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Thread: Photography in China

  1. #21

    Default Re: Photography in China

    Just came back from a 2 weeks multi-city vacation in China. Walk around with a backback carrying a camera & 4 lenses. Setup tripod in the middle of the city square and Bell Tower roundabout in Xian at 10+pm for night photography alone. Place was still crowded and happening but no one even bat an eyelid or hassle you. It's the same in the other major cities.

    China is actually is a lot safer than most other advance first world countries where you wouldn't even want to be out alone at night.

  2. #22
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography in China

    Certain cities you have to be a little more mindful. We were once followed by a couple of people in Guangzhou in a not so good neighborhood. We were not carrying any camera equipment, we were just in town for the Canton fair. Me and the other guy in the group spoke some Hokkien, organized and walked in a triangular formation behind the girl in our group. Holding heavy stuff in our hands preparing to use them as weapons to bash them. After around 300m of tailing us, they turned around and walked away.

    In Beijing food street in Wangfujin, a friend of mine saw a kid picking the pocket of a lady in front. He shouted out and scared the kid away. 15 mins later a gang of older kids (a couple looked like adults) came back with him and started tailing my friend. He quickly hopped on a cab and left. The cab driver told him he was very lucky. Not being racially biased or something but those pickpocketing kids looked like they are Xinjiang people.

    While I admit most of China is very safe. Never be too sure to be complacent about personal safety. A little common sense goes a long way.

    Most of the crimes are not robbery anyway. Most are pick pocketing, or some scam to get you go to bars or KTVs or fake goods place, and rip you off there. Some are simple scams to get your 'donations'.

    Watch out for the all famous taxi scam. Just remember to take taxi from the proper cab line, ignore all those that ask you if you need cab or transportation. And always either get confirmation on the rate, or use the meter, before entering a taxi. Shanghai and Beijing are pretty ok nowadays. Some cities do not use the meter at all, some you just have to watch out and understand how it works in that particular city/town.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Photography in China

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Certain cities you have to be a little more mindful. We were once followed by a couple of people in Guangzhou in a not so good neighborhood. We were not carrying any camera equipment, we were just in town for the Canton fair. Me and the other guy in the group spoke some Hokkien, organized and walked in a triangular formation behind the girl in our group. Holding heavy stuff in our hands preparing to use them as weapons to bash them. After around 300m of tailing us, they turned around and walked away.

    In Beijing food street in Wangfujin, a friend of mine saw a kid picking the pocket of a lady in front. He shouted out and scared the kid away. 15 mins later a gang of older kids (a couple looked like adults) came back with him and started tailing my friend. He quickly hopped on a cab and left. The cab driver told him he was very lucky. Not being racially biased or something but those pickpocketing kids looked like they are Xinjiang people.

    While I admit most of China is very safe. Never be too sure to be complacent about personal safety. A little common sense goes a long way.

    Most of the crimes are not robbery anyway. Most are pick pocketing, or some scam to get you go to bars or KTVs or fake goods place, and rip you off there. Some are simple scams to get your 'donations'.

    Watch out for the all famous taxi scam. Just remember to take taxi from the proper cab line, ignore all those that ask you if you need cab or transportation. And always either get confirmation on the rate, or use the meter, before entering a taxi. Shanghai and Beijing are pretty ok nowadays. Some cities do not use the meter at all, some you just have to watch out and understand how it works in that particular city/town.
    thanks for sharing these valuable insights... i think as long as you watch over your stuff and employ common sense, it's less likely for you things to be stolen... if really snatch at gun/knife point, then it's just your luck..

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Photography in China

    I have been to many parts of China, PPl there "Chinese" are very NICE ppl, you can get permission to take a shot of them at some tourist spot. But ppl in the Market place do not like to be photograph so street shoot is good to have a longer lens lol.

    People in China (Not villages) they are using more latest model than we do regarless Mobile phone, camers (They use "L") and high end cam, dressing much more better than Singapore girls. So what to rob?

    Very safe there, just take advise from your tour guide.

    I have some photo take there.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanycjw2008/sets/
    Enjoy your every moment with our nature and friends

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Photography in China

    My family and I went to Guangzhou for 5 days with me carrying a 400D and a Tamron 17-50, people will generally look at you but it was still safe. I got everything stored in a Crumpler bag.

  6. #26
    Member sf_kang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Photography in China

    Cannot generalise and say which country in 'safe' or 'unsafe' for photography.
    In general, most 'tourist' places are a prime target for pickpockets and crimes like snatching (I had my bag snatched from between my feet in Milan, Italy some years back).
    Common sense is the way to go:
    1) Be street-smart and alert, and aware of who is beside you, behind you, and in front of you.
    2) Be discreet. Bring only the stuff you need. Don't bring 'everything' and therefore become eye catching.
    3) If you have the choice, bring older gear, e.g. older, 'bitten up' camera bag instead of a brand new one.
    4) Dress and behave 'inconspiciously' as possible; try and blend it with the local situation.
    5) If you are travelling with friends/buddies, get into the habit of 'covering' for each other, e.g. watching each other's back.
    6) When sitting down say in a cafe or something, keep your camera bag away from the roadside, if possible latch it to a chair leg, or something, and of course NEVER leave you bags unattended.

    These are time proven practical tips I can share after having travelled to over 41 countries over the past 25+ years. Got into trouble only once despite having taken precaution. So even if you do take care, there is still no guarantee. Only minimise the risk. Good luck. Be sensible. Enjoy your travels.
    Fred

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