Friday, May 29, 2009

Having Problems with the Camera Strap getting in the way for Vertical Shots?

Have you ever had this problem? You've got your DSLR camera hanging in front of you on the neck strap. You grab it and turn it on its side to take a vertical/portrait shot and this happens...

...the camera strap goes right in front of the viewfinder so that you have to shove it out of the way with either your hand or the side of your face?!

I'm not sure why, but this little annoyance only recently struck me...probably because I didn't have a vertical grip on my camera previously and so could easily use the thumb on my right hand to keep the strap out of the way of the viewfinder (since my hand was already on the horizontal shutter release button near the place where one end of the strap attaches).

I think the other reason I've noticed this problem is that I've been using a Black Rapid R-Strap for the past year.

The R-Strap attaches to the bottom of your camera (to the tripod screw hole) and keeps your camera hanging at your side. (Follow the link I provided to a Black Rapid R-Strap demonstration video in the previous paragraph to see it in action.) When you grab the camera and bring it up to your eye--in either horizontal or vertical orientation--the strap is nowhere near the viewfinder! It really works well.

Up till now, I've shot with one DSLR hanging from a neck strap (this is the camera I put the flash on) and the other hanging at my side on the R-Strap. However, I've noticed that having a hotshoe flash on the camera hanging upside down at my side doesn't appear to be a problem. If you have a big or flimsy flash diffuser attached to it, maybe you'd have a problem. But I'm not a big fan of exotic flash diffusers--like the LightSphere--anyway.

So, if you find yourself having a problem with the neck strap getting in the way of the viewfinder when you go to take vertically-oriented shots--especially if you have a vertical battery grip--take a look at the Black Rapid R-Strap. I've been quite happy with mine...:-).

Michael Grace-Martin is a professional wedding, portrait, event, stock, and fine art photographer based in Upstate New York. He is also the author of this blog. All images and text are (c) Michael Grace-Martin Photography. His main website is:

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