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Lone Female Photographers

Linda 19 6 England
7 Aug 2002 5:49PM
Here's a question for the girls! Do any of you go off alone in to the countryside to take photos and if so have you got any hints for safety etc? I tend at the moment to stick to gated reserves like the RSPB,WWT, however would like to venture out and photograph some of the more remote places in my area.
pixlz 19 2
7 Aug 2002 7:29PM
I have recently been to the Farne Islands for the day on my own and I had a really good day. (I caught the look in my long suffering partners eye when I asked him if he really wanted to come Smile I would drive out to places like other local beauty spots where there is likely to be other people about but if I was in a very remote area I would probably stay reasonably close to the car and keep my wits about me. It's very easy to get lost in what you are doing and the contents of our camera bag is worth a fair bit. However I don't think we should be frightened to go out and about. I think that the main thing is to be careful and aware.
bettyloo35 19 8
7 Aug 2002 9:34PM

We live in small town america. I still carry a can of pepper spray and my cell phone. As said above stay close to the car, it is easy to get lost if your not familiar with the area. Have fun.
Sepia 19 140
7 Aug 2002 10:33PM
We usually go on location in a group and we take one or two men with us, they come in very handy for carrying heavy equipmentSmile
I do however, go out alone if there is a good thunderstorm. We are still waiting for that good one this year.
mad-dogs 19 2.2k England
8 Aug 2002 9:43AM
What a sad reflection on todays society that you feel frightened to photograph alone.

It is sad to see society breaking down as it is today with the destruction of the nuclear families and the strong communities they produce.

As a young child ( 9 year old ) I used to live in the slums of Salford ( Manchester ) and used to explore the derelict buildings and bombsites even up 'till late at night.

As you may have guessed - I have my campaign head on!

Sepia 19 140
8 Aug 2002 11:39AM
I agree with you, the world has become a dangerous
place. I feel safe in my area and quite happily wander across fields and explore the Broads alone, but, my 13 year old daughter is not allowed that freedom. We are a close knit village and people tend to look after the youngsters. Unfortunatly the children tend to think they are being spied upon. It is sad that children might never enjoy that lone midnight walk on the beach as we did.
mad-dogs 19 2.2k England
8 Aug 2002 3:17PM
I have an eight year old daughter and when she stays with me, I don't let her out of my sight.

I used to photograph in such areas as Liverpool Docks and Manchester / liverpool city centres but I am very wary about carrying camera equipment in these places nowadays.

You may have guessed that I campaign very strongly on this and related subjects. i try and keep them off these forums and lists as they are off-topic.


Sepia 19 140
8 Aug 2002 4:52PM
I wouldn't exactly say that a discussion like this is OT. Many photographers are women or even children. My daughter has been taking photographs since she could hold a camera and when I go out on a video shoot, she does the stills. But saying that it can get anoying when the theme is changed halfway through into something completly different. For this reason maybe it would be a good idea to have an OT forum. This site is beginning to get popular and it won't be long until we see heated discussion, I don't mean the anger that you see on some forums, but a nice friendly debate. The moderator could step in and ask the group to go OT. This way the discussion could continue.
Just a thought,
mad-dogs 19 2.2k England
8 Aug 2002 5:42PM
I campaign vigorously in the UK for children's rights to be brought up equally ( or as near as possible ) by both parents after divorce or separation.

People are unaware of the problems caused by the secret family courts and the inducements to destroy marriages.

As I said, this goes way off-topic from photography but as social breakdown progresses unchecked, it is becoming unsafe in many areas previously safe.

I could take up all the space on the server on this subject as I spend all day, every day campaigning and very little time for regenerating my photographic business that my ex bankrupted.

Rather than flood this forum with off-topic campaign posts, i will sign off this topic and leave a url for anyone interested to check out.


Little Jo 19 2.3k United Kingdom
8 Aug 2002 8:08PM
Well, being female and on the petite side, I tend to take hubby along unless it's an organised photo session with other photographers present.

There are simply too many folk out there who would be only to happy to rid me of my camera gear, I rarely venture out alone.

There is all the usual advice - don't 'advertise' by using bags adorned with manufacturer's logos etc, but at the end of the day - good gear will attract attention.

Pepper spray is classified as an offensive weapon here in the UK and anyone carrying it with the intention of using it (even in self defence) will find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Same applies to screwdrivers and other sharp implements.

Take care and be vigilant.
Digital1 19 93
9 Aug 2002 10:32AM

I agree with all that has been said but it is not just the ladies who can have problems.

I am six foot two and built like a brick outhouse but I have had problems in the past. It only takes a moment for a group of lads and sometimes girls to get out of control and deem it fun to have a go. So my advice is to go out in groups when you exit the normal areas. Besides it is fun if you and other like minded photographers go out together as you can bounce ideas and techniques off of each other.

Ohh and get a BIG dog!! that also helps :o)

mad-dogs 19 2.2k England
9 Aug 2002 10:51AM
It is not always possible to go in groups and it is also a restriction.

When asked by an art director to photograph part of Liverpool Docks, it does not go down too well when you say i will have to organise a club meet for safety.

Increasing numbers for safety is not tackling the problem which will be inherited by our children.

However, the spikes on the feet of a tripod can be intimidating!!

Pete 20 18.8k 97 England
9 Aug 2002 11:38AM
Unlike Brobi I'm quite skinny, but still tend to venture off on my own in every country I've visited, loaded down with camera gear. Oddly a place where I expected to feel threatened was in backstreets of Thailand and the only concern I had was people hassling me to go to their suit or jewellery showrooms. Yet in San Fransico and New Orleans I've turned down the wrong street and, oh dear, new pants please! My worsed experience was recently in a public park mid day in Vienna and a hard looking bloke came directly at me. I had a two grand Nikon D1x over my shoulder and instantly felt terrified. He started throwing drug names at me ( Do I look like a druggy? I felt like a dougie!). Behind him was a gang of rough looking youths. I had this vision of my camera being used for their next month's supplies. Fortunately after about eight nos he got the message and headed of to the next victim. Phew!
Regarding Linda's opening question, I see lots of girls while I'm out and about in the UK and often on their own - usually joggers. I always think crikey she's brave, but it shouldn't have to be that way. Has it always been the same, or are we just subjected to more media? I think generally we are quite fortunate in the UK that few thugs can be bothered to go looking for victims in the countryside and the worse threat is at night in towns or cities. A camera on a shoulder strap makes quite a good mace, and yes Dave the tripod spikes could come in useful, but then you'd no doubt end up being sued by the villain for damages!
mad-dogs 19 2.2k England
9 Aug 2002 12:32PM
Pete: Not if you arrange two of the spikes to poke them in the eyes so they can't recognise you!!

Seriously, the law seems to protect the thugs and villains nowadays.

I spent a couple of days wandering thru' the streets and suburbs of Johannesburg with my nice shiny new equipment dangling off my shoulders. prior to returning to the UK, I was given a tour of Jo'burg and told to lock the car doors as we wneyt through the same areas. "You don't walk through these areas in daylight", I was told.

Innocent abroad!!

Will 20 1.8k United Kingdom
9 Aug 2002 1:07PM
I lived in Manchester when I bought my first digital camera and was extremely hesitant to take it out on my own. Sad really, as Manchester had some great photo opportunities that I never took advantage of.

Despite being 6'2 (and a fast runner) I'm always very worried taking test equipment out and about. It was only a few weeks ago, I had over 1000 pounds worth of equipment in my bag, and I got followed onto a train by a beggar wanting change for 'train fair' (drugs). Luckily he didn't cotton on to the contents of my bag! I gave him 2.50 and he scampered off.

I completely agree with mad-dogs statement "What a sad reflection on today's society that you feel frightened to photograph alone."

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