Why you should tape up your cameras
Photography has developed into a new beast in the last 20 years. Camera prices have come way down and almost everyone can buy a camera. This is great right? Photography is more popular now than ever before. But there is a downside to this as well. There are many people who are gear whores. They love gear, they love to talk about gear and argue to death about it. And that is all they do. I don’t mind talking shop a little with a pro or even with some amateurs who are looking for gear advice, but I really hate it when people want to get into a “Pissing contest with me” and claim that they are a better photographer because they have a camera that they think is better. Gear is simply the tool of our trade and it should not be used to start arguments or fights about what gear is better. You almost never see a construction worker arguing about which sled hammer is better. The simply use the tools of their trade and we should do the same.
These people waste your time when you run into them. They want to talk gear all the time, they seldom take photos, they just want to talk about gear. So I do my very best to avoid them, and to hide the gear that I am using. So I tape up all the camera logos and model numbers on my gear. I tape over every single Nikon Logo on the camera, every single Tamron logo on my lens, The camera, and the lens are absolutely pure black and if you want to know what camera I am using, you got to ask me now when I am not busy. This has saved me so much time when I am out working. I also have a uniquely Chinese reason to tape up my cameras that no one else will have in the west. There are times in China when it becomes ultra-patriotic and most people will hate anything that comes from Japan, so by taping up my camera, they cannot see the brand of my camera. This actually saved me when I was shooting in the Japanese riots in 2010. One of my Chinese colleges got his canon camera smashed during the riots but I came away perfectly fine.
The second reason you really want to be taping up your gear is to make it easy to identify. I put yellow tape on all my lens hoods, lens covers, and lens caps. I have yellow tape on my flashed and batteries. I want my gear to be a little different from other photographers so I can find it quickly if something falls off or if there is any dispute, then I can easily say that the gear with yellow on it, is mine. We all buy Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Pentax, Olympus or Panasonic cameras, and if you have many photographers in the same location, some of them is going to have similar gear to yours. You need to be able to identify your gear quickly.
I will offer this advice to up and coming photographers, don’t get seduced by gear. Don’t spend hours talking about gear online. Each minute you are online talking about gear is a minute you should be outside shooting. Photography is not about the gear. Photography is an art that needs to be practiced. Go outside and do some shooting. You will learn more in half an hour of shooting than you will learn from 100 hours of reading on the internet.