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Recent problems over taking pictures in public inthe UK

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belgianpie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote belgianpie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 05:28
Originally posted by BBC News BBC News wrote:

... then asked to delete the photos and ordered not take any more ....


Hahaha, dumb arses ... they probably never heard of photo recovering software ...

Edited by belgianpie - 18 April 2008 at 05:29
 



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Dipsausje View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dipsausje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 08:35
Fear indeed seems to be the new way to do everything. Here in the Netherlands we've had ridiculous tv-ads from the government. In those adds you saw people talking to the police about some bag they see and that would be helpful to prevent terrorism. I think it's quite obvious that there are bags at train stations and airports, about 90% of the people there have them.

Luckily they don't seem to have targeted photographers here, I hope it stays that way.
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mgjsmith View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mgjsmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 09:42
On a recent trip to Liverpool, I was wandering around the station with my camera whilst waiting for my train. I was asked by two polite security men to stop taking photographs. When I pointed out the sign in the station stating that photography was permitted as long as photographs were not taken of security-related equipment, they said I would need to seek permission. When I asked for directions to this person I was told that they were not in work on saturday. I decided to stop fearing further problems. The daft thing is that I was taking a shot of a building outside the station through a glass panel. These guys were not interested in the fact that there was a sign giving permission to photograph. In addition to this example, I frequently get asked whilst wandering around towns and cities, what I am up to. I politely explain my interest and that usually does the drink. I do get funny looks quite often though, which does make one feel a little uneasy!. Martin
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hubsand View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hubsand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 10:32
I would lay odds that 'terrorist surveillance' in the form of operatives running around exotic cities with SLRs, leather gloves and a natty raincoat is a phenomenon that exists only in spy films.

If you are planning to plant a bomb in 2008, it's very bad practice to stand in the middle of a station with a stonking white lens, overflowing kit bag and funny hat taking pictures of doorknobs.

There are many ways to shoot covertly without drawing attention to yourself. The people we should be worried about will not look like they're taking pictures. They don't dress up like Indiana Jones and the KitBag from Hell and they can't be prevented from recording images in a public place. They don't need DSLRs because they have satellites, CCTV, mobile phones, and miniaturised cameras in their glasses, clothes and luggage.

This photophobia is so misplaced you find yourself wondering: is it because a DSLR looks a bit pointy like a gun, and you 'shoot' with it?

I do a lot of location work in everyday places and encounter hostility from the overwhelming majority of people especially from those with an iota of authority. The situation doesn't seem to be as bad in other countries, but I noticed a distinct change in British people's attitudes towards photographers when Princes Diana died or was 'killed' by paparazzi, as the public perceives.

The only way to work (or play) without hassle is to plan about two weeks ahead wherever you want to shoot. Contact the people who have jurisdiction over the area you're working in, bounce along a chain of bureaucracy until you find someone who can give you permission, write to them explaining the purpose of your visit, and wait until you receive an official reply with their signature on it. Then go.

Alternatively, look like you know what you're doing, carry a business card and just get in and out as fast as possible before anyone asks any questions. This usually works better for me, but you do occasionally get arrested.
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 10:37
I'm not without recent experience

...While I didn't relish being 'detained' under stop and search for 15 mins and I'm a bit worried about how traumatic others might find it in similar circumstances, I also walked straight past the flatbed lorry that contained the 1996 South Quay bomb which went off 4 hours later taking the lives of 2 people and devastating that bit of docklands - the key is to have a balance, the problem is finding that balance.

The guys who stopped me were very polite; they asked me if they could delete the pictures I took that had featured New Scotland Yard, which I agreed to - interestingly they did not suggest that I should stop taking photographs, but said that I should keep the stop-and-search form on me so that if I was stopped again it would explain to those other officers that I had already been checked out as OK...

When next I passed New Scotland Yard, I noticed the photography poster, I considered taking a picture of it, but then thought better of it
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TallPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 10:46
Bob, that would be new scotland yard thats on the news every night when they are interviewing someone right?!

Seems crazy to me, you were polite to delete the pics though.
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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 10:50
Strange thing was, I realised later that some of the pics they deleted were of a film crew with a big TV camera pointed towards the building... However, I have to admit, the film crew weren't dressed all in black with two-days of stubble, so maybe they didn't look quite so shifty...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Renaissance Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 11:12
...terrorists are laughing their [bleep] off...this is *exactly* what they want...this is the *real* terrorism: we're becoming *afraid* of ourselves, we are getting paranoid...the seeds of fear (terror) are starting to grow and spread into our hearts and minds...into the very foundation of western society: freedom (or what's become of it) and democracy (albeit in a very very reduced form!)...it's not the horrendous and cowardly attacks on people's lives that is going to destroy us and our societies, it's the *fear* of being attacked and murdered, and all the crazy, money-guzzling and mostly futile attempts to stop these inhuman individuals in their tracks, that is eventually going to destroy our freedom and our rights as free citizens in free democracies...

...some of the stories i read in this thread remind me of a book once written in the previous century, and now long forgotten: "1984"...it seems to me that "fear of terrorism" is the new excuse that certain people in high places are using to get almost total control over what we do and not do in public (and many other!) places...

...in my opinion what is public, is public, i.e. for everyone free to see and free to record, photograph, capture, document...on what other basis can the use of police and government-controlled video cameras in public (!) places be legal?...if they have the right to film the "public" in "public" places - almost always unknowingly - we certainly have the right to photograph or film the same subjects in the same way...

...it seems bizarre to me that in a country like the UK paparazzi photographers are earning dirty money photographing stars and would-be stars and royalty in public *and* in very private places and in sometimes very compromising situations and are not prosecuted for it (although in my understanding it's illegal to photograph somebody in a recognizable way and earn money with it without the person's agreement), while any "odd-looking" amateur photographer can be stopped in the street and searched without doing something illegal at all!...

...by the way, did you know that an enormous amount of espionage during WWII was done by people having an incredible visual memory, just walking by military compounds (obviously without any camera), observing everything quietly and inconspicuously, and a few hours later *drawing* out the full building or installation in detail - by heart...

...always remember that fear is the only devil in this world...

Edited by Renaissance Man - 18 April 2008 at 11:14
"A soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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Dinostrich View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dinostrich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 11:25
Has anyone ever seen a single PROVEN case of a terrorist or other deviant being arrested on the streets because they were openly using a camera in full view of the public for illegal purposes ?

Public libraries, the press archives and the internet are full of plans and photographs of virtually every building in the land. If one knows where to look it is apparently possible to gather all the information needed without venturing out into public gaze.

As regards secutiry camera placements and the like it is quite possible to walk past somewhere with what looks like a mobile phone clamped to the ear in apparent earnest conversation whilst recording the actual layout.

I personally view it as being part of a climate of fear. Is it worse in the UK than elsewhere - perhaps the profileration of CCTV cameras points to that being so,   or are we just becoming more outspoken about it all ?

And then of course there are the situations where the police have actually asked people to come forward with their photographs of a scene ( be it taken by camera or mobile phone or whatever ) as these may help them in their investigations. It all depends on what suits them at the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TallPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 13:48
Originally posted by hubsand hubsand wrote:

They don't dress up like Indiana Jones and the KitBag from Hell ...


Have you been following me Hubsand?

Now I really am paranoid!

Well I have not been through what Bob experienced (should I say yet?) but it has not changed the way I take pictures so I can't really say I am living in fear (of the police).

Don't forget people we are English, and historically we don't stand for this sort of nonsense, its just not cricket.

Those that read Amateur Photographer, turn to Roger Hick's back page column in this weeks episode for another good read on the topic.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TallPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 13:50
Originally posted by Dinostrich Dinostrich wrote:

Has anyone ever seen a single PROVEN case of a terrorist or other deviant being arrested on the streets because they were openly using a camera in full view of the public for illegal purposes ?


Dinostretch you raise a good point, if you have more time on your hands than the rest of us you should place a freedom of information act request on the met police for example for that figure!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bharnois Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 14:12
I watch this issue and follow these discussions closely. I used to be polite when people asked me what I'm doing. I know ask them "I'll tell you what I'm up to if you tell me what you're doing first.". Before if people said unkind or accusatory things I'd move away. Now I take their picture if it's a public place and some of them go away!

I'm just simply stating that I don't take that any more. I know it is worse in the UK and Australia but don't give up.
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3rd time lucky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 3rd time lucky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 14:20
I signed the petition.
I've never had any problems but this will change if things keep going the way they are. I can't believe that Met Police poster!

John
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polossatik View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote polossatik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2008 at 14:21
If someone wants to cause a stir , you can always borrow my 1000mm Russian tank.


I'm pretty sure Cyrillic on it will enhance the effect

It's all just so silly that if it was not that sad it would be funny.

Edited by polossatik - 18 April 2008 at 14:27
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