Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

Started Dec 22, 2010 | Discussions
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JPG Senior Member • Posts: 1,203
Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

This event was reported by local TV news.

It seems that a young photographer in Portland OR. has been making quite an excellent name for himself. He has been getting quite a few assignments and is very popular.

He was returning from an assingnment in Hawaii and had to change flights in San Francisco. When he got back to Portland, his luggage was not there, so he reported it as lost. What he had in what appeared to be a large duffle bag, was all of his photographic gear and all the images he had taken in Hawaii.

The security at the San Francisco airport found his duffle bag in the parking lot, -completely empty. Everything had been stolen.

To make matters worse, he was suppose to leave almost immediately for another assignment. However, now he has no equipment to work with and his insurance will not be able to help him in time and the work did in Hawaii is forever gone.

This is not the first time I have heard that airport baggage handlers are a bunch of thieves. Since you are no longer allowed to lock your check--in baggage, you are extreamly vulnerable to baggage handler thieves.

Carry your valuable stuff with you at all times. I don't know, but maybe this particular photographer had too much stuff to carry on, otherwise he should have known better.

Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 17,091
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

It seems to me that any working photographer who travels for his work would have backup equipment, and have taken appropriate shipping measures for valuable and irreplacable gear. Sounds like an unfortunate but valuable lesson to me.
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Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 31,508
Dire?

You forgot about the bag under the restaurant seat, the kit left in the trunk, the notorious cities around the world, the home break-ins . . .

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TechOutsider Senior Member • Posts: 2,979
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

1) Why would you put your camera and lens in a duffel bag? Talk about lack of padding.

2) Why would you throw your duffel turned camera bag on a conveyor belt and watch it roll away? Talk about rough handling.

JPG wrote:

He was returning from an assingnment in Hawaii and had to change flights in San Francisco. When he got back to Portland, his luggage was not there, so he reported it as lost. What he had in what appeared to be a large duffle bag, was all of his photographic gear and all the images he had taken in Hawaii.

The security at the San Francisco airport found his duffle bag in the parking lot, -completely empty. Everything had been stolen

PeterToronto Contributing Member • Posts: 679
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

That's so unfortunate. Even if everything was insured, it's such an inconvenient pain to replace everything.

I received an Airport Airstream for Christmas this year exactly for that reason. My most important gear is with me on the plane at all times.

Peace
Peter

http://www.peteranthonyphotography.com

deleted_081301 Senior Member • Posts: 1,862
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

even if you cant take your cameras as hand lugage .. only an idiot wouldnt remove the media cards and put them in your pocket (they take up little or no room ) and if all else is stolen you would still have your images

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brianj Forum Pro • Posts: 14,657
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

JPG wrote:

This event was reported by local TV news.

This is not the first time I have heard that airport baggage handlers are a bunch of thieves. Since you are no longer allowed to lock your check--in baggage, you are extreamly vulnerable to baggage handler thieves.

The biggest risk from airport handlers is having them plant drugs in your baggage after it leaves your possession.

Brian

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MaxTux Regular Member • Posts: 441
flying professional photographers know...

The story sounds to me as highly improbable.

Anybody doing this stuff for living has learned by now:

When flying out, you keep the minimum of gear you'll need to complete the assignment with you as cabin luggage.

When flying back home, it makes sense to keep the most valuable pieces of the gear with you, but it is imperative to have the media with images separate from the gear, on person, and either have a backup of the images left with someone on the location, or mailed to yourself on DVD's back home.

MaxTux

digitalshooter
digitalshooter Forum Pro • Posts: 19,604
Something wrong with this story (nt)
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Thanks,

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JPG OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,203
Re: Something wrong with this story (nt)

I'm just recounting the news story so I can't vouch for it's accuracy. However he was being interviewed by the TV reporter and this is basically what he said.

Lee Jay Forum Pro • Posts: 50,467
So, basically, he's a moron, right?

He checked all of his gear , and he checked the only copies of the images he took . So, he's a moron if the story is accurate.

I just did an out-of-town wedding. I carried all the equipment on both directions, and on the way back I had five copies of the images (cards, laptop, laptop backup hard drive and two PSDs) in three separate bags carried by two different people.

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underpaid Contributing Member • Posts: 600
Re: So, basically, he's a moron, right?

Don't know about the rest of the world, but now in the USA you can lock your checked baggage as long as you use a "TSA approved" lock. That means the TSA agents can unlock bags with their master keys, or whatever they call them.

ABA DABA Veteran Member • Posts: 3,069
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

This sounds like a fairy tale. In the first baggage handlers have been classified as notorist for pilferage even when bags where locked with those silly one key fits all years ago. Nothing new, common sense(lack of) never let your valubles out of your sight. Duffle bag for equipment, how dumb is that. Not keeping the cards with him. He was allowed a certain amount to carry on board???. Too bad because of his lack of common sense he lost everything IF in fact this is a true sorry. I have a tough time believing it.
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Londongal
Londongal Senior Member • Posts: 1,918
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

This is an unfortunate story, but I question that it was a baggage handler or an airport employee and that they "knew" what was inside. To me, that is speculative on the part of the documentary filmmaker (not a stills photographer) who had his gear stolen. Here's a link the story.

http://www.kptv.com/news/26200280/detail.html

My take on this is that it was a random theft and not targeted for the camera gear. This bag was seen circling the baggage carousal and not claimed; and then found empty in the parking garage. I think an unclaimed bag was stolen (by who knows?) and that particular thief got lucky and found camera gear inside instead of used clothing.

How sad it is that the lessons we learn cost so much.

Londongal

Little Pooter Contributing Member • Posts: 644
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

Exactly what I was thinking.

DickyUK wrote:

even if you cant take your cameras as hand lugage .. only an idiot wouldnt remove the media cards and put them in your pocket (they take up little or no room ) and if all else is stolen you would still have your images

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Londongal
Londongal Senior Member • Posts: 1,918
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

The guy's got a blog and on it he writes he didn't lose any footage of his shoot, because he carried the hard drives on board. He lost the camera, lenses and sound gear and yet has a great attitude and is soon off to Tahiti to continue shooting...

I was inspired to look a little deeper because it sounded a bit off...

Londongal

beshannon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,216
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

Sounds like an urban legend that occurs due to lack of common sense
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JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 40,115
Re: Dire Warning To Photographers !!!

I have never heard or been told that, and fly regularly and always lock my check in luggage. So does my wife.
jules

JPG wrote:

Since you are no longer allowed to lock your check--in baggage, you are extreamly vulnerable to baggage handler thieves.

The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 17,043
Re: So, basically, he's a moron, right?

underpaid wrote:

Don't know about the rest of the world, but now in the USA you can lock your checked baggage as long as you use a "TSA approved" lock. That means the TSA agents can unlock bags with their master keys, or whatever they call them.

Considering all the video that has been released showing airport employees and TSA agents stealing equipment, it's so comforting to know they have access to this special little lock.

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Cy Cheze Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Keep some eggs in separate baskets

Don't put all gear or work in any single place. It's OK to check-in bulky accessories as luggage for the plane's hold, since it is hard for thieves to conceal or "fence," and you probably can't carry it on-board anyway.

To put all work on a single 64GB card is not a good idea either. I would not even put all cards in a single pocket or wallet. They are too easy to lose and a mistake or failure could entail loss of too much.

Thieves are everywhere, not just in baggage handling. Owners everywhere are also absent-minded, over-trusting, or occasionally enebriated. You put a bag under the table or seat and ... guess what?

There is also something to be said for investing only in cheap devices or insuring the expensive ones. I can lose or drop a $400 camera and get over my tears soon enough. Loss of a $200 one justifies only a good shout of "O.S.!" But I'd not want to imagine losing $3k or more worth of equipment in a single fumble or mishap.

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