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 Post subject: Laurent Schwebel
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:41 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Hi everyone,

A few moments ago, I was doing some research and I stumbled upon a news article stating this:

"French photographer stabbed to death when taking pictures of Buenos Aires Malvinas Memorial

A French photographer was stabbed to death Wednesday morning in Buenos Aires Plaza San Martin, after thieves tried to steal his camera while he was taking pictures of the monument honouring the Argentine Malvinas War memorial."


I'd never heard about this photographer and I'm terribly sorry for what happened to him. I created this post because I wanted to pay some respect to him and make a small memorial for him. Just wanted to make all of you know this and if you want you can leave a comment.
Let's hope this never happens again to anyone :(

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 Post subject: Re: Laurent Schwebel
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1977
It's unfortunate but it is a reality when travelling, especially to third world countries or countries not as well off as some in what we refer to as the western world. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.

It is also something that has been on my mind for many years when I travel abroad and especially when I travel to places less fortunate. I really try to "dress down" and look worse off than the average person and definately worse off than the average tourist no matter where I travel to. Although my photography is wildlife based, so my human contact when photographing is mostly limited, I do carry a DSLR with me at all times even when exploring the local culture. At times like this, in areas that make me feel uncomfortable, I always have a way to hide my camera and never carry extra gear with me. I also try to travel with a buddy to reduce the odds of confrontations and if I am travelling alone and really wanna take some pics of something in a really questionable area I usually spend a few dollars to hire some personal security. The idea of personal security may raise some eyebrows but in most third world countries or countries that are worse off this security is rather cheap. I remember one time in Burma I was off to photograph the amber mines and the collection of amber. Crime in this area is rampent and no one is safe. I hired 2 personal guards for 3 days and it cost me $100.00 a day for both of them and it was well worth it.

Again, it is unfortunate that this happened but maybe it will open some photographers' eyes and remind them it is not always safe and precautions, to some extent, need to be taken at all times.

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 Post subject: Re: Laurent Schwebel
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:23 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
I have to agree, sometimes keeping a low profile is essential to be safe, but the problem is that many times, photographers just don't pay too much attention to this and just go around with all their gear exposed to the curious eyes. I really don't see Argentina as a 3rd world country, especially when we're talking about the capital here, Buenos Aires, where Mr. Schwebel unfortunately died. Sometimes you can be in danger even in a first world country, so it's best to always have precautions. I'm not talking about always having personal guards all the time, but just trying to keep your gear safe and trying not to show it off is a good precaution.
As I always say, it's best to prevent than to lament

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 Post subject: Re: Laurent Schwebel
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1977
Agreed

I always carry my gear in a pelican case no matter where I go. When at home it is always in the trunk of my car or when photographing always on the front seat. If I leave the car for a short hike or any other reason the case always goes in the trunk padlocked and then I have a locked cable to attach it inside the trunk making it impossible to remove by hand and difficult to remove with basic tools. If anyone has ever handled a pelican case they are tough to say the least and pretty difficult to break in to.

When I went to Egypt and Lybia a few years back to explore the area where they search for desert glass I used to put my case into the hotel safe at night due to the high rate of room breakins at that time. While out in the desert on the Lybian side we had actually hired 4 security personel to watch over 4 of us on the trip who were equipped for everything we may encounter. 3 times on that trip while in remote areas we were being watched by people in the distance and when our security team fired a couple of bursts into the air the people observing us disappeared and were not seen again.

I had mentioned before that I do most of my photography in the wilds with little if any human contact. Unfortunately if one has a negative encounter with another person in a remote area the consiquences can be that much worse so precautions should be at the foefront, as you said, always.

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