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Dealing with Camera Wrist/Shoulder/Back Pains

by G Servo on 05/05/2011

In photography, when holding DSLRs and tons of gear, for long periods, one can develop wrist and shoulder pain. These pains can affect your photography. There can be many reasons for this. A photographer can have previous injuries or be really fatigued from a long day of shooting. A person can even be developing Arthritis. Whatever the reason there are ways to deal with this, or even prevent it in some cases. Photographers must take care of themselves.

Your health

First if you are really having an issue holding up your camera, see a doctor, get yourself checked out. If the pain is light you can buy some over the counter pain medication like Advil or Tylenol, for the immediate pain issues. There will come times though where you just need to rest and give you wrist and shoulder a break. This means not carrying a fully loaded camera bag, with a full frame camera like a Nikon D3S and a heavy, but gorgeous lens like the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G.

How do you carry your Gear?

When thinking about a camera bag, you want something you can walk around with for a day and not have your back messed up. Walking around with a shoulder bag, even its a nice one, full of equipment, for long periods, will cause added fatigue to your shoulders and back. Have the right bag for the right task. A proper camera backpack or sling bag like the Crumpler Customary barge or the Tamrac Evolution 8 will do wonders for your shoulders. With the weight of things evenly distributed, your shoulders will be more comfortable for long hauls. If don’t want to carry the bag at all, which is much easier on the back and shoulders, you might want to consider a roller bag like the Think Tank Airport Security v.2 or Lowepro Pro Roller 1 Rolling Camera Bag.

The Camera will not fall

When shooting hand held, no matter how long you are shooting for, you should have a strap, especially if you have had pains in your wrist and shoulders. A strap will give you the ability to let you rest between shots. Not the strap that came with the camera though, I hated the strap that came with my Nikon D90. A photographer needs a nice padded, sturdy strap , like the Tamrac N45 or Sun Sniper Camera Strap, that can be slung across the chess. My favorite camera strap is the Black Rapid RS-7 however. It’s very comfortable on the should and makes your camera quickly accessible, it’s like a third hand holding your camera for you. A good strap saves your wrist a lot of discomfort in any situation. If you are in a studio or out shooting in the field it is good for your wrist not to be constantly holding your DSLR especially is you have a long lens on the body. If you want to put your camera on the tripod the black rapid has their FastneR –T1, combined with the Manfrotto 200PL-14 QR Plate. There two allow for fast switching between a the black rapid strap and a tripod

Tripod

A tripod is another great tool that can save your wrist and shoulder a world of pain. The tripod is holding all the wait of the camera. If you get a light yet sturdy tripod, like the Vanguard Alta Pro or the Manfrotto 190XPROB These Tripods, made or Carbon fiber are light and easy to carry, especially with the Tamrac evolution 8 . The environment can be your tripod also . Its all about getting the camera out of your hand. And using a wired remote like or Wireless remote like the Pearstone Wireless ShutterBoss

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