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.