|Some of my personal favorites. (Chris Niccolls)|
I’ve taken up a lot of interests in my life. Photography, fishing, cooking, gardening, pickling and so many more. In fact it feels like I have a new hobby every year. However there is one constant in all of my interests. I never follow the status quo, and I don’t think you should either.
Now whether this approach has always served me well is debatable. But when it comes to photography I’ve bucked one popular trend and never looked back.
One Thing: Advice, tips and tricks from the DPReview editors
About this series:
I think wrist straps are the best way to secure your camera. They are customizable, compact and keep your camera at the ready when the decisive moment arises. I like to walk around with my camera in hand down at my side, but I also like to move it in and out of my camera bag at a moments notice. The wrist strap makes perfect sense for the way I shoot.
When I started out, wrist straps weren’t commonly available so I would cut my neck straps in half and sew them to make my own. Luckily the world has come to its senses, and there are plenty of choices today.
|The author entrusting an expensive classic to the all-leather Gordy strap.|
The tried-and-true neck strap creates a restrictive sensation around my neck that I dislike. Or maybe its the twisting strap always getting in my way. Perhaps the wrecking-ball effect of the camera body bouncing as I reposition for a shot. I would rather use a camera without a strap and risk dropping it, than sling one of those straps over my neck or shoulder. I’m being stubborn and opinionated, I know. However it’s my job to be the latter, and I come by the stubbornness honestly.
But every photographer I respected used a classic camera strap. Every magazine article showing a photojournalist in action, or every advertisement for a new camera displayed the neck strap as the only way.
There is also the time-honored ritual to which every new photographer partakes. Before them is their first new camera. The box has been opened and the contents removed with care and reverence. The camera strap is pulled from its sheath and unfurls, the branding proudly displayed for all to see. How you are supposed to carry your camera is laid out clearly for you from the very beginning. Of course I started out down that exact same path, and I didn’t want to feel out of place. But we have other options.
|Neck straps always get in the way on tripods. Wrist straps never do.|
Hopefully it’s plain to see that all of the above is just my opinion. Photography has more opinions about how to take photographs than actual photos themselves. There will be no shortage of people telling you how you should do it, and with what gear and what brand.
The important thing is to carve your own path. Follow the classic ways with reverence or cut and sew your own solutions. Experiment and learn what works for you, whether it be the particular strap, camera bag or lens you want to use. Always give the other side of the popular trend a chance and see what it does for your photography. You always have choices, and yes, some of those choices should include wrist straps.
Where do you fall? Are you team neck, wrist or no strap at all? Let us know and share your winners in the comments.