched her give the film back to another guy who took it and put it through the x-ray scanner. She then insisted on swabbing the camera (that had been through the scanner with my digi equipment, but didn't swob any of the digi-gear) and plonked it down hard on the winding handle. Surprising it didn't break. So after she'd finished swabbing the film she dropped the lot on the bench and walked away. Grumpy peice of work that one! The funniest bit of this whole story was when we went though in-transist security in NZ again, they picked up a large bottle (bigger than the 100ml of fluids they allow) of sunscreen we had forgotten about... Oahu had missed it

  6. #16
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    My experience is that New Zealand Customs are very accommodating and friendly toward travelling photographers but can potentially single people out randomly for special attention. My last visit to NZ in 2009 passing through Christchurch had a battery of Customs officers surrounding me as I struggled and fumbled with many more pieces of conspicuous camera gear than I usually carry ("you took all that as carry-on!?", the Officer glowered incredulously). I was herded to an open area with an inspection bench and queried where I got the equipment from: e.g. if I had stolen the (you're kidding, I'm not that brilliant at pulling off a swifty!), if I was a professional and who employed me and then what I had been doing in New Zealand (travelling and spending money on diesel!). It was just an extended inspection routine and nothing was damaged or roughly handled. Film was inspected carefully (unopened Velvia 50 and 100F in ProPacks) and several exposed rolls were opened, again for closer inspection. None of the film went through X-Ray as on approaching the X-Ray station I raised the boxes above my head to attract attention to the Officer, explaining I wanted it eyeballed "without risk of damage"). That didn't work on arrival in Melbourne! Mailing film back home internationally is slow and risky but probably no real feasible alternative.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    One beautiful image is worth
    a thousand hours of therapy.


    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government
    to save the environment."
    .::Ansel Adams






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