Behind the Lens — Strap In!

The camera straps I use in hopes of not missing “That Shot”

Having trust in your gear is a big part of capturing those special moments. The last thing you want while shooting any type of photography is having to worry about the security of your gear. Pro or Amateur, the most often overlooked piece of photo gear? The camera strap.

It’s the one piece of photo gear that should strive and be ignored and out of mind. There’s no sicker feeling, knowing you had “That Shot” and missed it, all due to a split second snag or needed strap adjustment. Still having that shot framed in your head, yet missing on your memory card! ARGGGG!!!!

Concerts & Sports with Photo Pass

For Concerts with a photo pass, I shoot with a double DSLR setup. This allows me to use two camera bodies with different lenses, eliminating the need for major camera adjustments or lens changes during the action. One setup for wide stage shots and one with zoom ability.

The typical Photo Pass for a concert allows access to the “photo pit” area in front of the stage for the “First 3 and out”, meaning you’re allowed in that secure area between the band and crowd for the first three songs of the show. Then get out..!

4 shots of the band Skating Polly were taken during the same song — Camera switched twice

Three songs go by very very quickly, every second is valuable, any time away from the viewfinder is lost forever. If the camera strap is designed correctly, you should be able to fluidly switch between cameras, but TRUST is a must!

If shooting sports, the dual camera setup allows me to cover action from any spot of the field without lens changes. Long zoom to capture action down the field and a smaller zoom or prime lens for catching the action as it gets up close and personal.

Above Photos: taken at Amsterdam ArenA — Amsterdam, Netherlands — Football Club — AFC Ajax
High School Sports

BlackRapid Hybrid Breathe — Dual & Single Camera Strap

The strap I use is a BlackRapid Hybrid Breathe. This a single shoulder sling design that allows two DSLR’s to be securely attached. I prefer the lighter weight and comfortable feel of BlackRapid’s Hybrid Breathe over traditional dual shoulder harness rigs. I feel I have more freedom of movement and less neck strain than when using a traditional dual shoulder harness.

The “HYBRID” quickly converts to a single camera strap. I get it.. HYBRID… No need for the escape artist skills, unlike getting out of a full dual harness. This duel use capability makes the “Hybrid” perfect for travel.

Breathable fabric makes a comfortable feel, but the main selling point for this strap for me, is that the ergonomic design allows for super smooth camera movements and the heavy duty fasteners give me the “trust” needed to ignore them and just shoot.

Here’s a video on how it works… check it out.

Music or Casual Street Photography

When I go low-profile for street or attend a concert as a fan. I use a BlackRapid Wrist Strap with one of my favorite pocket sized cameras like the Canon G5X.

This Lightweight and super secure wrist strap and fastener combo makes for easy pocket to wrist transfers. Adjust the strap just right and it helps in steadying the camera tightly in your palm.

The wrist strap features the same heavy duty hardware as the full shoulder versions, making it suitable for use with any size camera. I use it on both P&S & DSLR cameras. They also have smaller versions of this strap available, even one sized for iPhones.

Iphone size

The setup allows me to pull the camera out fire off a few images, then quickly return to pocket,,,enjoy show..…rinse and repeat! — -without fear of dropping the camera.

This series of Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready was taken with a BlackRapid wrist strap attached to my pocket size Canon G5X P&S camera

Zoom Zoom …Go Fast!

I personally have a hard time understanding a mindset that’s willing to trust a $20 ebay strap to secure hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of camera gear.

Look at it from a performance perspective. Think of owning a High Performance Race Car. Would you throw cheap retread tires on it? No, of course not. If you did, you’d lose the high performance capabilities of the car and certainly the trust needed to safely drive fast or even have fun.

I feel that way about my camera straps, because I know how it feels to miss “That Shot”…arggg

Why I like Black Rapid as a Company

Their company culture is refelective of their Pacific Northwest roots.

This Seattle based company was founded by a fellow photographer Ron Henry. While he was putting the whole thing together he looked to the online photography community for suggestions when creating the original camera sling strap. BlackRapid still uses this method ofusing input from actual photographers to improve designs.

Today, BlackRapid still pride themselves on their relationship with the photography community by providing one of the best Trade-In Programs around. It allows anyone to trade-in their old BlackRapid straps or even a sling style strap from another brand (Yes, even the cheap ebay knock-offs) and offers you a new strap at a nicely discounted price.

Plus I like their moto…haha

“We are inspired by the moments you live and proud to be a part of the photography community. How did you #LiveTheMoment today?”
Follow BlackRapid on Twitter — @BlackRapid #LiveTheMoment

All Photos (unless credited) — By Michael Young

See ya on the road — — Safe Travels!

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