Going to Paris photo trip.. Izzit safe? Any tips?


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maximize

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Jun 14, 2008
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#1
Hi, i'll be going to paris soon... hope to take some pics there during my short visit... so most likely will be walking abt alone...

i hv heard from some of my friends to ask me to be careful... they say u will get rob.. cut ur strap from the camera... pickpocket are common... i would like to ask from the fellow csers to safety advice me on my trip there...

the last time i went italy i didnt even dare to go out after 9pm... feel veri insecure...

some of the tips my friend gave me is wear the camera and hid it under ur jacket.. dun hv any bags dangling around.. but i find it quite difficult cos its too cold to open/close ur jacket when u wanna take a shot... i am wearing a beltpack so its also it difficult to hide also cos i hv another backpack with my clothes inside... another prob is my 70-200 f2.8, its big... dunno how am i going to change my lens with the beltpack... izzit better that i hv a separate lens case for my 70-200? btw.. i still got a tripod to lug around...

i dun dare to leave my camera lens in my hotel room also.. dun feel safe.. cos my trip is a budget one so staying in a 2 star hotel single room... i will there early in the morning so cant check in until afternoon...

hope cant gimme some practical advice... probably i am juz cynical and paranoid...

Thanks...
 

Raied

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Jun 13, 2007
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#2
if your so afraid dont travel....

obviously you take safety measures but if you so hum this scared that scare might as well dont bring your camera.

ive been to more percieved dangerous places like indonesia malaysia china no problem. even walk in back alleys and run down areas no problem. ive gone to the uk and wales just sling it no problem. sling it or put in a bag if you sling it sling to your right side or infront (yes like typical tourist)

just dont act like an idiot and maybe practise some discretion at places where you feel abit uncomfortable, like shoooting from your waist
 

Gengh

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May 6, 2007
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#3
I'm quite familiar with Paris, and I'd say for a big city it's pretty average in terms of safety. At least from my gut feeling. I don't have any statistics to back this up.

If you're worried, just practice the same safety measures you would when you travel anywhere else. When you think you're going to go into a more dodgy area of the city, keep your gear first. Unless you're into street photography, there's not that much in those areas anyway. For beltpack, I'd say don't have it right behind you where it's easy for pickpockets to open. In the usual tourist areas, you can keep your gear out, just don't leave it around. You won't be the only guy flashing a big camera around anyway. If you're in the really central Paris area (ie districts 1-7, around the river), it's pretty safe. If you're going to the edges of the city, be more careful.

Don't worry too much, or you won't enjoy yourself. If you take basic precautions and something unfortunate still happens (Touchwood!), it's just bad luck. I've had friends walk around in Spain in a big group, looking like poor students, and they still got mugged. :dunno:
 

maximize

Senior Member
Jun 14, 2008
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#4
if your so afraid dont travel....

obviously you take safety measures but if you so hum this scared that scare might as well dont bring your camera.

ive been to more percieved dangerous places like indonesia malaysia china no problem. even walk in back alleys and run down areas no problem. ive gone to the uk and wales just sling it no problem. sling it or put in a bag if you sling it sling to your right side or infront (yes like typical tourist)

just dont act like an idiot and maybe practise some discretion at places where you feel abit uncomfortable, like shoooting from your waist

well.. definitely will practice some discretion... its not the matter of being afraid.. but its good to learn how others take their percaution... to be courageous is one thing... proabably i am not so garang... i hv been to jakarta for 2 weeks and been to the rural areas... obviously when i go there i wont be lugging my equipments around... only with my walk-abt zoom lens.. i rather lose the camera then to lose my life...



I'm quite familiar with Paris, and I'd say for a big city it's pretty average in terms of safety. At least from my gut feeling. I don't have any statistics to back this up.

If you're worried, just practice the same safety measures you would when you travel anywhere else. When you think you're going to go into a more dodgy area of the city, keep your gear first. Unless you're into street photography, there's not that much in those areas anyway. For beltpack, I'd say don't have it right behind you where it's easy for pickpockets to open. In the usual tourist areas, you can keep your gear out, just don't leave it around. You won't be the only guy flashing a big camera around anyway. If you're in the really central Paris area (ie districts 1-7, around the river), it's pretty safe. If you're going to the edges of the city, be more careful.

Don't worry too much, or you won't enjoy yourself. If you take basic precautions and something unfortunate still happens (Touchwood!), it's just bad luck. I've had friends walk around in Spain in a big group, looking like poor students, and they still got mugged. :dunno:

true.. anyway.. most places/counteries are the same.... apart from japan i heard... actually i quite look forward for the trip.. but every single times my friends will tell me all the horro stories abt paris.. i began to wonder how true can it be... so if any csers been there and felt its like the usual tourist places then i am pretty alright...

yah.. juz going hang around the river from effiel to norte damne.. probably walk down to santa croce the furthest... thanks for sharing/tips... does instill quite a lot of confidence in me...

actually before my italy trip... i heard so much of stories.. even if u search the web u can see they hv some much guidelines regarding ur safety and belongings.. but when i was there... it was pretty alright.. but my friend wallet got stolen by a kid... it was a thick and big wallet... we were amazed they can pull it off..
 

Umeiko

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Apr 27, 2007
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#5
Hi, i'll be going to paris soon... hope to take some pics there during my short visit... so most likely will be walking abt alone...

i hv heard from some of my friends to ask me to be careful... they say u will get rob.. cut ur strap from the camera... pickpocket are common... i would like to ask from the fellow csers to safety advice me on my trip there...

the last time i went italy i didnt even dare to go out after 9pm... feel veri insecure...

some of the tips my friend gave me is wear the camera and hid it under ur jacket.. dun hv any bags dangling around.. but i find it quite difficult cos its too cold to open/close ur jacket when u wanna take a shot... i am wearing a beltpack so its also it difficult to hide also cos i hv another backpack with my clothes inside... another prob is my 70-200 f2.8, its big... dunno how am i going to change my lens with the beltpack... izzit better that i hv a separate lens case for my 70-200? btw.. i still got a tripod to lug around...

i dun dare to leave my camera lens in my hotel room also.. dun feel safe.. cos my trip is a budget one so staying in a 2 star hotel single room... i will there early in the morning so cant check in until afternoon...

hope cant gimme some practical advice... probably i am juz cynical and paranoid...

Thanks...
Was in Paris last year. It is definitely safe.

It should get real dark around 5pm, assuming it's the same as Dublin as it is winter now.

Not sure why you would like to carry a 70-200 there, I shot 90% of the time with my 12-24mm lens there.

Start your day early there and good luck!
 

Will03

Senior Member
Jun 28, 2004
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#6
I guess one should take basic precautionary measures wherever they are.. even in singapore..

I have been to paris a few times.. the most recent having a bridal shoot there.. i really dun think there are any problems.. I even hung 2 cameras around my body and walked around the streets of paris taking all kinds of pictures, ( candids, streets, landscape,etc etc)
I think its safer than most of the other places that I have been...

if you are really so afraid.. i think just bring a pns camera and enjoy yurself..
 

faineant

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Oct 2, 2008
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Changi, Singapore
#7
Umeiko: "Was in Paris last year. It is definitely safe."

I have to disagree. I was in Paris this year and I wasn't robbed, pick-pocketed or anything. However, to tell someone that it is definitely safe is definitely misleading.

Some parts of Paris, are definitely not safe at night, especially certain Metro/RER stations that are near the red light districts. Of course you can come across drunkards at night in the Metro/RER lines but at best they would prove to be an easy fight(if you need to resort to defending yourself)

In general, you should exercise caution whenever you're in certain areas of Paris that are notably unsafe at night. Information on such areas can be found on Lonely Planet guidebooks or online travel forums.

It is not dangerous but neither is it definitely safe. As with anywhere else, you need to be aware of your surroundings, belongings and where you are. You shouldn't be paranoid but you should be street smart. To think that your behaviour in Singapore would apply to other parts of the world is simply a gross case of naivete.

Enjoy your trip, don't be paranoid. Be alert.
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
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#8
Some parts of Paris, are definitely not safe at night, especially certain Metro/RER stations that are near the red light districts. Of course you can come across drunkards at night in the Metro/RER lines but at best they would prove to be an easy fight(if you need to resort to defending yourself)
so your idea of good advice is for people to fight drunks when they drape themselves on you. good job.

paris, like most other large europe cities is relatively safe; i.e. you still have organised crime, but if one is alert, nothing will happen. there is no such thing as rape in broad daylight, etc.. which can happen in certain places in the world. it depends on what you define by safe, if you're talking about your life, i won't worry; if you're talking about belongings, be alert and i won't worry.

simple, isn't it?

you are also going during winter; crime rates in winter usually are lower because of the fact that it is less comfortable for people to walk around stealing stuff as compared to summer. :)
 

Jun 3, 2008
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#9
You should be OK, just take the usual precautions while you travel to any big city around the world. Avoid dodgy areas or poorly lit places. Don't go where angels fear to tread, unless you are ready to "piah chui" :sweat:

1) Don't forget insurance, you might not get the kind of cover buying your typical travel insurance. Might need to contact your insurance agent (if you have one, if not call the main line of any major insurer and get referred)

Make sure you still have all the relevant receipts and copies of it in Singapore whilst you travel. Check the fine print, and read through the claim procedure, just in case.

A relative of mine had his 5D lifted off from his back-pack, broad daylight, the crooks were really good. Had the 24-105 f/4 L mounted as well. Lucky him, fully covered. He told me that the insurance company paid out in full replacement value.

2) Your preferred mounted lens is a little big, 70-200. But since that is your choice, just work round it. Use a "non descript" backpack to stash your cam when you need to. Just use a Domke wrap or even a thick old t-shirt would do the job.

3) If you are worried about pick-pockets, try to steer clear of crowds, that is how they work (the pickpockets)

Also try to keep 2 wallets, split your cash and IDs and credit cards. That way if you lose 1 you still have a back-up.

Keep 1 wallet with just enough cash for small purchases, drinks and a meal, easily accessible.

Don't forget to photocopy your passport and credit cards, stash them with your clothes.

All in all, life is short. If you do "kena" just give them the camera and your "small wallet". They might leave you alone, insurance covers the camera and you have a back up wallet.

During my last trip to Barcelona with my missus, we got "stopped" by a "lost" tourist asking for directions. Sort of smelled a "fish", in less than 1 minute. 2 other guys claiming to be Police asked us for "our papers".

Immediately, it stank. I knew that in all cities (relatively civilised one, not war infested ones); plain clothes policemen DO NOT stop tourist. For the simple reason, that they are not easily identifiable. They flashed their "badge" and asked "Do you have any ID or papers?".

My wife (pretty smart that girl) asked to see the ID badge again and she caught my eye when she said it. I actually BENT DOWN to the badge to have a CLOSER look.

Hahaha!!! One of the worst fake cop badges around. I was already quite sweaty and pumped by then. But personal safety was paramount, so I placed my arms around my wife and said, "Fake! Fake! Let's go."

Fortunately for us, they didn't gave chase. This incident taught me something. S**T can always happen regardless the circumstances.

It was actually quite smack bang, right in the city centre.

I am not try to scare you here, just relating a personal example. :lovegrin:
 

Flashbulb

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Jun 20, 2008
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#10
actually...in my experience, the more open the equipment you have the less likely to be "stopped". Because chances are you could be mistaken as police in disguise as bait so they will avoid especially if in tourist spots.

One more thing...if in the case of anything happening, best to learn what is the words for "Help Police" in the country you are going in case you need to.
 

May 11, 2008
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#11
Paris is genarally safe.

Tip:

if you drive, do not leave valuables in sight. keep in the boot.

If you walk, i suggest you rent a bicycle at the numerous self-service stations which are located at numerous locations. you can cover more places in the same time frame and you can drop off your bicycle in any station. cycling is the "in" thing there now.

Do not forget to visit Montmartre (north of the Eiffiel Notre Dame stretch) during sunrise.
 

faineant

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Oct 2, 2008
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#13
so your idea of good advice is for people to fight drunks when they drape themselves on you. good job.

paris, like most other large europe cities is relatively safe; i.e. you still have organised crime, but if one is alert, nothing will happen. there is no such thing as rape in broad daylight, etc.. which can happen in certain places in the world. it depends on what you define by safe, if you're talking about your life, i won't worry; if you're talking about belongings, be alert and i won't worry.

simple, isn't it?

you are also going during winter; crime rates in winter usually are lower because of the fact that it is less comfortable for people to walk around stealing stuff as compared to summer. :)
You must have had a bad day to pick on my input for the TS.

Nevertheless, my point is that; to say that Paris is Definitely safe; is misleading. Simple concept which I'm sure you would agree; based on your reply. No personal attacks.

I'm sure the TS is wise enough to know that in my whole post, my advice was not just to fight. Perhaps I wasn't clear but I meant 'fight' to mean fight off(a.k.a shove him away) the drunk if he tries anything funny. Believe me it can happen because it happened to me.

Perhaps what most people are trying to tell you(Threadstarter); don't be so paranoid but you do need to take precautions, which is essentially the same almost anywhere in the world.
 

Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
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#14
I've recently been to Paris, and my advice for you would be to be alert. As with most locations, crimes exist, and quite frankly, the victim plays a significant part in the crime.

IMHO, Paris is sufficiently safe. I was out at 9-10pm, and I was fine. Nonetheless, do watch out for your valuables at all times. Basics apply. No jewelry, no excessive cash, cross-sling your bags, avoid backpacks whenever possible, lock them if you so desire.
 

maximize

Senior Member
Jun 14, 2008
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#15
Was in Paris last year. It is definitely safe.

It should get real dark around 5pm, assuming it's the same as Dublin as it is winter now.

Not sure why you would like to carry a 70-200 there, I shot 90% of the time with my 12-24mm lens there.

Start your day early there and good luck!

thanks guyz for the great advice.. i would definitely avoid those shaggy places... think i will keep my 70-210 in the hotel then.. cos normally i take less than 10% with it... actually i like to shoot wide also...


I guess one should take basic precautionary measures wherever they are.. even in singapore..

I have been to paris a few times.. the most recent having a bridal shoot there.. i really dun think there are any problems.. I even hung 2 cameras around my body and walked around the streets of paris taking all kinds of pictures, ( candids, streets, landscape,etc etc)
I think its safer than most of the other places that I have been...

if you are really so afraid.. i think just bring a pns camera and enjoy yurself..

do you know what time is the sunrise and sunset at paris now? i do hv a pns.. only to use as a spare camera... haha...
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
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#16
You must have had a bad day to pick on my input for the TS.
the main thing is to stay out of trouble

and trying to get rough with drunks, no matter how harmless they may seem.. is not a good idea, later they might have angry and drunk-but-not-so-drunk friends. :D
 

Leongfm

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Feb 12, 2003
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#18
I went to Paris for the first time in Aug this year. Like you I was a bit worry about whether it was safe to bring my camera gear along. When I was there I found that the city was quite safe even for lone traveller. I carried my Lowepro backpack and tripod everywhere I went using the Metro (subway) and by foot, sometimes till midnight (to shoot night scenes since the sun went down very late in the summer).

As for gear, I brought a few lens along inc the 70-200mm f2.8 but I did not used it once (left it at my friend's apartment) because it was simply too heavy for me to lug around all day. Here are some photos I took during the trip in case you are interested. Have fun!

http://www.pbase.com/leongfm/paris_2008
 

maximize

Senior Member
Jun 14, 2008
854
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#19
I went to Paris for the first time in Aug this year. Like you I was a bit worry about whether it was safe to bring my camera gear along. When I was there I found that the city was quite safe even for lone traveller. I carried my Lowepro backpack and tripod everywhere I went using the Metro (subway) and by foot, sometimes till midnight (to shoot night scenes since the sun went down very late in the summer).

As for gear, I brought a few lens along inc the 70-200mm f2.8 but I did not used it once (left it at my friend's apartment) because it was simply too heavy for me to lug around all day. Here are some photos I took during the trip in case you are interested. Have fun!

http://www.pbase.com/leongfm/paris_2008

thks bro, nice series... i think u gave me the idea of some of the muz go places... and i believe u were there at a right timing for the shoot..

actually right now i feel much better after hearing so much comments from everyone... they were definitely good advice... its veri encouraging... think i hv to seriously consider leaving my telephoto at hotel... i choose to bring because some of my visit in europe i was pretty amazed by the architechural details... sometimes is to snap at sometime over a distance above the crowds.. but honestly... i use sparingly cos the hassle to change lens and not much photo opportunity also... its better to hv the 1.5kg tripod... a definite muz-hv...
 

chanxj

New Member
Sep 4, 2006
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#20
Its quite safe la. I was there on location for a live photo competition. There were 6 teams all from different countries and non of us met with any problems hanging our multiple dslrs on our necks except that the ppl there dun like u to speak english. rmb to learn how to ask them whether they speak english. if u attempt to communicate in french first, they will appreciate and communicate in english with u if they know the language.
 

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