Anti-paparazzi scarf has become a popular celebrity fashion accessory that’s rendered completely useless by turning off the flash

Jul 5, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Anti-paparazzi scarf has become a popular celebrity fashion accessory that’s rendered completely useless by turning off the flash

Jul 5, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It’s a neat idea.  Anti-paparazzi clothing.  Clothes that makes photographing you a fruitless exercise.  The idea first came up at the beginning of last year, when Chris Holmes came up with the Anti-Paparazzi Collection.  This recently popular version has been made by ISHU.

It’s a fairly simple concept, that works on exactly the same principles as signs on the highway that shine bright in your car’s headlights, or Hi-Vis clothing to help cyclists and pedestrians be seen when out in the dark.  For those applications, it works brilliantly.

It sort of works in this instance, too, except that it’s beaten by one simple flick of a switch as the photographer turns off their flash – as proven by their own “before and after” style sample photos.

anti-paparazzi-scarf-flash-photography-protection-ishu-saif-siddiqui-11

Ok, so perhaps most paparazzi are going want to use flash whenever possible, especially in the evening, but I do wonder if this isn’t simply going to make the paps hound them even more.

I mean, imagine you’re a paparazzi, you bring your camera up to your eye, you get a couple of shots, you start to wander off and check the images on your LCD, realise they’ve been ruined by the “Anti-pap” clothing.  Are you just going to say “Well, shucks!” and move on?

Probably not.  Chances are they’d just turn off the flash, knock the ISO up a bit, and go back to shoot a few more, check the LCD, ramp the ISO all the way up, and keep shooting, whereas it would’ve been over long ago if they hadn’t been wearing such flash-preventing clothes.

anti-paparazzi-scarf-flash-photography-protection-ishu-saif-siddiqui-10

I think as more paparazzi become aware of such clothing, especially given the ridiculous ISO performance available today in cameras like the Nikon D5, that more will simply recognise the clothes before they’ve even thought about taking a shot, then turn off the flash, and ramp up the ISO in advance when needed.

In the daytime, where they generally won’t be using flash anyway, it’s already a non-issue.

anti-paparazzi-scarf-flash-photography-protection-ishu-saif-siddiqui-1

As expected, it also works with video when using a light on the camera and auto-exposure turned on (which is probably 99% of the people who’d stop them in the street to ask if they can shoot a selfie with their phone).

Like I said at the start, it’s a neat idea.  I’m just not sure how useful it’s actually going to be in the real world, and whether it will indeed deter photographers from shooting their pictures, or just make them more persistent.

What do you think?  Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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13 responses to “Anti-paparazzi scarf has become a popular celebrity fashion accessory that’s rendered completely useless by turning off the flash”

  1. Paul Avatar
    Paul

    Some paps these days are just button pushers. They will be sent out with a pre-configured camera, buttons taped over to stop them from changing anything. Those types wouldn’t know flash and ISO… they’re just button pushers.

    1. TheInconvenientRuth Avatar
      TheInconvenientRuth

      Now now, don’t be so harsh, I think you greatly underestimate the level of skill and experience required to consistently pull of the world’s most unflattering shots under ideal conditions (Handsome celeb, bright, overcast day with soft light all around)

  2. Lars Stokholm Avatar
    Lars Stokholm

    She may not be safe from paparazis, but she is now more safe in the traffic at night ?

  3. Adam Frimer Avatar
    Adam Frimer

    Aka retro reflective material

  4. sinisterbrain Avatar
    sinisterbrain

    Considering how many paparazzi not only use flash, but in TTL mode, it will still probably be effective against many of the swarming type of paparazzi. Of course, with camera sensors getting much more sensitive and flash being needed less and less, this will probably only be successful for a short time.

    Still, though, if you’re annoyed by unmitigated (and on-camera) flash photography, this is a good solution to sending the annoyance back to the camera operator. :-)

  5. Ignasi Jacob Avatar
    Ignasi Jacob

    This will work if Mugatu would be the creator #zoolander

    1. TheInconvenientRuth Avatar
      TheInconvenientRuth

      Anti-pap fabric is SO hot right now..

  6. Del Robertson Somerville Avatar
    Del Robertson Somerville

    Hilton feeds off of the paps, she is an attention seeking fame junkie, this would render her being a totally useless entity on the planet. She is wearing it for more attention, which is the point the writer of the article is making.

  7. Sada Avatar
    Sada

    rotfl pro paparazzos never use flash =D and against super telephoto or medium teles it worthnothing =D

  8. Mark Niebauer Avatar
    Mark Niebauer

    Its only limited to night and low light use. A very narrow market.

  9. Wing Wong Avatar
    Wing Wong

    This would be great to wear at aquariums or other places where flash photography is not allowed and can be harmful to the wildlife and/or exhibit items.

    Just a thin sheet/strip of this across the display window/case will be very effective. As would all of the staff wearing some variant of this.

    Of course… As others have pointed out, not using flash and/or not using auto-exposure will negate much of the protection.

    I wonder if polarizing your flash source in conjunction with a polarizer over the lens will gove you a means of filtering out the reflective light from the garment/reflectors.

  10. Jyi Offer Avatar
    Jyi Offer

    Sooo… It renders people who use TTL completely useless ?
    Full manual will still work fine

  11. Michael Malyszko Avatar
    Michael Malyszko

    This only works by fooling your strobe in auto mode. Set it to manual and you’ll have a properly exposed face surrounded by a brilliant white, outer space looking scarf.