It is now a couple of year if no more that I have been traveling with BlackRapid straps and more recently in May 2014 I covered the Ukrainian conflict and the humanitarian crisis in Kobane (Turkish-Syrian border) a few weeks ago. Many of you ask me about not only how is my job in the field but also how I do get ready for that. As you can image there are many things to cover but let me give you some tips about my experiences, real proves are always better than theories.
Some of my tips about why I do use BlackRapid came by my style of traveling and work. I am proud of being a photographer but I am not happy showing too much I am a photographer. I use to travel with the camera holding out of my chest, out of the line eyes of the people walking around me, it holds at hips high more or less so I can grab that pretty fast. The hips height is form me a good place to cover the camera with a long jacket or any messenger bag. Think about that in a war zone everything changes pretty fast you drive from a city center to a village area, or from the streets to the fields, you never know so adaptability is key. BlackRapid is fast and the most important it is safe, the Fastern and the Lockstar the straps bring is more than secure enough, so even if I am not keeping and eye on the camera nobody is going to take the camera apart from me or is going to fall. So using like that the strap I am being discrete but my gear is secure.
In a conflict zone the most important thing is not my gear it is me, so I am sure I can run comfortable, getting down as fast as I need and having a free hand to use for any need. Using the straps gives me that extra security for shooting with one hand in case I need it or shooting from highs not being worry that falls from my hand. I got the experience that in conflict zones when the action is coming you will never find the right moment to shift lenses so from time to time I do carry two cameras with different ones. Since I am not a full time two cameras guy I just use a Yeti Strap for attaching an extra line to my second camera in case I need it. It is a little be bigger strap for your shoulder but you are going to need that if you want to carry more than 4´5 kilograms of gear all day long.
Many of you could believe I am promoting a product and of course I am going to talk wonders about it and that would be fair saying so, but would you use something in a war zone that you believe is not worthy? And remember the gear you buy is not going to became you in a better photographer and is not going to provide the skills you need to be a better professionals but we need to recognize that good material on the field helps to focus those things that matters.