Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Mar 21, 2009.
Strikes me that, as we don't know who the terrorists are, we could end putting them on anti-terrorism courses!
Likewise I've been stopped by private security guards at an outdoor event. More or less accused of taking improper photographs, simply based on the fact that I use a dSLR. Others using compacts have been left alone. I now have an ongoing complaint against my local Council, who employed the guards. Although we've reached the stage where the Council admit they probably didn't have any legal right to prevent photography, they're unrepentant.
I spent a fun hour wandering along the South Bank (London) with the camera the other day. Then I went and sat around underground stations (photographic interest rather than train spotting)
No-one (in authority) took any notice of me at all.
Perhaps my age and gender helped, no idea.
When I tried to get some shots of escalators on the underground I got a few funny looks from people using them, and felt uncomfortable enough to not hang around too long, but no-one said or did anything untoward.
The only slightly worrying thing was that all the time I was walking round with the camera I was wondering if anyone would challenge me.
Well this has never happened to me before, I don't do people things much/ever and I don't really walk through towns with all the gear out anyway.
However the other day this did happen to my brother (As-level age - what even that is ) When he was taking photos of people in the local Zoo (Kesingland). Granted he is not the most subtle of photographers and is not really all that into it I think, but it was for a school project on people.
So there he is for all the world to see taking the odd picture of people at the zoo (sadly using his liveview.....) when he is confrunted by a parent (father) who makes a short and sharp statment that my brother is to stop and delete the images - even though I did say that it was for a school project he kept his stance and then went off - not in the mood to even be reasonable or to hear a word said - few moments later we find out that he had even complained to the zoo about this, though all we were asked to do was stop taking photos of people (no demand to remove previous images or such) and the zoo offical did sympathise on our side in that it is "a sign of the times" as he put it.
What annoyed me most was not only the parents very brash attitude towards me and my brother but also the fact that I bet his kids photos are on his facebook account or somesuch
In the end it was not worth making a scene of but it just goes to show that even the younger generations are getting stick for this - not just older men with big SLRs
I wonder what type of (news)paper the complaining father normally reads?
Perhaps things have got worse at the time of shooting now that so many of us don't have to put our images through the local D&P censorship office. And that caused quite a few problems for parents snapping their offspring in the bath.
Many of us will have quite tasteful snaps of our parents/grandparents in the nude at the age of 6-12 months lying on some high street photographer's couch. In my case they were taken not long after Queen Victoria's funeral.
I have been stopped under Section 44, but thankfully, and annoying as it was at the time, I am now at an age were I am older than most uniformed policemen, and not as easily intimidated as I might have been if I was younger. It would be interesting to know if certain age groups are more heavily target than others?
Photographers contribute a lot of money to the economy in one way or another, and I dare say that many railway enthusiasts, often a target for many officious types these days, probably spend more money on railway property than most non-commuting travellers do, maybe it's time that we learned to flex some economic muscle and point out the financial costs of preventing photographers from using certain properties and areas.
On final point, in over 30 years of IRA terrorist activity on these shores these actions were never considered necessary, so surely the authorities are doing the work of the non-democratic forces on this planet when they prevent us from carrying out things we are legally entitled to do (and a right which thousands of our fathers and grandfathers fought and died to protect). If this is the case then who are the real enemies of the state, not us I think?
However some actions were considered necessary, and at that time I'd just bought my first 200mm lens, and still have a few reasonably close-up images of passenger jets taken from the South Perimeter Road at Heathrow. On my next visit during the time of the "troubles" I found that an earth bank had been built to around 20 or 30 feet high, making photography impossible.
It seems that whilst good technical quality photography has got easier and more available to the masses, the authorities have sought to make life more difficult, aided in many cases by tabloid newspapers demonising all of us if young children are within range.
Has anyone noticed that the figures are changing and are approaching a 1 in 3 proportion.
is this still an insignificant statistic?
Even if it was 100% either way it wouldn't be significant on this sample size, with a self-selecting poll. Try reading this and this to understand why it's absurd and dangerous to view these sorts of results as representative.
Actually the analysis of what is a 'good' statistic' is in itself meaningless to me. This discussion is about the harassment of photographers in public and not 'how to develope a 'true' statistic. The truth being most statistics are 'bent' to go with the prevailing winds to suit their producers cause.
The fact that 31 photographers here have been stopped and questioned because of their photography is 31 photographers too many. That of course does not include all those other photographers that have been stopped, for whatever reason and have been questioned/harassed because they were bearing a camera, that we are unaware of or are not members here and thus haven't been polled.
That is the whole point of this discussion. There is no valid reason to stop a single photographer photographing in a public place/space. The stopping of photographers in public places is what is absurd and dangerous.
Whenever a terrorist act or crime takes place one of the first thing the police do is appeal for anyone who may have been taking pictures to help them out, and even with the proliferation of cctv cameras, such assistance will become less likely if the harassment continues and photographers start to stay away, or not take their cameras out.
I would have thought that one of the best ways of deterring such acts would have been to have lots of people in the area taking pictures, but yet again this shows the growing attitude of some authorities that all members of the public who are not in uniform are potential enemies, which is quite wrong, since the vast majority of people are on their side, but this increasing 'them and us' attitude just alienates members of the public, which I feel is the wrong way to go about things. Being a generally law abiding citizen I have to say that some of the recent harassment has made me lose a lot of respect for many of the police officers, who I now feel see me as guilty until I prove myself innocent.
Thankfully the RAF Police seem to have a more sensible and enlightened attitude according to this article:
How about showing the police pictures of someone with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 compact camera in their hand and someone with a Nikon D3 with, say, the 14-24mm f/2.8G lens around their neck, and ask "Who do you think looks suspicious?"
And then show the zoomed in photos taken with each camera. 24mm in the case of the Nikon, the equivalent of 300mm in the case of the diminutive Panasonic. If I were a terrorist, I know which one I'd use and yet the police never seem to bother people with compacts.
The reality is that the majority of times you are stopped the officer realises you are not a terrorist but of course he/she is target driven. Get rid of the targets and everyone is happy because the police will target who they really believe are criminals. It is course reliant on a change of government at the next election. Targets are the cancer of this generation which has caused mayhem in Education, Health Service etc etc.
It's not the targets in themselves, but the cheating done to meet them, this being a case in point.
Never been stopped by the police, but I have been harassed by people who think I have to have permission to photograph them
I had a conversation with a PCSO recently, who commented on people standing around taking pictures with their mobile phones etc. at sensitive times such as when dealing with sick or injured people. She referred to them as 'photographers', and this I quickly corrected, and said there is a big difference between a photographer and a chav with a camera phone, and most 'proper' photographers would be more sensible and sensitive than to do things like that.
The problem is if they don't know the difference between us then it's little wonder that the sight of a 'big' camera makes some of them irate. Maybe Austin Mitchell's early day motion will help to ensure that the message gets down to those levels, but until they are aware of the difference, or unless we can educate them in some way, I can see we will continue to have problems with a number of them when going about our lawful business in public places.
Reerhaps this is a more appropriate place for .....
.... this link .... considering the topic of the poll
Re: POLL - Stopped while taking pictures -- Constantly, but....
...more often by people wondering what kind of camera's I'm using, then by people asking me: "What's
going on" (if at scene with Police, Fire or Ambulance) and, on occasion, by members of the Emergency
Services and this is a 50/50 break down of "please step back or away" and "questions about my camera gear .... which has, on occasion, led to a few sales
Yeah I find just using a small camera means you can take pictures often where it's not allowed.
Separate names with a comma.