After December 14, the life of photographers in Russia changed once again — a twofold increase in the cost of equipment moderated the rate of renewal of equipment among the broad masses. At the same time, there is a separate category of people who are quite happy with this change. It’s not about the owners of photo flea markets. Today we will talk about those who steal cameras.
Petersburg is a very photogenic city. On the central streets and squares all year round you can meet residents and tourists looking at the beauty through the viewfinder or walking with a camera in search of an interesting shot. It’s not always safe.
The first sketch — you are standing at a bus stop near the House of the Book, the camera is hanging on your left shoulder. The bus pulls up and you and the other passengers go through the door. The person in front of you hesitates, you rest against him, the person behind you rests against you. A somewhat uncomfortable situation that resolves after ten seconds. The camera mount is already shining in the sun, and the heavy lens is gone.
Sketch two — you are walking along the Nevsky with a buttoned photographic bag, the camera hangs around your neck. A citizen lost in a paper map turns to you with a request to direct him on the right path. During the conversation, the card, for your convenience, briefly covers the camera. And again — a twisted lens. In addition, everything that did not fit well disappeared from the bag.
The third sketch — you went down to the Mayakovskaya metro station, waiting for the train with a photo backpack on your back. At the entrance, as you might guess, a dubious crush begins. After ten seconds, you manage to push your way into the car and find that the backpack has lost a couple of kilograms of valuable weight. Curtain.
These and similar amazing situations occur in the northern capital every day, at any time of the year. They even say that St. Petersburg is the capital of photo theft. Talented individuals, united by the idea of collective enrichment, are doing tricks on the verge of a foul. Like comic book characters, they suddenly appear and instantly dissipate. Sleight of hand, team spirit, perfection of movements — a successful performance will not leave a single spectator indifferent.
I talked to colleagues and photojournalists about the peculiarities of the “work” of these groups and the possibilities to save equipment.
Most mentioned places: underground vestibules of the central metro stations (Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor, Mayakovskaya, Technological Institute), public transport and its stops at a distance from Ploshad Vosstaniya to Bolshaya Konyushennaya, pedestrian crossings near the House of the Book, St. Isaac’s Square, Mikhailovskaya Street, Zayachiy Ostrov .
Characters: groups of three to eight people, neatly dressed. Those who work on the street have weather-beaten tan. Some of them have a jacket over their arms. In large companies there are always “fighters” — tall men. A careful look will be able to distinguish them in the crowd — strangers do not exchange glances with each other.
Scenarios: there is not much variety.
- Crush at the entrance to the bus, trolley bus, subway car.
- Crush in other bottlenecks: passages in scaffolding, on sidewalks next to billboards.
- “How do I get to the library?”
- An offer to buy something.
- An “accidental” shoulder clash and a persistent apology after it.
People aiming to steal need to divert your attention. It takes quite a bit of time — not every photographer twists his lenses as famously as these dodgers.
What plays into their hands:
- Photo backpacks and photo bags with easy access are a disaster. If you can get equipment from your backpack without removing it from your back, it’s better to go down the subway with it, hanging it on your stomach.
- Carelessness. As you may have guessed, a photo bag hanging on your side or on your back is easy prey. The camera hanging on the shoulder — too.
You should not strongly hope that if you get into such a situation unprepared, you will be able to solve it by force. If there are six people against you on three square meters, you won’t turn around wide. Plus, five accomplices will immediately volunteer to document your illegal acts as witnesses.
Do not inspire optimism and the answers to the question “Did you manage to return something.” The number of stories with a happy ending is vanishingly small. In the general case, you will be footballed from department to department, without accepting a statement about the theft for a long time, later the investigator will show you several photographs in which you will not recognize anyone. And the study of Juno, flea markets, LiveJournal and Avito will not bring any result. Technology disappears without a trace.
The only effective way is not to click your beak. Be ready in a strange situation not to behave calmly and civilly, but immediately check the doubts that have arisen. The price of this doubt is now measured in tens and hundreds of thousands of rubles.
- Do not use photo backpacks that open from the outside in the city.
- Do not carry your camera bag or camera on your shoulder, throwing it on your back.
- If the camera is hanging on the shoulder or neck, hold the lens with your hand.
- Do not lose vigilance in crowded places.
It will not be superfluous to mention that the above is a far from complete list of the habitats of tricksters. In the city, you should not leave equipment without attention and supervision anywhere — in a cafe, restaurant, bookstore, bakery, cathedral, museum, trolleybus, pleasure boat, taxi, electric train. In addition, there are craftsmen “working” according to other schemes. For example, “buyers” who intend to purchase equipment through an ad. Or “customers” inviting for urgent shooting.
Be alert. And the next time you see a Chinese with a five thrown carelessly over his shoulder, tell him how to properly hold it in our area. Man is a friend to man.
Short address of the material: fotosklad.ru/GTP.