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  #1  
Old 10-30-2007, 04:19 AM
AROBN54 AROBN54 is offline
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Default A question.. Women photgraphers travelling alone

I really hope I haven't asked this before and forgotten. Sometimes I ... What was I saying?? LOL

I've often wondered, though, about this. On many occasions I've found myself out in the middle of nowhere, the only person around (or so it seemed), a small, rather out of shape, grandma, carrying around a pretty nice camera and several lenses. Now, if there were persons lurking about, with ill intent, I'd be screwed. All I could hope would be they wouldn't kill me just to rob me. Or even beat me up really bad. I sure would be mad, though. But anyway, at those times I've looked around and thought, "Holy crap, you're nuts!", I became afraid. Well, and I said women photographers, but I am sure there are many places it wouldn't be wise for anyone to go wandering around alone. And I have quite forgotten where I was going with this... Oh, okay. DO you ladies travel alone many places and do you ever get frightened? And do you think it's any more scary for women and do they miss opportunities because of that? I have wondered about that.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:32 AM
mphotographies mphotographies is offline
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Default Re: A question.. Women photgraphers travelling alone

Hey Shelly,

I guess women are more prone to being mugged or harrassed than men for obvious reasons. I guess it all depends of the places you visit. Places that has ongoing insurgency, bombings or war is a big no-no unless you are a brave journalist. Places that has a high crime rate or a country of unstable security, or a place where kindnapping is rampant.

We as photographers are so enthusiastic going into to any adventure, taking us to places that we have never been to ending up being alone in a situation.

I guess I can only suggest when going on a photo hike:

1) Don't bring too much cash, just bring enough for food and transportation.
2) Before leaving your hotel, leave a note or a message of your itinerary in your room/concierge of your whereabouts in case of emergency.
3) Emergency mobile phone in hand (fully charged)
4) Pocket crypton flashlight
5) Water and snack in case you get stranded for a long period of time to get your energy regained.
6) Wear appropriate clothing, nothing suggestive you ;)
7) Pepper spray and a whistle in case to attract/call attention.

Mind you not only in remote places that photographers are being victimized moreso in crowded 'tourist' places can be a tourist trap in itself. Like Open markets, public squares, crowded trains, buses and other public transportations/terminals.

Always keep in mind of your surroundings, ask and research before going to the place. The best part is to enjoy takingb photographs...and by the way avoid bumping into groups of drunken men specially at night! Follow your 'gut feeling' if you think it's worth continuing the path, its best that way.

Take Care

Jom
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:52 AM
rushfan2112 rushfan2112 is offline
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Default Re: A question.. Women photgraphers travelling alone

Shelly,

Robbery is linked to social problems in whatever country / area you're in. A camera, jewellery, money...whatever, represents a meal (or drugs) to someone who wants it but can't buy it. It's got zero to do with terrorists or religion - just basic economics and the need to eat or feed an addiction.

I'm not a woman. I'm almost six feet tall and weigh quite a bit. I'm reasonably fit (for a fat bloke) and I feel I could defend myself okay in a straight fight. Put a knife in the other guy's hand, however, (or put him among two or more of his "friends") and I'd put the camera down and walk away. Actually, I'd probably "run" away.

A technique I learned years ago from a friend is to put a wad of low-denomination notes in a heavy, metal money clip. If anyone demands money, take out the money clip and throw it as far in the opposite direction to where you need to go to get away. They will, almost certainly go after the money. You then leg it in the general direction of "away" - hopefully into a crowd - and then to the Police.

I've walked around with £000's of gear on my back in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany, Maldives, Dominican Republic, India and even the UK. I've met up with lone female travellers along the way and have never heard of them having problems.

I'm not saying it won't or couldn't happen but we can do much to limit the impact (do research and avoid the really bad bits) or give ourselves an escape route - travel by taxi, get a local (licensed) guide to show us around for a few shekels and NEVER accept lifts or invitations to go anywhere we don't want to go.

Oh, and carry a VERY loud whistle to attract attention if you need to as a last resort. There's nothing muggers / robbers like less than attention.

Regards,

Paul.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:58 AM
Joffre Joffre is offline
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Default Re: A question.. Women photgraphers travelling alone

Hiya Shelly, even taking precautions you can be unlucky, a good female friend of mine, who is a very experienced solo traveller was taking shots in the back streets of Cuczo not far from the main plaza, when 3 local boys approached from behind, put their hands around her neck and started to strangle her, they were after her camera, a reasonable but not overly expensive SLR, she held on to the camera until she blacked out, she was awoken by a few older local women who witnessed the attack and took her to the police. Being a trooper she bought another camera and continued her travels in Peru. On her return to Australia had to have some corrective surgery which has left her with a damaged larynx. This however, was the first time in all her extensive travels, that includes all continents, that she had been attacked...
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:22 PM
AROBN54 AROBN54 is offline
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Default Re: A question.. Women photgraphers travelling alone

Thanks, ya'll, for replying. I guess with all my rambling, my main question was whether you think women miss opportunities for some spetacular shots when travelling alone just because it isn't safe for them.
When I was in the Navy, my friends and I would go out together and explore back streets in Barcelona, Naples, Hania, in France, down in the Caribbean, anywhere we went, but there would be several of us. Now if I am out alone, it's generally in state parks and national forests where many precautions would do no good if you were miles away from where folks are. Even if you twisted an ankle, got snake bit or any of that. I've been in places where my cell phone got no signal. I guess sometimes it just isn't a good idea to travel solo.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2007, 06:41 PM
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feather feather is offline
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Default Re: A question.. Women photgraphers travelling alone

Hi Shelly
I fully sympathise with you as I have the same fears. You won't find too many low-light shots in my gallery for that very reason. If I can't persuade my husband to come with me I don't go. A friend was mugged for her camera a couple of years ago when alone at night. She just let it go and wasn't hurt but still......
My latest fountain shot in Prague was taken in a fairly quiet area of the city. My husband was with me but he'd wandered off around the fountain as it was intermittant and he was trying to see if his presence would trigger something to set it off again. He looked over and a man was staggering towards me (I didn't see him as I was head in camera engrossed in f stops and shutter speeds) My husband ran towards me and the man just went back the same way he had come. Although nothing happened it makes you wonder what would have happened if I had been alone...
You have certainly raised an issue that strikes a chord with me.
Kath
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:47 AM
dareco dareco is offline
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Default Re: A question.. Women photgraphers travelling alone

Shelly. It took me 50 years to buy a 'real' camera, so I say if someone wants to take it they better be ready to deal with a crazy woman in the throws of menapause!! Yep!! Just bring it on!!!!! I'm 5'3" and about 105 lbs but at this point in my life that is totally irrelevant. HA! Ok, maybe I'm sortakinda kidding.....Karen
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:55 AM
mphotographies mphotographies is offline
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Default For Karen RE: Bring it on!

Oh yeah...pretend to be crazy woman huh, with all the strange odd stare, whooo that would freak me out, could intimidate and make those guys think twice!!!

Take care, 'Bad Mama'!

Jom
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2007, 10:18 AM
dareco dareco is offline
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Default Re: For Karen RE: Bring it on!

I talk BIG don't I....lol Karen
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2007, 12:52 PM
oochappan oochappan is offline
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Default Re: A question.. Women photgraphers travelling alone

Reading all, I can only say my experience of TN for women: they are quite safe there within the crowd, locals will protect you vigurously
but
then again
you can meet people with bad intentions everywhere:
after my mother (75) was hit with an axe on her head in her own hotelroom, breaking down the door, she said: why staying away here, this could happen even in my own street back home, question of bad luck, that's all !
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