Front Page Blog: Are photographers really a threat?

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nicolesy
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Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:21AM

On 2008-06-10 08:17:55, alephx01 wrote:
Here's an article on the Guardian regarding photographers being harassed by law-enforcement officials. Good reading, and some links to downloadable flyers containing photographers' rights.



I keep reading and hearing things like this all the time.  It makes me want to go take some photos in public so I can be harrassed and assert my photographer's rights!!
crazychristina
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Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:35PM

I think this whole business has got nothing to do with terrorism. I think there is a lot of hostility amongst the public against photographers, and terrorism is just an excuse to express that openly.


Most people dislike being photographed. Unlike invasion of personal space on public transport, which everyone suffers as a necessity and puts up with, having someone take your photograph against your will and without your consent is not a necessity, very few people do it, and most people don't like it. So even though photographers have rights, they don't have support or sympathy from members of the public. What are you going to do with that photograph anyway? Pin it on a dartboard? Ridicule my less than perfect figure? And what if your intentions are less than artistic? Unlikely perhaps, but why should I take the risk, particularly when I resent what you're doing anyway.


So, hardly surprising that many people take any opportunity they get to harass photographers.
Matejay
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Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:31PM
Interesting reading and so right they are... this kind of attitude drives me crazy in Sydney all the time, try to go to the CBD and take out your camera on some of the office buldings and within 30 seconds you'll have at least 2 security guards with walkie talkies shouting at yout and chasing you away that you can't take photographs! But now I spent some time researching this issue and found out that they CAN'T chase you away if you take pictures of the CBD builings from the street from public land. Inside areas like plazas and so can be a problem but outside from the street they can't do a thing... so happy shooting folks!
canadian
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Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:42PM
You do realize just how boring a security job is - anything to break the soul grinding monotony
WiganPier
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Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:00PM

I photograph in the city (Adelaide) all the time and not once have I been stopped, questioned, harrassed or generally hassled.  Someone once called me an "arsehole", but when I questioned him on why he said that, he quickly ducked his head and moved on...


So while I keep hearing about it, I've never experienced it.


Matejay; I'm off to Sydney soon so I'll be interested to see what happens there.
davidf
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Posted Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:49PM
Whenever

Posted By Matejay:
... this kind of attitude drives me crazy in Sydney all the time, try to go to the CBD and take out your camera on some of the office buldings and within 30 seconds you'll have at least 2 security guards with walkie talkies shouting at yout and chasing you away that you can't take photographs...


Whenever I am in Sydney I try and spend at least half a day walking around the CBD shooting whatever looks good. I've only had two incidents.

The first time I wasn't even shooting. I had my camera in my hand and was standing around waiting for my wife. A very uptight woman came up to me waving her arms and said "Go away, you can't do that there. I'll call the police." It turned out she was from a bridal shop and no cameras were allowed anywhere near her shop. It completely threw me and I can't remember exactly how I responded but she stormed back into her shop after being 'educated' into what I could do.

The second time I had the camera up to my eye trying to photograph a couple of police cars while waiting for all the pedestrians to get out of the way. Then a third police car stopped just next to me in a no stopping zone. One officer got out and came straight to me - here we go - and said, "Excuse me, can I ask you some questions about your camera gear?" Turned out she was in the market for some gear and just wanted my opinion.
Matejay
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Posted Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:34AM


Posted By davidf:
Whenever

Posted By Matejay:
... this kind of attitude drives me crazy in Sydney all the time, try to go to the CBD and take out your camera on some of the office buldings and within 30 seconds you'll have at least 2 security guards with walkie talkies shouting at yout and chasing you away that you can't take photographs...



Whenever I am in Sydney I try and spend at least half a day walking around the CBD shooting whatever looks good. I've only had two incidents.

The first time I wasn't even shooting. I had my camera in my hand and was standing around waiting for my wife. A very uptight woman came up to me waving her arms and said "Go away, you can't do that there. I'll call the police." It turned out she was from a bridal shop and no cameras were allowed anywhere near her shop. It completely threw me and I can't remember exactly how I responded but she stormed back into her shop after being 'educated' into what I could do.

The second time I had the camera up to my eye trying to photograph a couple of police cars while waiting for all the pedestrians to get out of the way. Then a third police car stopped just next to me in a no stopping zone. One officer got out and came straight to me - here we go - and said, "Excuse me, can I ask you some questions about your camera gear?" Turned out she was in the market for some gear and just wanted my opinion.

Yeah I wasn't that lucky... especially the are around Martin Place is sensitive. It's got the American Embassy, the Chifley Plaza, The MLC Centre etc which are always being watched, especialy on the weekends. Lasti time I actually was stupid enough to get kicked out because I really had no idea what right do I have on the street but it won't happen again. I just don't like the idea of people getting paranoid every time they see a camera in someone's hand, eeven more if it's a DSLR. Oh well...
mikemcd
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Posted Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:24AM

Posted By Matejay:
...I just don't like the idea of people getting paranoid every time they see a camera in someone's hand, eeven more if it's a DSLR. Oh well...


Funny how the bigger the camera, the more likely that you're a terrorist. Since terrorists obviously want to call as much police attention to themselves while scouting targets, so they'd use the largest camera gear possible. So all the folks at sporting events with the huge lenses must really be looking to start some serious trouble...

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