I’ve been traveling in France the past few weeks scouting locations and activities for future workshops I’m planning. As an avid cyclist, some of my research is done riding the local backroads for scenes that are off the beaten track. Of course I go with my camera, but it usually stows in my bicycle trunk or pannier since neck straps are not conducive to cycling.
Long ago I’d given up on finding a cycling camera strap that wouldn’t slide off my back and bounce off the side of my leg or bang into the top rail of my bike. It was very frustrating and time consuming to shoot anything. I’d have to stop, get off my bike, take the camera out, turn it on, shoot, put the camera back, get back on my bike and ride until the next time I see something – which was usually a few feet down the road (or meters in this case, since it’s France). This gave way to my “cycle or shoot” mentality of choosing to ride or to shoot, simply because stopping often meant not getting to the day’s destination before dark.
I found a solution this year with the purchase of a Black Rapid R camera strap that changed my shooting behavior. That sounds radical and it is. Although the Black Rapid takes a little more work adjusting than a regular neck strap, it’s well worth the time. Once adjusted, the Black Rapid R was so comfortable that I wore it around Paris all day, everyday, for 5 days without the fatigue of a traditional camera strap. I never went out without a camera to give my neck (and back!) a break. I didn’t need to. More photos were taken simply because of the comfort quotient.
When I got to Provence and started cycling, instead of packing the camera away, I decided to try wearing the Black Rapid. I was more than surprised. After a few minor adjustments with the under arm support tether, the camera strap did something I’ve never been able to do: cycle and shoot!
It may seem odd at first that the camera hangs upside down but it makes all the sense in the world. The camera and lens rest comfortably against my back and stay put as I pedal. When I stop to shoot, I just unlock the front bumper and slide the camera up to shoot.
More than half of my students have now gone out and purchased a Black Rapid for themselves and, if they weren’t happy, I would hear about it.
The Black Rapid comes with a screw-in connector (they call it FASTNR), but I prefer to use the Fusion Photo Gear base plate because it has an Arca-Swiss style quick release plate which means I can just unhook the camera and put it right on to my tripod.
If you have Amazon Prime, order your Black Rapid here and you’ll get free two day shipping or order your Fusion Photo Gear Arca-Swiss quick release plate here (sorry, no Amazon Prime available) and you’ll help me keep Lightroom Guy (dot com) growing.